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Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Posted by BelfastBound (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 22:25

Electrician made the under cabinet lights in my friend's house. My first thought is why did he go to that trouble at my friend's expense and to my eye, they are not throwing enough light to reach counter and do their job. My house is next so please advise. Many thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

UC Lights from under cabinet


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Usually task lighting faces the work surface not the wall.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Generally what the customer wants is light sources that are not evident except when providing light. Not all cabinets are the same. Sometimes the electrician must do the wiring rough-in when the walls are open and then select the fixtures after the cabinets are installed. A larger, not concealed, fixture might provide greater light output.
Now is the best time to discuss your concerns with your prospective electrician.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Electricians aren't lighting designers. Plenty of actual lighting stores offer free consults about how to properly light a room.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

It would appear if you just rotate that strip light so it faces downward (i.e., mounted to the bottom of the cabinet not the valance) would be a vast improvement.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Ronnatalie said:

"It would appear if you just rotate that strip light so it faces downward (i.e., mounted to the bottom of the cabinet not the valance) would be a vast improvement."

X2!

Also, there is a diference between task lighting and accent lighting. There may have been a miscommunication. I bet at night, without all of that natural light from the windows, there is plenty of light on the countertop.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

I don't like the way the wall outlets are 'resting' on the backsplash. They should be up on the wall mayber 3-4".


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

"It would appear if you just rotate that strip light so it faces downward (i.e., mounted to the bottom of the cabinet not the valance) would be a vast improvement."

Sounds like a good idea. But I have encountered cabinet bottoms that are only 3/16" thick. No way to use screws to hold fixtures to that surface without marring the cabinet bottom inside the cabinet. Adhesive might work but the possibility of that failing later does scare me. Gluing lighting fixtures in place is not a standard practice. Before slamming that electrician we need lots more information.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

"I don't like the way the wall outlets are 'resting' on the backsplash. I think they should be up on the wall mayber 3-4"."


FIFY


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

@petey_racer: You can disagree, I don't need you to add "think" to my opinion.

In most cases, it is not advisable to let a trades person decide fixtures or placement.

It's painful to see those photos. A brand new kitchen and some hack butts outlets against the backsplash. The outlet under the window is unnecessary.

Downlighting that points horizonally - another obvious blunder.

The OP's statement: "Please advise" After seeing the thoughless mess in her friends home, why would you need any advice? Take some initative, and find someone in your area that can give you good advice about the type of cabinets, lights that will work, and placement of fixtures / outlets. Don't leave any decisions to this electrician.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Perhaps that corner cabinet should be the same level as the one next to it, no?

Are those GFCI outlets? (especially the one in the backsplash)

We used kichler undercabinet with xenon bulbs


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

@nola: "Are those GFCI outlets? (especially the one in the backsplash)"

Here's another shorcut - those outlets are probably controlled by one GFI outlet. If one pop's the GFI - they all go off. The contractor saves money using regular outlets.

We used WAC low voltage under cabinet track lighting. The tracks are held in place by double faced tape.

It's a small thing, but I don't like the GFI's with the red/black test/reset buttons, nor pilot leds. I found GFI's that are a little more expensive, that have buttons the same color as the outlet, and if it does trip - then the pilot light goes on!

The contractor / electrician should be interested enough in their craft to bring up these options.

I'm amazed how much people spend, and don't question / get involved with the design and products that are to be installed.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Actually, I did not like GFIs in our kitchen either. So instead we opted for a GFI breaker in the basement, so that we can use any outlet we like. You also don't have to hunt for the master GFI outlet.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Looks like he used a cheep light. Usually use the seagull ambiance lighting I used it in my kitchen and it not only lights the counter but it also lights the whole kitchen. I leave it on at night instead if the recess lights for light. It's so bright I had to install a dimmer.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Geoffrey_B: "It's painful to see those photos. A brand new kitchen and some hack butts outlets against the backsplash. The outlet under the window is unnecessary."

Whether or not someone butts receptacles against the backspash or not is purely a matter of opinion. Not code.

