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Old 01-24-2010, 10:50 PM   #1
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


I want to mount a switch on a steel plated support post.

The best way I can thing to do this is to run conduit down the face of the post to a metal handy box in which to place the switch.

Other than trying to drill through steel, the best solution I can come up with to mount the box is J-B Weld. The stuff is strong, withstands high temperatures (up to 600 degrees) and is not electrically conductive.

Is there anything in electrical code that would say this isn't a suitable way to mount the box?


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Old 01-24-2010, 11:37 PM   #2
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


i think an inspector would site workmanship. how about drilling and tapping the pole?

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Old 01-25-2010, 12:22 AM   #3
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


Aside from the need to mechanically fasten the box to the structure, I would think that any reputable inspector would turn that down for not being installed in a workmanlike manner. Being a redneck I agree that JB Weld is strong and might work fine, but as an inspector I'd never consider passing it.

There are a multitude of options for mechanically attaching a box to red iron. Self tapping machine screws are available from sources such as Fastenall...They don't even need a pilot hole.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:27 AM   #4
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


Quote:
Originally Posted by plummen View Post
i think an inspector would site workmanship. how about drilling and tapping the pole?
Elaborate please?


I ask that because when I'm doing home improvements, I take my time to make sure it's done well enough that I'll never have to do it again.

My only real concern would be if there were something in the code that says that conduit and such must be MECHANICALLY fastened, and therefore an inspector turn it down for being CHEMICALY fastened.

So I'm not worried about the install ever failing, but that doesn't mean the inspector will have the same opinion.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:30 AM   #5
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Aside from the need to mechanically fasten the box to the structure, I would think that any reputable inspector would turn that down for not being installed in a workmanlike manner. Being a redneck I agree that JB Weld is strong and might work fine, but as an inspector I'd never consider passing it.

There are a multitude of options for mechanically attaching a box to red iron. Self tapping machine screws are available from sources such as Fastenall...They don't even need a pilot hole.
You answered before I could finish typing the question, thanks.


Of course this does give me an idea... a way to avoid having the inspector nit-picking my work.

A life lesson I was given years ago was that if you have to submit a body of work to a reviewer, you should include at least one fault that is relatively easy to spot, but not too obvious. The idea is to give the reviewer a fault to find, so that when they find and report it, they will feel like they have done their job. Otherwise, if you do a really good job, you risk the reviewer nit-picking your work looking for a fault so that they can feel like they have done their job.

So one way to help make the inspection go smoothly is to go ahead and attach these boxes with J-B Weld. When the inspector finds it and points it out, he won't have to nit-pick the rest of my work to find a fault to make him feel like he's doing his job. I can then correct the deficiency by simply adding the screws through the J-B Weld.

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Old 01-25-2010, 12:47 AM   #6
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


or he may be the kind of inspector that if he sees something as questionable as using JB weld to glue a box to a pole, the rest of the work is probable equally crap and he will then inspect everything, very closely.

My rule: do it as it is supposed to be. I have inspectors that do not even look at my work because the know me and they know my work and they know the job is done correctly. If I start leaving things for people to catch, then they will start thinking : hmm, maybe there is more, and start looking.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:49 AM   #7
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


Hopefully, either way, I'm going to do a good enough job that it wil stand up to scrutiny.

My only issue would be if the inspector was a stickler to following the letter of the code rather than cutting me some slack for minor mistakes that don't create a safety issue.

Case in point, I was wiring up a workshop before I learned about something called "box fill". What I was doing was running two parallel circuits for the shop, one was a 15 amp circuit for lighting and plugging in low power devices (drill, radio, etc), the second was a 20 amp circuit for high power devices, like a table saw. At one point, the circuits are running along the rim joist above a cinder block wall. To add power to the wall, I ran 3/4" conduit from the rim joist down to a pair of outlets. The j-box on the rim joist had 12 conductors coming into it (20 amp and 15 amp source, 20 & 15 amp down the conduit, and 20 & 15 amp load going to the next j-box). Well, I used a little 4x4 octagon box... way too small (to code) for 12 conductors. But I made it work because I only needed 5 wire nuts: 20 hot, 20 neutral, 15 hot, 15 neutral, and all the grounds. I got it all to fit positioning the 5 wire nuts just so, and cutting each wire to the exact length needed to reach the wire nut. Now there is nothing wrong with this from a safety stand point, but it violates code because there isn't any extra wire in the boxes to allow for future repair. I'm hoping that if the inspector catches it, he'll give me a pass rather than forcing me to rip the boxes down and replace the entire wire run since there is nothing inherently unsafe with the install, and the wiring is in a basement where all the wiring will remain exposed and never hidden behind drywall.

