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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A peaked roof is being added over the top of the od ready for replacing FLAT roof on the building where my HT is by carpenters who know from code. They don't do electrical though. So I had a guy doing stuff like easy sconce wireing. The thing is, this County inspector who comes to inspect the phases of the carpenter's roofing job wanted to look inside what had been shown on the 30 year old plans as a 'work shop' but is now my HT. He looked around, did'nt hassle me and would consider it a shop. Well my wireing pal told me the sconce wireing was'nt code as the wires from the sconces ran UNDERNEATH the fabric wall coverings. He told me if an inspector objected about it, to say it's temporary and it'd be done to meet code by my pal. The only thing I can think to do is run the wires through those adhesive channels that can attach to the drywall under the coverings. Maybe my pal knows another solution. Anyhoo, I now have four working sconces in the HT that can be worked remotely. Would anything in YOUR HT have to be changed to meet code? By the way, I'm in California if that makes a difference. Os
 

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You know, I was thinking about this as I'm beginning lighting work on my own home theater in an already finished room. I considered doing non-code things like running the electrical wiring between the drywall and the fabric, and decided against it. I believe that code, specifically electrical, is there to prevent possibly catastrophic accidents. If a wire caused a fire because it was improperly installed, that would be bad. It would be worse if the insurance company decided they didn't need to cover it because it was the fault of the homeowner.


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My wireing pal said he'd just use lamp wire instead of the heavy gauge speaker wire that was used for the sconces. He thought two more sconces could be used on the other wall instead of the torch lamp (with LOW 15 or 25 watt bulb) that's there. It's really a matter of seeing where to place another dimmer box if it's possible. Finishing my HT is like the tree that keeps growing and the apples are always out of reach on the limb or the door at the end of the short hallway but as you reach for the knob, the hallway keeps stretching, moving the door away. Os
 

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First, lamp cord cannot be used as concealed wiring nor can it be used in the open as permanent wiring, meaning connected box to box. Nor can a plug be cut off and the wires spliced into a box. A cord is just that. Something that can be unplugged and moved. You often see stores running neon sign cords above the ceiling and pluged in somewhere up there. This is a classic frequently seen code violation. The plug and outlet must be visible and accessable at all times.


The primary code objective for in wall wiring is to protect it from mechanical damage. You say the wiring is under fabric. That's probably not good enough for Romex. MC (the metal sprial jacketed stuff) would probably be OK. Here in Los Angeles County, Romex cannot be exposed in habited spaces. MC, conduit, and approved remodeling raceway such a "Wiremold" can. In Burbank and Beverly Hills, Romex is illegal even in residential uses. You simply can't use Romex for anything in those cities. Los Angles City forbids it in any commercial use but OK for wood framed residential.


They make shallow metal boxes for fixtures which are about 1/2in deep. These meet the wiring space requirements because there is additional space in the fixture wiring compartment which covers the wall box. I would wire the whole system using MC cable and these boxes. You can get right angle MC connectors and enter the box from behind. Put plywood strips under them to make the boxes meet the finished wall depth. Put more plywood around then to staple the fabric to. The cut your insulshield around the MC cable.


Is this up to code? I don't know and cities vary in their requirements. But I can tell you this will be a safe installation you can sleep easy on. Your local codes may allow Romex which would be a whole lot easier and cheaper to do. And it would be safe as well as long as people aren't poking things through the fabric. If this were me, I would just use Romex between the fixture boxes. I know I could install it safely But that still may not be up to code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I live in Santa Barbara County and I'm not sure what the deal is here. Another thing is I'm using the pre existing walls, NOT HT inner built walls and NO electrical boxes exist to secure the sconce hardware to. NO grounding wireing exists to ground to either. The buiding wa made in '73 or so as an out building for Dad's ham radio activities. I put up wood lengths to the studs over the drywall then attached the sconce hardware to them. The remote controlled dimmer box is visible on a visible wall outlet. Just how the heck does an inspector think it can be done WITHOUT cords....MAGIC?! I HAVE to use COMPATIBLE cords for the purpose. Hey I'll remember MC, Romex, conduit, etc. Jeesh, there'll be THICK heavy gauge flat audio cords UNDER the rug going to the speakers too. I suppose one can't do that by code? Os
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also the plugs on the sconce speaker cords are the kind you buy to attach cords to. These are plugged into an outlet strip that's plugged into the RC dimmer box that's in the common wall outlet. I would'nt be surprised if county building inspectors dislike that you have an HT in a room in your house or at least in a building in your back yard or the garage. Are you zoned for a theater? Will countless numbers of people be in your theater? That kind of thing BUT I could be exaggerating. Until I had the roof job being done, I never thought about inspectors and the HT mags never talk about them that I know. Os
 

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Unless you're advertising, open to the general public and/or charging admission, I don't think you have to worry about zoning issues!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think that what's code has changed over the last 40 years, possibly needlessly. I guess the tecnology can effect what's proper code but if and I stress if a specific set up would've met code 20 years ago, it should now but I assume that is'nt always the case. Os
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Os Dummy
I live in Santa Barbara County and I'm not sure what the deal is here. Another thing is I'm using the pre existing walls, NOT HT inner built walls and NO electrical boxes exist to secure the sconce hardware to. NO grounding wireing exists to ground to either. The buiding wa made in '73 or so as an out building for Dad's ham radio activities. I put up wood lengths to the studs over the drywall then attached the sconce hardware to them. The remote controlled dimmer box is visible on a visible wall outlet. Just how the heck does an inspector think it can be done WITHOUT cords....MAGIC?! I HAVE to use COMPATIBLE cords for the purpose. Hey I'll remember MC, Romex, conduit, etc. Jeesh, there'll be THICK heavy gauge flat audio cords UNDER the rug going to the speakers too. I suppose one can't do that by code? Os
The speaker cords are fine per code. All I can say is if you are running lamp cord under fabric and padding for class 1 (120v) use, this is a serious code violation and a safety hazard.


1973 is well within the required grounded electrical system codes. It sounds like this building was done off permit quick and fast. I would seriously consider an entire electrical rework before going to the expense of fitting out an HT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, 1....I don't know much electrician terminology, 2....the cieling lights HAVE ground wireing but one DOES'NT connect a light fixture's ground wire to them I'm told for some reason. The wall where the sconces are simply have NOTHING electrical except for the outlet stuff near the floor. I am aware that sconce mounts are supposed to be connected to some sort of metal box thing I guess it is, attached to the wall framework but none exist for these sconces is what I meant. The general building itself very much meets code from what I've been told. Os
 
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