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Old 09-19-2009, 01:01 PM   #1
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Electricians choice?


While visiting my daughter here in Fairbanks, AK, she has me doing all those little repair jobs around this house she recently bought which was built in the early 70's. While investigating a three-way switch situation (which the seller stated never work in their 26 years here) I had a hard time trying to figure out the wiring as it was not "normal", I finally found in the ceiling of the bath near the downstairs hallway a junction box which had been sprayed over with something like "Popcorn ceiling". This box was about one foot over from the light/fan fixure in the bath area. This was where all wires for three rooms connected to a feed from the breaker panel. This helped me solve the three-way switch feed problem and get that fixed. NOW- I have looked and noticed that in ALL rooms of the house there is an octagon box/cover in the ceiling, sprayed over, approximately one foot off center of the room. They also don't have any ceiling mounted lights here, they are all wall mounted, something to do with frequent earthquakes here (not during my visit). I'd like to talk with a local electricians to see if these boxes are code required or just something the electrician who wired the house did on his own. Interesting area, to say the least. Thanks, David

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Old 09-20-2009, 07:22 AM   #2
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many old houses had a junction box that feed the outlets or looped to the next room. These were used as the required light also. As long as the box is accessible you are fine with code requirements. Accessible means you can work on the box without dismantlement of the building structure.

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Old 09-20-2009, 08:07 AM   #3
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1. While it is common to loop circuits from one room to another, this is not the way a competent person would do it. The connections are usually made in the device or fixture boxes. If a junction box is needed it is usually in a crawl space or attic. Up in the ceiling one foot off the wall is really poor craftmanship. If a box absolutly had to installed it should have been put in the middle of the room so that a light could be installed later.
2. I have never heard of any prohibition against ceiling lights in a earthquake zone. There might be certain local codes for extra securing of the fixture or boxes, but the idea of banning them is ridiculous. Most of my family lives in CA, where I grew up, and they have overhead lights.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:35 AM   #4
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Hows life up there in Alaska? I always dreamed of living there and fishing there. I love fishing. Not cable fishing, I hate that.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:15 PM   #5
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Could have something to do with minimizing the amount of cable needed. As I understand it everything costs more because it has to be shipped in.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:24 AM   #6
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Maybe my wording wasn't the best: "code05", the junction boxes are located within a foot of the center of each rooms ceilings, even though there are no light fixtures on these ceilings. Bob, you are correct in your statement and I understand it. "J. V. and hayewe farm": Although I am visiting at this time (on a one-way ticket, and don't know when I'm going home to GA.), I can tell you that this Fairbanks area is beautiful every time I come up for a visit which has been during all seasons. Snow is predicted for this area on Wednesday. Last nights low was 34 and today's high was 52. IF it does snow Wed., it probably will not stick as the high Wed. is predicted to be in the mid-40's. YES, everything up here is more expensive than "outside" as they call the lower 48. Almost everything here has to come into Anchorage ports, and then trucked or rail to the Fairbanks area. It is interesting to find out how people live in places other then what we normally call home. Thanks, David
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
Maybe my wording wasn't the best: "code05", the junction boxes are located within a foot of the center of each rooms ceilings, even though there are no light fixtures on these ceilings.
Or maybe I need new glasses. The boxes maybe for future lighting, depends on how they ran the wires. The boxes are close to center, so maybe the original installer was a little lazy if this was the case.

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