Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting with Romex?

twolabsJanuary 28, 2012

Hello all-

I am a novice in all things electrical. I wanted to hook up two small low voltage spot lights in front of our house on either side of our front entry sidewalk to shine up our columns. Since I'm not much of a handy man, I decided to have the landscape guys run the wire for me since they were already installing our landscape.

My plan was to run low voltage wiring from inside the garage through the existing conduit (sprinkler system wiring) out into the front flower bed and then about 20 feet to either side of the sidewalk. I had a transformer to mount inside the garage.

However, I guess my landscape guy misunderstood me (and overlooked the brand new 50ft package of low voltage wire) and they ran romex in conduit. One line to the first location, cut it, and then a second line back into the conduit and popped out the other side of the sidewalk.

From some quick internet searching (I first started out looking to see if I could wire these low voltage lights into the romex)...I learned that romex isn't approved for wet locations, even in conduit? Apparently, UF wire is approved but I don't think that is what was installed because it says Romex on the sheathing.

I started to see if I could just use the romex to pull my own low voltage wire through but the romex isn't budging. Should I have them tear it all out and put down the low voltage wire? Any other ideas or suggestions?

Thanks!

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bus_driver

Romex is a brand name. The type of non-metallic cable for direct burial is UF, the type for dry locations is NM-B. UF is intended to be used with the ends and splices properly sealed or in dry locations. While some code provision might be violated by using the NM-B as installed buried for 24 volt (or less), if it was my property I would use it since it is already installed. If the outer jacket is not damaged, it probably will last for at least 10 years if the cut ends are properly sealed. The voltage involved presents no hazard to most individuals.
No doubt others will have a decidedly different perspective.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 5:08PM
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twolabs

Okay that is interesting. What is defined as properly sealed? I'm confused as to how I can hook up these low voltage spotlights to the romex in the first place. I guess I should cut off the "quick connect" plastic boxes on the lights and then just manually splice them to the romex with plastic wire caps and then heavily tape over them?

As I understand it, low voltage isn't polarized so I don't have to worry about which wire I splice into which, correct?

Thanks for the help!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 9:12PM
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bus_driver

Ordinary tape will not seal out moisture. This will do the job if you can find it and if it can be sold in your area. The price may be steep. Tape then the sealant on top.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sealant

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 9:35PM
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manhattan42

Anywhere outdoor in conduit is a 'WET' location...and wiring cannot be NM-B in any of such locations.

Period.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:42AM
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drewguy

Use the romex as a fish line for your LV wire. Pull that through the conduit and be done with a proper installation.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:15AM
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