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Old 02-18-2011, 10:06 PM   #1
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ceiling light question

I have a ceiling light fixture that looks like this:

The incandescent bulb screws in somewhat horizontally, not vertically.

My question is regarding the plastic electrical box attached to the ceiling joist where the fixture wiring connects to the house wiring.

The round box is visible from the attic and sits just above the drywall where insulation has been cut out around it.

There is a 14/2 NM-B cable running into the box. The conductors are accessible from the fixture side of the drywall (not from the attic side).

It all appears pretty standard, nothing special as far as I can tell. But I am planning to install a new light fixture and a catwalk in the attic.

1. I'm not sure what the rating of the box is. Does it need to be specially rated in any way, or will a standard box do if I replace it?

2. Is it okay to cover the attic side of the box with a plywood catwalk?

Thanks in advance.


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Old 02-18-2011, 11:01 PM   #2
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Thats a pretty standard setup.
Unless you are going to hanga heavy fixture, nothing needs to be done to the box.
The box is nail to the joist so it sits flush with the sheetrock.
You can put a catwalk over the the top of the joist, and it will not affect the box in any way.


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Old 02-18-2011, 11:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. The box is rather dilapidated and not well attached to the joist so I was thinking I'd just replace it.

As for the catwalk, my only concern was heat. There's a 60-watt bulb in the light fixture and only a very small amount of heat radiating from the box when it's on. I'm sure it's nothing to worry about.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:33 AM   #4
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If the fixture requires 90 degree C rated insulation on the wiring now would be a good time to change it. Nm is 60 degree rated, NM-B is 90 degree rated. You can add an accessible junction box to feed the fixture.
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:07 PM   #5
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The wiring and the new ceiling box I installed should be fine.

I understand the ceiling box needs to be accessible, which it is from the ceiling side, so I assume covering it on the attic side will not be a problem... as long as the bulb in the fixture does not generate a lot of heat.
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