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Old 05-26-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
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Hide/Cover Sconce Light Fixture hole


Want to remove electrical sconces on bedroom walls. Would prefer not to cover the holes or hide with pictures. Can these holes be patched? Can wires be removed? Is this a fire hazard?

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Old 05-26-2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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In order to patch up the holes you will have to remove the boxes. If you remove the boxes, you have to pull back the wires to the next box or install a box in which to terminate the wires.

It's not a fire hazard to have unconnected wires as long as they have wire nuts on them.

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Old 05-26-2012, 11:49 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forum.
Tell us about your bedroom sconces. Are they wired with Romex type wire? If you don't know how to tell the difference then you may be safer by calling an Electrician?
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:11 AM   #4
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you can get decorative blanks to fit the boxes as well, or get whites and paint them to match the room.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:51 AM   #5
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Hide/Cover Sconce Light Fixture hole


or buy nicer sconces and just install them instead.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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If these sconces are wired in the "switch leg" fashion (power goes to switch first, then a switch leg is run to the sconces) all you need to do is disconnect the wire in the switch box. Then you can patch the holes, burying the box is fine.

Some will say that even if the lights were wired in the "switch loop" fashion (power goes to the light box first, then a switch loop runs over to the switch) you can just cap the wires off and then bury the box because there is no connection inside of the box.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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Energized ends of a cable cannot be buried in the wall.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Energized ends of a cable cannot be buried in the wall.
You know what comes next: Article?


Edited: There is a lot of discussion on this topic, it goes both ways. Here is an example: http://www.electriciantalk.com/f2/hack-12483/


The main reason why you can't bury a junction box isn't a safety issue, it's in case the splices ever came loose, it's easier to troubleshoot when you can actually find the box. When abandoning wires and capping them off, there is nothing to come loose.

I don't think the thread starter should have this issue anyway since I am guessing the sconces are fed with a switch leg and he could just disconnect the wires inside of the switch box and abandon them properly.

Last edited by Macro; 05-28-2012 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macro View Post
You know what comes next: Article?
Haha, I agree.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:45 PM   #10
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If it is still energized I would think this would apply.

314.29 Boxes, Conduit Bodies, and Handhole Enclosures
to Be Accessible. Boxes, conduit bodies, and handhole
enclosures shall be installed so that the wiring contained
in them can be rendered accessible without removing
any part of the building or, in underground circuits, without
excavating sidewalks, paving, earth, or other substance that
is to be used to establish the finished grade.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
If it is still energized I would think this would apply.

314.29 Boxes, Conduit Bodies, and Handhole Enclosures
to Be Accessible. Boxes, conduit bodies, and handhole
enclosures shall be installed so that the wiring contained
in them can be rendered accessible without removing
any part of the building or, in underground circuits, without
excavating sidewalks, paving, earth, or other substance that
is to be used to establish the finished grade.
That section only contains Boxes, Conduit Bodies, and Handhold enclosures that contain wires....
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macro View Post
If these sconces are wired in the "switch leg" fashion (power goes to switch first, then a switch leg is run to the sconces) all you need to do is disconnect the wire in the switch box. Then you can patch the holes, burying the box is fine.

Some will say that even if the lights were wired in the "switch loop" fashion (power goes to the light box first, then a switch loop runs over to the switch) you can just cap the wires off and then bury the box because there is no connection inside of the box.
This is the part I was addressing.

If the conductors have been de-energized and removed from the box I would agree that it could be abandoned and covered over.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
This is the part I was addressing.

If the conductors have been de-energized and removed from the box I would agree that it could be abandoned and covered over.

This most applicable article is 300.15 IMO. Depends how you read it. I agree with you, but many will not.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:35 PM   #14
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This topic is completely up in the air, different people see it in different ways.

One can say that if you pull a cable out of a box and tape it off, it's legal to bury it in the wall live. 300.15 wouldn't cover this since the wire isn't being spliced, terminated, etc. I linked to one thread where they were discussing that and there are many others.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:37 PM   #15
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Hide/Cover Sconce Light Fixture hole


Here is 300.15 which I also agree would apply. Blue by me for emphasis.

300.15 Boxes, Conduit Bodies, or Fittings —Where Required.
A box shall be installed at each outlet and switch
point for concealed knob-and-tube wiring.
Fittings and connectors shall be used only with the specific
wiring methods for which they are designed and listed.
Where the wiring method is conduit, tubing, Type AC
cable, Type MC cable, Type MI cable, nonmetallic-sheathed
cable, or other cables,[COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"] a box or conduit body shall be installed
at each conductor [/COLOR]splice point, outlet point, switch point, junction
point, termination point, or pull point, unless otherwise
permitted in 300.15(A) through (L).

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