Why are 4" IC remodel housings so hard to find?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Boo, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Boo

    Boo New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    California
    I have been searching high and low for 4" IC remodel housings (line voltage, please) but am only finding either non-IC which won't work with my blown insulation in the attic or IC new construction, which won't work 'cause I can't get access unless I want to re-do the drywall in the ceiling. We have enough of that to do elsewhere!!

    I'd asked this question P.T. (pre-Tedesco!) and someone had responded but, of course, it was deleted.

    I don't want to go larger since I already have the perfect 4" trim. Anyone know why they're so hard to find...or why they're not made if that's the case? :confused:
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,182
    Location:
    New England
    This is only a guess; it may be that the relative depth of the bulb verses the diameter and the volume required for the can and electrtical connection is too big to fit through the hole on a smaller fixture. The box attached often remains the same size regardless of the size of the opening.
  3. Boo

    Boo New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    California
    Hmmmm...might be. In my desperation, I found something online that is low voltage and described as:

    4" Low Voltage "SHALLOW" AT Rated Remodel Housing 120volts with Electronic Transformer. 35watt max use a FMW or any 35watt MR-16 12volt bulb

    But it doesn't say if it can come in contact with combustible materials. Not sure what "AT" means. I did install some non-IC 3" cans in our closet and I built a 4" box completely around to keep the insulation away, but what a pain that was! Also, I still get a bit freaked out when my husband forgets to turn off the lights since halogens burn so hot!

    I'm determined to use the very cool trims I bought (before realizing how hard it would be to find the housings...should have bought them in the reverse).
  4. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,182
    Location:
    New England
    None of the IC rated housings are remodel versions...you'd have to tear up the ceiling. To make the housing IC, you have to provide a big enough air gap to help prevent too much of a heat buildup for the wiring and housing...you'd never get it to fit through a 4" hole. I think you'll find that to be true for any housing size...if you need IC rated, you'll not be able to do it as a remodel by just drilling a nice round hole; you'll have to remove some ceiling. If you can locate the joists and make a neat cut, it shouldn't be too tough to patch things back up.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    AT stands for air tight. You need it to say IC.
  7. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Ah...the quest for 4" IC cans.

    If the insulation is blown in, you can just move it away from the can.. If you are worried about future blown in you can fashion a barrier out for some tight mesh wire. It is a royal PAIN but can be done.
  8. add a negative like this : 4 ic line -non-IC

    Then, the search engine removes the "non-IC" from the results. Useful when the one term you don't want has a million examples, and the one term you DO want produces only a few examples.


    4 ic line -non-IC
    has IC but not the non-IC in its results

    4 ic line
    has both in its results


    David
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2007
  9. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2008
  10. Boo

    Boo New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    California
    Thanks everyone for the comments and investigative work! I have to face reality that the combo I'm searching for just won't work unless I want to re-drywall. The area is only about the size of one standard sheet of drywall, but what sucks is that we just had the "popcorn" scraped from the ceilings and were pleased that all of the old sheetrock was in great condition.

    At least I know now why there are only 5" and larger housings for remodel.

    I might just go with the 5" that frenchie found and just bite the bullet and purchase new trim. It sure is difficult to accept defeat!

    :D
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,182
    Location:
    New England
    There are 4" remodel ones, but I've not seen remodel AND IC ones.
  12. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    It's also not a very big deal to open the drywall, put the lights in, then close it up again... especially if the whole area's roughly a sheet... the only taping would be in the corners?
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,182
    Location:
    New England
    Most attics this time of year are something to be avoided! Yeah, I saw that, which is why there is blown in insulation there. I've installed installed new construction boxes in old work, but you're right, it has to be done from above or take out the drywall.
  14. tonykarns

    tonykarns In the Trades

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    wisconsin
    Installing

    I have been using 4" tc remodeling canisters for 2 years now in areas with blown in insulation and no access to the attic. My procedure is to:
    1. Cut the 4 inch hole in the ceiling making sure I am centered between both rafters. Must have 16" clearance between back side of drywall ceiling and roof boards. Move insulation away from hole by hand as far as I can.

    2. Cut a piece of wire mesh with 1/8" square holes 27" long by 12" high.

    3. Roll the wire mesh to 4" diameter and insert in hole with wiring running
    through the center of it and out of the ceiling.

    4. Let the mesh expand to about a 11" diameter and with a needle nose pliers
    and small clips, clip the mesh together so as to keep the ends together.

    5. I have now created the 3" dia air space required for the remodeling canister.

    The entire process takes about 20 minutes per light to install from start to finish if you have your mesh pieces cut ahead of time and handy. I usually keep a bundle of them in the truck. Most of my kits use par 20 type bulbs and I take out the two screws keeping the bulb holder in place so I can drop the bulb down flush with the trim face instead of purchasing the whip they try to sell you to lower the bulb. All electrical inspections in Wisconsin have been approved using the above method. If insulation is going to be blown in at a later date I install fireproof wool insulation at the top of the mesh to prevent any other insulation from getting blown into the top of the mesh container I have made.

    tonysprofessionalremodeling.com
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2007
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,182
    Location:
    New England
    Personally, I'd rather tear out the drywall, and use an AT IC fixture. then, you could put insulation over it. Having an uninsulated section of ceiling in a house today just seems like a big energy waste. Go the extra mile, I think you'll be happier in the long term. The potential for condensation in the winter and mildew is there if there is no insulation around the fixture and you can't do that unless it is an IC rated one. The AT helps, too.
  16. WarriorWithWood

    WarriorWithWood New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Feasterville, Pa.
    What happened to my post? Did someone delete it? Was it my avatar? Was it something I said?
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2007
  17. WarriorWithWood

    WarriorWithWood New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Feasterville, Pa.
    Is Joe lurking around?:D
  18. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    What post?
  19. WarriorWithWood

    WarriorWithWood New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Feasterville, Pa.
    I posted asking if boo could get into the attic and install new construction from the topside, so he /she wouldn't have to cut up the drywall. That's why jadnashua posted
    There was more in the post also but now I'm curious why it was deleted just so I won't repeat the mistake.
  20. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    I didn't edit or delete your post. But, I would bet someone else did because of the nature of your avatar. I only got jealous, lol. ;)
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