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enter image description hereI'm installing LED can lights on a 20 amp circuit. I'm retrofitting an old fluorescent light with three small 3" can lights. I have 12/2 wiring all the way to the junction box that will feed wire to the three can lights. The can lights have a small 1.25" x 3.5" x 2.25" steel junction box with about half that space for connecting hot, neutral, and ground to the LED circuit. The lights are powered after the LED junction box with 3 conductor #24 wire with a separate connector for easier installation.

The problem is this: the LED junction box has #2273 Wago connectors that can only accept #14 or smaller wire. I don't want to run 14/2 wire from the 12/2 junction box because I feel that would violate code. I'm proposing to cut the Wago's and use wire nuts to connect the 12/2 to the stranded #18 wire in the LED junction box. It will be a bit tight but I think doable.

Any suggestions or advice?

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  • Is the entirety of that junction box available, or is some of it occupied by the driver? Dec 15, 2022 at 4:40
  • 1/2 of the LED junction box is available for connections
    – Alex
    Dec 15, 2022 at 4:55
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    A picture would be very helpful, as would the brand/model # of the lights you're installing.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 15, 2022 at 12:35
  • The light is a Utilitech #1500764 and if I've done this correctly the post should now have an image.
    – Alex
    Dec 15, 2022 at 15:55

2 Answers 2

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You can cut out the Wagos and use wire nuts. Some older LED driver boxes used the wire nuts not the Wago.

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Those are Wago "Lever Lock" connectors. No need to cut anything. Just lift the lever, slide it off the existing wire, and replace with a UL Listed wire fastening device that will accept 1 #12 wire and 1 #24 wire.

I believe that a Wago 221 will accept that range of wires and there are a wide variety of wire nuts available that will also accept that range. Just read the label on the box.

Also:

I don't want to run 14/2 wire from the 12/2 junction box because I feel that would violate code.

You are correct. You cannot run 14AWG wire on a 20A breaker. The manufacturer gets away with the #24 wire inside the device because it's been UL certified with that gauge wire inside it.

You could, of course, replace the 20A breaker with a 15A breaker. Unless you have honest to goodness 20A loads on the circuit (which you probably do not). Also, if you regularly exceed 15A of load on this circuit (bathroom with lights & a curling iron or kitchen with lights, toaster, coffee maker - no go) you shouldn't replace it with a 15A or you'll wear out your carpet making trips to the panel to reset the breaker.

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  • A Wago 221 will accept the two stated sizes, #12 and #18. It'll be a tight fit in there with three of them and all the #12 wire and a strain relief but that's the way to do it if you don't want to use a smaller breaker. Using twist-nuts to join a stranded #18 to a solid #12 would be a frustrating experience.
    – jay613
    Dec 15, 2022 at 16:10
  • OP stated #24 wire, not #18, thought, TBH, #24 seems awfully thin for 120v. Also, while it's hard to tell from the provided pic, it seems as though there's a not unreasonable amount of room in the wiring compartment of the box. Additionally, Wagos are flat, so you can stack 'em as opposed to wire nuts which resolutely refuse to stack. :(
    – FreeMan
    Dec 15, 2022 at 16:14
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    Those aren't lever nuts. Those are just push ons.
    – longneck
    Dec 15, 2022 at 16:35
  • I think it's 18 from the nuts into the driver chamber, and 24 inside the DC cable. Anyway 221s are documented to accept #24 though i have had those slip out.
    – jay613
    Dec 15, 2022 at 16:40
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    Those are wago push wire 2273 connectors. Not 221 or 222 lever nuts. Push in connectors are not designed to release the wire or reuse.
    – cde
    Jan 27 at 12:36

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