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Old 05-06-2013, 04:29 PM   #1
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Hi,

I see there are many questions (and answers) about junction box accessibility. It appears that there are different rules about ceilings or attics.

Our kitchen was added on to the back of the house some years ago (before us). There is not a room above the kitchen - there is roof. The roof directly above the kitchen has a very low slope. We want to put in a skylight. When I cut through the ceiling sheetrock I found that there is 14/2 romex running here and there through the area we want to put the skylight. I didn't see moving the romex to joist bays to the right and left of the skylight area as a problem but 2 of the romex cables had to be split and then run outside the area for the hole instead of down the middle.

Of course the romex was then too short so I ran both sides of both romex cables into junction boxes and then joined each cables junction box with another piece of romex between them (about 3 feet in length). Looks great. Works fine.

Now, looking on the web I see that junction boxes have to be accessible. There were already junction boxes in the ceiling when I opened it up so I didn't even think it about it being a problem.

The question is: since this is not a ceiling between two floors but - possibly - an attic - although quite a low attic - can I do this? It's the kitchen ceiling so obviously I don't want holes for j-box access.

Thanks much, Mallethead

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Old 05-06-2013, 05:05 PM   #2
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Is the "attic" accessible without removing any permanent structure or wall/ceiling covering?

If not, then technically you can't have a JB there AFAIK.

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Old 05-06-2013, 05:35 PM   #3
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


If you buried the junction box, then it is an issue.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:00 PM   #4
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Google "Tyco CPGI-1116415-2 Romex Tap & Splice Kit". It's supposedly a way to legally bury splices in inaccessible locations without a box. No experience with them myself, though.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:00 PM   #5
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Junction boxes have to be accesable according to code.... and honestly there is good reason... as a bad splice or a burnt neutral.... you'll need to get to it.

Other possible options might be:

1)An access panel somewhere less visable (pantry/mudroom??) serves as access.... even if you have to climb in on your belly. Accesable does not mean easy or comfortable.

2) Any ceiling light boxes you can employ as your J-boxes

3) Could you incorporate/use a J-box/cover plate in any vertical framing to your skylight... it would be less visable

4) Could you "hide" a ceiling box over any kitchen cabinets.... you can texture/paint your cover plate and hide it pretty well.

My best ideas... any other's

Good luck

Peter
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tylernt View Post
Google "Tyco CPGI-1116415-2 Romex Tap & Splice Kit". It's supposedly a way to legally bury splices in inaccessible locations without a box. No experience with them myself, though.
You cannot just bury them, they must be used according to 334.40(B)

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Old 05-06-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Tyler....

Interesting that tyco splice.... I had originally thought it was NEC for use only in an open raceway (without a J-box).... but I just read some other stuff that indicates it is approved for non-accesable uses as in fishing requirements.

Anyone have any experience with this...

Peter
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:24 PM   #8
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


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Tyler....

Interesting that tyco splice.... I had originally thought it was NEC for use only in an open raceway (without a J-box).... but I just read some other stuff that indicates it is approved for non-accesable uses as in fishing requirements.

Anyone have any experience with this...

Peter
Already posted the code article, and they suck by the way, they are used heavily in the modular construction industry.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:28 PM   #9
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Quote:
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Tyler....

Interesting that tyco splice.... I had originally thought it was NEC for use only in an open raceway (without a J-box).... but I just read some other stuff that indicates it is approved for non-accesable uses as in fishing requirements.

Anyone have any experience with this...

Peter
The OP obviously didn't fish any of these wires, so they are out of the question on his scenario...
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:05 PM   #10
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Thanks all for the responses.

Yikes! This is going to be a problem. Don't know if it was clear from my first post but I already did the work. Not so smart I see! Anyway, what I did was to open up 6 joist bays but the window is only going to take 4 joist bays. The joists are 12" apart on center and doubled (one angled 2x10 comes down running next to another flat 2x10).

There is not enough room to crawl in and the space is in the middle of the ceiling. I thought about sheet-rocking the outer joist bays and patching and painting so that they aren't visible when the inspector checks the skylight installation. But, my wife suggested we can just leave holes and put those plastic cover plates over the holes. Not exactly elegant but functional.

I guess my 2 other alternatives are to 1) call the electricians and ask them to do completely new cable runs or 2) skip putting in the skylight. I thought about the excellent suggestion to hide an opening in the vertical framing of the skylight but I've moved the cable so that it and the junction boxes would be in the joist bays next to the ones the window will be mounted in.

In a bit of a quandry now.

Mallethead
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:32 PM   #11
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mallethead View Post
Thanks all for the responses.

I thought about sheet-rocking the outer joist bays and patching and painting so that they aren't visible when the inspector checks the skylight installation.
In a bit of a quandry now.

Mallethead
Mallet.... I would not do it for liability resons etc.... and I'm not saying anything but commenting..... you would not be the first person that put together really good splices and buried a J-box behind drywall.

I've found, and so has everyone, numerous instances often quite worse... crap splices, untaped, without even a metal Jbox.... heck I've even found bare live wires hanging without even a wire nut or tape.

Longshot chance, but your J-box does not have to be in the interior... any chance you can make it to your exterior wall or exterior soffit??

Peter
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:00 PM   #12
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Peter,

You are of course correct about not burying the box and I agree - even though when I opened the ceiling I found 2 boxes already there! Anyway, I think the best solution at this point is to plan on cutting 2 access holes on each side of the skylight and covering them with white plastic cover plates. Then I can say that we have access. And it was my wife's suggestion so she's fine with it - aesthetically. Can't really hide them because the inspector will see all when he comes to inspect the framing the roofer does for the skylight!

The main 2 cables that I had to cut ran ALL the way from one side of the room to the other in a single run in adjacent joists - I think for the switches. The situation is two separate sets of recessed lights - one on one side of the kitchen and one on the other. So, I had to cut them right in the middle of the room because that's where the skyligt is going. Therefore, I have 2 split cables - now 1 on each side of the skylight opening and there's not really a way to now locate the j-box's in a different location.

Thanks, Mallethead
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #13
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Quote:
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Peter,

You are of course correct about not burying the box and I agree - even though when I opened the ceiling I found 2 boxes already there! Anyway, I think the best solution at this point is to plan on cutting 2 access holes on each side of the skylight and covering them with white plastic cover plates. Then I can say that we have access. And it was my wife's suggestion so she's fine with it - aesthetically. Can't really hide them because the inspector will see all when he comes to inspect the framing the roofer does for the skylight!

The main 2 cables that I had to cut ran ALL the way from one side of the room to the other in a single run in adjacent joists - I think for the switches. The situation is two separate sets of recessed lights - one on one side of the kitchen and one on the other. So, I had to cut them right in the middle of the room because that's where the skyligt is going. Therefore, I have 2 split cables - now 1 on each side of the skylight opening and there's not really a way to now locate the j-box's in a different location.

Thanks, Mallethead
Pleasure trading thoughts with you/someone addressing and solving an issue.

Just a thought, you can get (I think at even a big box) a cover plate that you can spray texture on and make it almost invisable... or even a plastic cocver, lightly sanded, hit with gripper or cover stain primer, and you'll hardley ever notice it.

Best Peter
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:20 PM   #14
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Is difference between ceiling and attic for junction boxes?


Get yourself a few of these
http://www.proproductssales.com/prod...&products_id=3
And your good to go!

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