As far as the receptacle under the window, if that window is 24" or more wide, and it sure looks like it is, a receptacle IS required to be installed within 24" of the end of the countertop. The window appears to start at the edge of the countertop. All lengths of countertop must be served by a receptacle within 24".


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Wow Geoffrey, you have a lot of arrogant opinions of tradespeople.

I choose fixture locations all the time. I can't remember getting any complaints or having to change anything major.

Also, would it still be hack if the client choose to have the receptacles that low? I really don't see an electrician doing that by his own choice. I know I've done it myself, with the boxes horizontally, at the customer's request.

And you cannot be serious about the GFI's. Are you honestly suggesting the contractor used one GFI at the head of the circuit "to save money"?? That is an asinine remark. When I see GFI's at every location all I can think is "Huh, here's another fool who didn't know the code."

You need to take that chip off your shoulder and realize that you are not the only one making decisions about stuff like this.And that just because someone does something differently than you does not necessarily make any less correct.

I will say, the strip LEDs facing back instead of down was a poor decisions. Then again, maybe the customer had some input there as well.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Thanks everyone. Before reading through the comments to my post I told my GC that I had several concerns with what I was seeing and I think he was insulted and said to hire a designer and just hand him the plan. I guess this will cost some bucks as I don't want to be tied to one store's inventory and I need the whole house and exterior done as it is new construction.

Anyone want to venture a guess of a whole house lighting plan for 3500 sf in the North East? Another thread a few years back said $1 a foot. That would eat 25% of my budget.

The outlet next to sink was not GFI, is that up to national code? On the other hand, there were 2 GFI on either side of the fridge.

Niick84 - He made those UCL and that just seemed odd to me when so many choices are available.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Is there anyway to prevent the UCL bulb reflection on Nola's island? Would a designer know that would happen and solve it by ? More lighting over the island to diffuse it but then you always have to have the entire kitchen lit when it starts to get dark? Boundless thx to all who reply.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

@BelfastBound: " I think he was insulted and said to hire a designer and just hand him the plan"

Get a thick skin.

Forget about him being insulted. He is just angry because his subs are going to have to follow a plan. Get'er done, get on to the next job.

You can have the same fixtures and have it look like crap, or you can have a pleasing result. Trades people are installers - not designers.

Go to a lighting store with the plans and get an opinion!


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

@pety_racer: "Wow Geoffrey, you have a lot of arrogant opinions of tradespeople."

On the contrary. I'm a tradesperson - a software developer. My criticism is a positive one.

I recommend that as a contractor you don't take on the role as 'designer'. In my experience ( 40 yrs ) the people who say "It's OK with me" - once you deliver the product, and the customer doesn't like it - you're stuck with changing it.

Actually, they are asking you to go above your level of expertise, and you're not getting paid for it.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

@pety_racer: "And you cannot be serious about the GFI's. Are you honestly suggesting the contractor used one GFI at the head of the circuit "to save money"?? That is an asinine remark. When I see GFI's at every location all I can think is "Huh, here's another fool who didn't know the code."

Maybe you want to explain yourself? Here where I've landed in MN, this is what they do: Install a GFI, and then chain all the other outlets off a single GFI. A crap implementaion, IMO.

But I want to address you and the others about 'the code'. For 40 years I've had the opportunity of working for NASA, Raytheon Submarine Signal, and other DoD companines, as well as the commercial market.

There are things called "waiers". I've gotten waviers many times.

Locally, people get zoning waviers. And yes, it's pretty easy to get a wavier and not put an outlet under a window - on the backsplash.

As a matter of fact - if the wall height (under the window is less than xxx) it's not a wall - thus no outlet.

Sometimes, I think guys like you use the 'code' as a hammer. And when you only have a hammer the only solution is nails.

Lighten up on the 'code' - it's malleable.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Uh, chaining other receptacles off the "LOAD" side of an GFCI receptacle is the design model for these devices. That is exactly how they are to be used. No different than using a single GFCI circuit breaker to protect the entire circuit.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

"On the contrary. I'm a tradesperson - a software developer. My criticism is a positive one."


