View Full Version : Wiring in the Attic

JC Lighting
07-14-2008, 02:57 PM
I have a customer that wants to run the wiring for 4 under eve down lights inside his attic himself to save money and to keep exposed wire to a minimum. I usually run the Low Volt Direct Burial wire inside or under the gutters and I do not know what the NEC requirements are for his approach. What type of wire is required? He will be drilling a hole and passing the wire through a 2 x 6 board (not a hollow wall), would conduit be required here? Can anyone clarify these questions for me and add any other information I should be aware of?


Jim C.

07-14-2008, 05:00 PM
You would have to use romex for this situation. Our low voltage cable is not rated for interior use.

07-15-2008, 12:13 AM
Paul is on it here. We did a project early this year which required attic wiring and we had to have the EC do it with romex. Q wire from q tran is rated to go from burial to interior. Its very similar to UF romex but more plyable.

A good question that needs to be answered first tho. Where is the transformer located if these are low voltage lights? We like to use light o lier 2000LVR in soffits which includes an electronic trans.

Eden Lights
07-15-2008, 12:23 AM
JC, It's great to hear from you. How are things in San Jose? NS gave you some good fail safe advice, but your local codes inspector will be the only one that can really answer your question, if you want to follow the letter of the code. You should post more, you have as much design knowledge as any of us. Have a good week my friend.

JC Lighting
07-15-2008, 04:35 AM
Thanks for the info guys, I'll take this advice and run with it. Eddie, the local irrigation houses say lighting business is down but I've been very fortunate, my business is growing. Thanks for the compliment.

Take Care,

Jim C.

JC Lighting
07-20-2008, 03:40 AM
I contacted an inspector with the city where the planned wiring in the attic is located. He said that any wire will do as long as it will hold up to the heat. The concern is melting the sheathing. An electrician that teaches a course in preparation for a license also said that just about any wire will do. No one referenced a code that covers the question.

Anyone know how I get info on direct burial wire regarding heat specification?

Jim C.

Chris J
07-20-2008, 10:16 AM
Contact Vince at Paige Electric. He is very knowledgable, and should be able to guide you right.

Vince Nolletti
Paige Electric Co. LP
Phone: 559-431-2346
Cell: 559-906-9075

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-20-2008, 06:11 PM
The heat specs are listed right on the jacket material. Direct burial LV 12/2 cable is NOT rated for interior building applications. It's jacket is 60c rated and you must use 90C rated (min) for building applications.

You want to use either NMD 12/2 (romex) or the new Qtran - Qwire for that application. Direct burial LV cable and NMWU (outdoor) cable is not an acceptable alternative.

07-21-2008, 10:21 AM
I did a project about 8 months ago, it was a newly built custom home. We ran wires in attic etc. In order for the low volt wires to pass inspection I had to use speaker wire... Go figure? I used 12 ga. speaker wire and I had a liscensed electrician install the wire. On the other hand, if the homeowner is doing it himself. It isn't going to be inspected. It seem to me that the direct burial wire has higher standards than the speaker wire. I don't think there is any danger running direct burial wire through the attic.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-21-2008, 10:32 AM
Ned, I bet if you checked the jacket of that speaker wire, you would have found that it was rated for 90c. The key here is the heat rating on the jacket and using wire that is approved for the application.

07-24-2008, 12:47 PM
what wire did the inspector in your area ask you to use for the boathouse last year? i have a garage i am going to light next month and could use your advice on local gov.


INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-25-2008, 03:20 AM
Jason. Please call me on my cell phone to discuss. You have the number.

I have some info for you that you will want to have before you start that job.