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I'm designing a recessed lighting fixture and would like to T splice some of the wires in it. The wires are 14AWG, will carry up to 4AMP and I'm looking to make an elegant connection so that it fits into the thin enclosing.

Is it ok to use a T-Splicing of this kind, and cover the splice with liquid tape or plain electrical tape? The splice will be at the top of the lighting fixture, but may get some dust as a result of not being covered, but rather being in a channel.

  • If you are planning to use those T splice connections be aware that these are made for use in stranded wire -- not solid wire. – Michael Karas Feb 9 '15 at 9:15
  • Regardless of your splicing method, it must be enclosed in an accessible junction box. It cannot be open on top of the fixture. – Matthew Feb 9 '15 at 20:13
  • Most light fixtures will just run all the wires up to the electrical box, and make the connections in there. – Steven Feb 9 '15 at 20:51
  • @Steven, I think you're misunderstanding the situation. Lights with many sockets/lamps etc. have internal wiring and connections that aren't intended for the user to make. Vanity strip, dome, multi-pendant, multi-ballast fixtures to name a few will typically have 1+ taps made for you. It may happen but "most" certainly isn't the case. It's also bad design. The manufacturer of the light doesn't know what box the light will go and forcing the user to put additional wires in the box needlessly is problematic. – ChiefTwoPencils Feb 11 '15 at 20:11
  • @Matthew, that's not true. I can go to HD, or any lighting supply house for that matter, and show you many fixtures where the wires are not tapped inside and are on top the fixture. Hell, I could take pics of at least four fixtures that are that way in my house now. Sounds like you're too broadly applying typical wiring methods to the internals of a fixture. – ChiefTwoPencils Feb 11 '15 at 20:15
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As I interpret the code, no. That "T" splice isn't allowed, and not really elegant IMHO.

2011 NEC
110.14 Electrical Connections
(B) Splices.
Conductors shall be spliced or joined with splicing devices identified for the use 
or by brazing, welding, or soldering with a fusible metal or alloy.
...

Where the article says you could solder the joint, in your case it's shall solder the joint. As far as the taps being in a approved enclosure, I can't agree with the commentary. Just go to any lighting store and you will see lights that have fixture wires on top of a light that would be much larger than any typical box. However, I'm not a manufacturer, I just have experience hanging a ton of lights.

  • I've never seen that type of connector used other than in vehicle applications, though they do appear to be UL listed. At any rate, I think the OP is asking about the second method that's talked about in the linked article. It also sounds like they plan to make the connection outside of a box. – Tester101 Feb 9 '15 at 11:55
  • @Chief-Two-Pencils Not sure what you mean by "push the metal tap straight down". The taping/liquid taping is to create an insulation rather than holding it together. – Dina Neishtadt Feb 9 '15 at 15:42
  • @Tester101 thats kinda what I'm worried about, using it for a home light fixture, outside of an electrical box and not in a car applicaiton – Dina Neishtadt Feb 9 '15 at 15:43
  • @DinaNeishtadt You definitely don't want to make connections outside of an approved enclosure. Also, making a physical connection and wrapping it in tape, is not a good idea. Tape has a tendency to not hold up well over time, and could lead to exposed wires. – Tester101 Feb 9 '15 at 15:52
  • @Tester101 I'm designing a new light fixture, that has a number of canes, so it can't be in an approved enclosure, as the light fixture is the enclosure I'm designing.... – Dina Neishtadt Feb 9 '15 at 19:23

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