Sorry, software development is not a "trade". It may be a profession. It may be a skill. It is NOT a trade in this sense of the word.
And I fail to see anything positive in your criticisms.
Also, your recommendation that a contractor (myself in this instance) not be a designer is duly noted. Ignored immediately after, but duly noted nonetheless.




"Maybe you want to explain yourself? Here where I've landed in MN, this is what they do: Install a GFI, and then chain all the other outlets off a single GFI. A crap implementaion, IMO. "


Yup. That's typical.
You calling it a "crap implementation" puts you solidly in the minority.
I've NEVER known a client to prefer a GFI in every location. In fact, the alternative of using a GFI breaker is a much cleaner look, albeit more expensive, which is typically not an issue.
My point is, we don't use only one GFI (as opposed to all GFI's) to line our greedy little pockets.
The rest of your comments about your oh-so-impressive experience and gibberish about waivers and such is worthless to me. To get a "waiver" signed to omit a code-required receptacle in a kitchen is, well, stupid, IMO.
Your hammer comment is pretty stupid as well. You are suggesting we forgo certain code-required things to fit your design and cosmetic preferences. Sorry, no "lightening up" on my part. Safety first.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

"Sometimes, I think guys like you use the 'code' as a hammer."
Sometimes I strongly disagree with the code. But it is not by any means possible for either contractor or customer to waive it legally. An installation either complies with the applicable code or it does not. There may be multiple ways to comply with the code on any particular installation. While the software industry may deplore the practical considerations of price, the lowest cost way to comply usually wins out. Contractors who must bid on jobs are forced to use the lowest cost options in order to stay in business.

This post was edited by bus_driver on Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 17:22


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

@bus_driver: "the lowest cost way to comply usually wins out. Contractors who must bid on jobs are forced to use the lowest cost options in order to say in business."

You have said it well - "forced to use the lowest cost options" - that is what I was getting at: If you (the home owner) are not involved - then you may receive a implementation that may be less than ideal. I really wasn't criticizing trades people.

@petey_racer: "To get a "waiver" signed to omit a code-required receptacle in a kitchen is, well, stupid, IMO.
Your hammer comment is pretty stupid as well.

You proving my exact point. When I come up with an alternative POV, you respond with anger and impatience. As well as telling me my ideas are stuipd. Wow, you must be a real communicator with your clients!

As belfast_bound said: "I told my GC that I had several concerns with what I was seeing and I think he was insulted and said to hire a designer and just hand him the plan"


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

"You proving my exact point. When I come up with an alternative POV, you respond with anger and impatience. As well as telling me my ideas are stuipd. Wow, you must be a real communicator with your clients! "


How is this proving your "exact point" about skirting codes?? Makes no sense.
I am also neither impatient nor angry. I'm not sure why you would assume or imply this. I am simply disagreeing with your odd comments.

And you are actually correct on this one. I have excellent communication skills with my clients. Better than most in my area. My experience and background have helped me immensely with this. Several of my previous clients have even become friends outside of work.
That said, If I do not like a client's attitude or demeanor, I simply fire them or decline to work for them in the first place. Although, this has only happened two or three times in 25 years.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Ok why is the software guy trying to play electrician I don't play software guy and yeah tht is far from a trade you need to stop tooting your horn nobody cares about you and NASA. NASA also has people who clean there toilets do you think they are better cause they work at NASA cause I don't. And anyone who thinks they can bend the rules of the code shouldn't even be talking about electric, you don't tell the cop that just pulled you over that he's just using the law as a hammer. And the comment about the gfi's that's one of the dumbest things ie ever heard. Any idiot that puts a gfi at every location has no clue how to do electric and should stay far far away. That is why there is a line and load if you know what those words mean. Call your local electrical inspector if you think that's a wrong. But you can just take my word for it after all I do have me master electric license. But you know I don't claim to know anything about software and that's the way it should be. Stick to what you know and stay out of the rest. Ok mr NASA


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Well Nick84: As a 'software guy' - I've done a quite a bit of EE. However I don't have a 'master electric license', didn't think I'd need one to have an opion here.

