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Old 10-08-2008, 12:40 PM   #1
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


Ok.. first question from me.

I'm working on a project to remodel my kitchen lighting. the house has 8' ceilings in the area and the kitchen ceiling was lowered 6". the center of the ceiling had a framed box that held some florecent fixtures which were all covered by an oak frame and light difuser panels. I'm removing the fixtures and replacing with recessed lights.. so on to my question..

Must a junction box be accessible? In other words, i would like to make my wiring connections in the junction box and mount it in the ceiling joists so there is not an obscene box cover in the middle of my kitchen ceiling. If it must be accessible, do you know of any covers that could concealed?

Pic showing the area.. The box in question is the one nearest the top left of the picture. The other boxes will eventually be removed.


Thanks in advance for any help.

Cheers,
skinny

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Old 10-08-2008, 01:03 PM   #2
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


Must a junction box be accessible? In other words, i would like to make my wiring connections in the junction box and mount it in the ceiling joists so there is not an obscene box cover in the middle of my kitchen ceiling. If it must be accessible, do you know of any covers that could concealed?

YES! THEY MUST ALWAYS, ALWAYS BE ACCESSIBLE! You can NEVER hide connections in walls or ceilings.

That said, if you have an attic space, you can put junction boxes there. You can also make junctions in light switch boxes or in the basement or just junction boxes inside a closet, many many options.

There are cover blanks that you can get, but they still look like a switch cover plate, and you don't really want to get fancy with hiding it, a cover plate is pretty much the limit.

I am doing a very smilar project, I have to pull the floor out of the 2nd story attic to access the wires and move junction boxes.

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Old 10-08-2008, 01:17 PM   #3
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


Thanks for the response (although not the one I wanted ).

I guess I will have to get creative and try to put it in a place that is inconspicuous. I would have to remove the bedroom carpet and sheeting upstairs to really relocate which is not an option I would care to execute on.

Would it be wrong to cut a square hole in the vertical portion of the recess and mount the box there? It would basically be a box cut into the 2x6 sub-frame for the drop ceiling.

Last edited by SKINNY; 10-08-2008 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:26 PM   #4
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


Are you putting sheetrock on the ceiling, or is this a dropped ceiling. If it is a drop ceiling with removible panels, then you can leave the j-box where it is at.
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:29 PM   #5
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


It will be fully sheetrocked.
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:29 PM   #6
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


As jbfan pointed out, if it is an acoustical tile ceiling you're fine. If it is sheet rock, well, not so good. But, since the can light can be disassembled while it is in place, could you mount a can below your j-box? This would give it the accessibility required, albeit tough.
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:00 PM   #7
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
As jbfan pointed out, if it is an acoustical tile ceiling you're fine. If it is sheet rock, well, not so good. But, since the can light can be disassembled while it is in place, could you mount a can below your j-box? This would give it the accessibility required, albeit tough.
Hmm... good idea.. I had planned to use new construction fixtures however I could use a remodel one under the jbox.. If that satisfies electrical code and is considered safe then it might be my best option.
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:56 PM   #8
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


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Originally Posted by SKINNY View Post
Hmm... good idea.. I had planned to use new construction fixtures however I could use a remodel one under the jbox.. If that satisfies electrical code and is considered safe then it might be my best option.
Even new work cans come completly out to access thier j-box. I've used this method before, but only when push comes to shove.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:03 PM   #9
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


Great advice thus far in this thread! The can light idea is something I have accepted on a number of occasions. It would of course need to be a large enough can to facilitate reasonable access to the box (6"). To be safe, it would be a good idea to run it past your inspector to make sure that they'd accept it, but I don't see why they wouldn't if you can demonstrate removal of the can would allow you to get at the adjacent j-box.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:12 PM   #10
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


You could just rewire that mess from the switch(s) (pull new wire) and then you wouldn't need junction boxes. Sure, it's more work, but it would be a top notch job.

It's funny how this topic comes up every week here....
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:22 PM   #11
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


Put a bigger box at the planned lights and do the junction in there. Unless of course you have too many wires.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:24 PM   #12
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Great advice thus far in this thread! The can light idea is something I have accepted on a number of occasions. It would of course need to be a large enough can to facilitate reasonable access to the box (6"). To be safe, it would be a good idea to run it past your inspector to make sure that they'd accept it, but I don't see why they wouldn't if you can demonstrate removal of the can would allow you to get at the adjacent j-box.

Hey, you can bury it behind a kitchen cabinet if you want, no where does it say it has to be easy to access... Just accessible.

I personally would just rewire as already stated.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:36 PM   #13
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


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It's funny how this topic comes up every week here....
Hey.. I wouldn't want you guys to freek out if by chance the question didn't get asked this week.. Just doing my part LOL.. actually I searched and didn't find a difinitive answer.. maybe didnt look hard enough.


Quote:
Even new work cans come completly out to access thier j-box. I've used this method before, but only when push comes to shove.
Nice.. i just checked my cans and you are correct (never doubted you)..


I think we can call this topic closed.. solution provided..

Thanks Everyone!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:26 PM   #14
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Electrical junction box - must it be accessable?


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Nice.. i just checked my cans and you are correct (never doubted you)..


I think we can call this topic closed.. solution provided..

Thanks Everyone!!!!!!!!

Bills in the mail...

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