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Old 07-28-2009, 05:54 PM   #1
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4x4" juntion box in 'leaky' location - no cover or romex connectors


I tried to get this from the electician board, however I was directed to the DIY site here.

I'm not DIYing it, I have a contractor, however the other unit owner and I are having a disagreement. See thread below. Is there anyone who can help with this?
--------------------
Good afternoon. I am NOT an electrical professional. I have been reading through the code forum here and I have a couple questions.

Situation:
A rental unit owner has had issues with leaking into a bay window from my employers above unit deck. Upon pulling out the recessed light fixture in the downstairs rental unit, the contractor informed me that he found a 4x4" junction box and that:
a) there was no cover; b) there were no "romex connectors"; and c) it was fully enclosed behind the drywall and recessed light fixture.

I called NEMA and the Board of Industrial Trade and found out that DC uses the 2005 NEC Codebook. After that, I obtained a copy of the code and found section 214.

Not being an electrical professional but dealing with government and legal issues for 15 years, I think I found the appropriate sections.

Could someone tell me if these sections and their language are suitable for the above situation? I am unfamiliar with some of the terms, like "luminaires" and "flexible cord pendants".

Also, are Romex Connectors a brand name of bushings or are they separate?

I am trying to find an electric professional to discuss, however I'm not having much luck and I need some resolution to the issue immediately. The other owner is arguing that our contractor is not qualified and there are exposed wires and a possible leak (pending rain).

I can speak on the phone if you like, or email directly through here.

NEC - 2005 Edition.
Section 314.15(A)
Damp or Wet Locations. In damp or wet locations, boxes, conduit bodies, and fittings shall be placed or equipped so as to prevent moisture from entering or accumilating within the box, conduit body, or fitting. Boxes, conduit bodies, and fittings installed in wet locations shall be listed for use in wet locations.

Section 314.25 and 314.25(C)
314.25
Covers and Canopies. In completed installations, each box shall have a cover, faceplate, lampholder, or luminaire (fixture) canopy, except where installation complies with 410.14(B)
314.25(C)
Flexible Cord Pendants. Covers of outlet boxes and conduit bodies having holes through which flexible cord pendants pass shall be provided with bushings designed for the purpose or shall have smooth, well-rounded surfaces on which the cords may bear. So-called hard rubber or composition bushings shall not be used.

Section 314.28(C)
Covers. All pull boxes, junction boxes, and conduit bodies shall be provided with covers compatible with teh box or conduit body construcion and suitable for the conditions of use. Where used, metal covers shall comply with the grounding requirements of 250.110. An extension from teh cover of an exposed box shall comply with 314.22, Exception.

314.72(D)(E)
Construction and Installation Requirements
(D) Wiring is Accessible. Boxes shall be installed so that the wiring is accessible without removing any part of the building. Working space shall be provided in accordance with 110.34

(E) Suitable Covers. Boxes shall be closed by suitable covers securely fastened in place. underground box covers that weigh over 45kg (100 lb) shall be considered meeting theis requirement. Covers for boxes shall be permanently marked "DANGER - HIGH VOLTAGE - KEEP OUT." The marking shall be on the outsie of the box cover and shall be readily visible. Letters shall be block type and at least 13 mm (1/2 in.) in height.

Thank you,

Tracie

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Old 07-28-2009, 08:10 PM   #2
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4x4" juntion box in 'leaky' location - no cover or romex connectors


You're code sections are right. However, I doubt this would be considered an ordinarily damp or wet location. It is a normally dry location that just happens to be wet from a leak.

Boxes have to have a cover, and the box has to be accessible (you can get to it without cutting the drywall, removing the drywall, etc).

Not sure what a romex connector is. Maybe a wirenut?

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Old 07-28-2009, 09:04 PM   #3
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4x4" juntion box in 'leaky' location - no cover or romex connectors


This is a prime example of turning a 1 hour repair into an eight hour ordeal.



The contractor was correct on the violations and it should have been a simple repair.

I am confused by who's electrical problem this is but, somebody should have simply had him fix it and moved on to something productive by now.