Obviously, you feel threatened. I wasn't trying to brag, or pull rank. I was just saying 'from my experience'.

What's obvious to me is that you guy's exist in you own little world, in your own jurisdiction.

It is painful to read the anger, and passive agressiveness, in your posts.

Quick, slam me, shut me up, ASAP, cause you can't stand a difference of opinion!


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Has anybody considered the option that the HO went with the cheapest quote for the job, which in turn would result in the cheapest outcome possible? I have had customers want the cheapest of everything (fixtures, devices etc...) and when all is said and done they try to imply that I was cheap and didn't provide quality materials. All I do is present them with the changes in the original proposal where they kept shaving $$$ which in turn shaves quality and overall appearance and function.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

It's not about your opinion it's the facts you are stating that are wrong and then you act like the code that we study for years and follow all day long is just a bunch of words; that we use the code as a crutch to so things the easy way or a hammer as you call it. But the code makes my job much more difficult then it could be with out it, so what you say doesn't even make sence. And by the way your not going to get a waiver on kitchen outlets there are specs in the code that tell you where they must go and if there not there you will fail inspection. Maybe you should pick up a book it's good reading but you prob won't understand it.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

"Well Nick84: As a 'software guy' - I've done a quite a bit of EE. However I don't have a 'master electric license', didn't think I'd need one to have an opion here. "


Well here is yet another example of an EE, or in this case a pseudo EE, thinking that it somehow relates to construction or trade electrical. It does NOT.
This is quite obvious from his previous posts.

Software guy, YOU are the one getting all defensive, to the point where you have to start throwing your education and NASA work experience around to try and impress/convince people.
You can have a differing opinion. You just cannot try and force people into agreeing with it.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

"You have said it well - "forced to use the lowest cost options" - that is what I was getting at: If you (the home owner) are not involved "

Quite the contrary. The customer forces the contractor to bid the lowest and cheapest. The alternative for the contractor is rejection.

Often the customer has no realistic perspective based on experience ( as is possible with some who post) about how it all works.
What I had hoped would be my best job ever (quality, which it was) turned out to be the bitterest disappointment ("customer" dissatisfaction) . A close relative was planning a build (their first build) and wanted the best of everything. House about 3500 square feet 2 story plus basement of about 2000 square feet plus attached double garage. I volunteered to do the electrical charging only for materials at cost-- no markup on materials and no charge for labor.
Lots of changes and additions as the project progressed.
2- 200 amp main panels, 109 duplex receptacles, 91 wall switches, 78 light fixtures, 12 of them cans, 13 of them exterior, 2 heat pumps with backup electrical, water pump and water heater. Over 4000 feet of NM cable used, plus the larger cable. ALL conductors were copper..
They were astounded and surprised at the cost of the materials when it was all completed.
Harsh words were used.
I asked them to have another electrician inspect and give them an opinion. Did not do so, they already had an opinion. I see that here too.

This post was edited by bus_driver on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 15:48


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

@bus_driver: "Quite the contrary. The customer forces the contractor to bid the lowest and cheapest. The alternative for the contractor is rejection."

I agree with you. When I said they are 'not involved' I meant that they do not consider what they are asking for, nor do they think about the result.

This is why I refuse to develop software for companies that are not willing to sign up for maintenace contracts. They think the code will work forever, and they can call up 5 years from now and expect a fix for $500.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

This is my first visit to this site, and I must say I find the bickering quite amusing.I will definitely keep checking out this site.


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RE: Does what electrician did make sense to you?

Despite the bickering, that is just absurd work - putting the outlets RIGHT above the backsplash looks terrible, and then just one IN the backsplash? and the undercabinet lighting facing toward the wall?

Seriously, who comes up with this stuff?


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