If it's your light, you fix it. If it's someone else's light, it's their problem.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:07 PM   #4
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4x4" juntion box in 'leaky' location - no cover or romex connectors


Romex connector is a brand name and a generic term for cable clamp.
Any nm cable that enters a box must have some kind of clamp to hold it in place.
If the box can be access by removing the recessed light, then it is accessible, but not a great idea.
It should have a cover on the box.
The tenet may be right that the contractor is not qualified by city or state regulations.
Some places require a license to do electrical work.

I think the rain/wet issue is another mater that has nothing to do with the junction box.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:58 PM   #5
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4x4" juntion box in 'leaky' location - no cover or romex connectors


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigplanz View Post
You're code sections are right. However, I doubt this would be considered an ordinarily damp or wet location. It is a normally dry location that just happens to be wet from a leak.

Boxes have to have a cover, and the box has to be accessible (you can get to it without cutting the drywall, removing the drywall, etc).

Not sure what a romex connector is. Maybe a wirenut?

I wasnt' sure if that qualified or not. thanks - I took that out of my information.
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:02 PM   #6
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4x4" juntion box in 'leaky' location - no cover or romex connectors


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
This is a prime example of turning a 1 hour repair into an eight hour ordeal.



The contractor was correct on the violations and it should have been a simple repair.

I am confused by who's electrical problem this is but, somebody should have simply had him fix it and moved on to something productive by now.

If it's your light, you fix it. If it's someone else's light, it's their problem.
Tell me about it.

The confusion is understandable. The issue is we discovered the light while dealing with a leak from our upstairs deck. In good concscience (sp???) I can't leave the electric the way it is.

Unfortunately, the days of "fixing it because it's right" are long gone now with lawyers and sue happy people.

It's my hope that by citing the codes she's violating she'll let my contractor fix it while he's there. She said there was nothing wrong with the way it was installed, though, clearly, there is.
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:07 PM   #7
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4x4" juntion box in 'leaky' location - no cover or romex connectors


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Romex connector is a brand name and a generic term for cable clamp.
Any nm cable that enters a box must have some kind of clamp to hold it in place.
If the box can be access by removing the recessed light, then it is accessible, but not a great idea.
It should have a cover on the box.
The tenet may be right that the contractor is not qualified by city or state regulations.
Some places require a license to do electrical work.

I think the rain/wet issue is another mater that has nothing to do with the junction box.
Wasn't sure if "structure" encompassed removing teh light. But the romex connectors or something similar need to be addressed and also, do something to prevent issues should there be another leak at some point. I recall something in the code about it but I'd have to go back and re-read.

Thank you all so much for your input. Ive sent the letter off to the other owner and hopefully that will motivate her to do the job correctly. My next step is to call someone and report them if she doesnt' correct it. Its a fire hazard and a dangerous situation.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:40 AM   #8
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4x4" juntion box in 'leaky' location - no cover or romex connectors


It's trivial to fix. Unless you are actively trying to create a big dispute, just get someone to fix it. Probably would cost whatever the minimum service call charge is for your chosen electrician...
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:32 AM   #9
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4x4" juntion box in 'leaky' location - no cover or romex connectors


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Originally Posted by Gigs View Post
It's trivial to fix. Unless you are actively trying to create a big dispute, just get someone to fix it. Probably would cost whatever the minimum service call charge is for your chosen electrician...
True - the fix IS minimal. Minus the removal of hte drywall, the relocation of the box from under the drain, and then replacing and repairing the light and drywall, respectively.

He's coming this morning to tend to it. The issue isn't that is couldnt' be fixed, it's that the owner of the unit below said id didnt' NEED to be fixed. We can't access her unit unless she gives permission, and legally can't do any work in her apt without her consent. OH, and the biggest issue - the pipe he needs to get to to deal with the leak (original problem) is behind the junction box. Which is why we need to address that issue.

We have it now, the code worked, she understands what we're doing. I had told her before it's a quick repair to get it up to code but she got "offended" that her contractor would do a shoddy job.

Last edited by culturalenigma; 07-29-2009 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:43 AM   #10
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4x4" juntion box in 'leaky' location - no cover or romex connectors


A rental tenent can't refuse access to repair a problem
If the other unit owner did not agree to the repairs then you have an issue
But in a Condo if an owner refuses to fix a problem then they can be fined daily/weekly until it is fixed

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