Basically, as long as I get an inspector interested in safety (rather than interested in being a bureaucrat), I'll turn out OK.
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:30 AM   #8
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


ok so why did you ask the question if you dont want to here the answer from anybody? workmanship/workmanlike manner of installation is right in any code book be it plumbing or electrical ,it has nothing to do with be a bureaucrat.it has everything to do with doing the job right!
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:43 AM   #9
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


ok here ya go from section 16135
OUTLET,JUNCTION & PULL BOXES
PART 3- EXECUTION
SECTION A-OUTLET BOXES
#1-SECURELY FASTEN OUTLET BOX IN POSITION & SUPPORT INDEPENDENT OF CONDUIT SYSTEM



now glue you box to the post with jb weld and come back 8 hours later and hit it from the side with a hammer.after hitting it is it still fastened securely to the post or is it taking up space on the floor? this is basically what a decent inspector is going to say!
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:25 AM   #10
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


Quote:
Originally Posted by plummen View Post
ok so why did you ask the question if you dont want to here the answer from anybody? workmanship/workmanlike manner of installation is right in any code book be it plumbing or electrical ,it has nothing to do with be a bureaucrat.it has everything to do with doing the job right!
Nobody WANTS to have their ideas shot down... and I ask to learn.


Quote:
Originally Posted by plummen View Post
ok here ya go from section 16135
OUTLET,JUNCTION & PULL BOXES
PART 3- EXECUTION
SECTION A-OUTLET BOXES
#1-SECURELY FASTEN OUTLET BOX IN POSITION & SUPPORT INDEPENDENT OF CONDUIT SYSTEM



now glue you box to the post with jb weld and come back 8 hours later and hit it from the side with a hammer.after hitting it is it still fastened securely to the post or is it taking up space on the floor? this is basically what a decent inspector is going to say!
Actually, the manufacturer's instructions (for J-B Weld) is to allow the product to day overnight, or about 16 hours before putting to use... and code is all about following manufacturer's instructions.

And so far, in asking the question, I'm learning... and in this case, quoting code gives me the information I really need... that the conduit must be "securely" fastened.

Now I'm not going to put it to the test by whaking it with a hammer (don't want to damage the box itself). But what I can do that I think would make a fair test would be to see if the box can hold my body weight. Would you consider that a fair test in determining if the box is "securely fastened"?
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:31 AM   #11
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


Buy the way... for those that might be wondering... yes, I've already mounted the 1st of two conduit boxes with J-B Weld. It was in the process of doing so that the thought occured to me that code might say "mechanically fastened", do I started this question in a couple of electrical forums I've participated to see what I could learn, even if it was after the fact.

Hey, but worst case, I've got me a box that is at least securerly fastened enough that it's not going to move around on me as I drill and tap the post.
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:41 AM   #12
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


"I ask that because when I'm doing home improvements".
IF you are doing these "home improvements" within your own home/property you own, then I should stop here. BUT-IF you are doing "Home Improvements" as a business: I feel as if I just had my toes stomped on. Why? Because I'm one of those who have been in the "trades" for years, gone to many hours of different schools, and obtained different trade licenses, and business licenses, and invested thousands of dollars in equipment, to do "Home Improvements"- -legally.
Quite frankly, using "J-B Weld" to attach an electrical box of any type is poor quality workmanship. I'm going to be a little ugly here: but if you are thinking of using "J-B Weld" to attach the box, why did you run conduit? David T.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:39 AM   #13
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


I am not sure of the point being made in this thread but I want to understand better how boxes should be surface mounted. The code quoated above says "#1-SECURELY FASTEN OUTLET BOX IN POSITION & SUPPORT INDEPENDENT OF CONDUIT SYSTEM ". So if the glue or JB Weld is "secure" it would be allowed? A box screwed to a metal pole would not survive a hammer blow any better than some of the new adhesives currently available. So is there a standard for mounting boxes or is it purely up to the inspector. This also beings up the question of what is the box mounted to. Everyone has seen a switch mounted to duct work on a furnace at one time or another. How hard is it to yank a box off of sheet metal when those little self tapers are used. What about a box surface mounted on drywall? It would never survive a hammer blow.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:46 AM   #14
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J-B Weld to Mount Metal Box


My Answer:

$ Self taping screws < $ JB Weld.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
"I ask that because when I'm doing home improvements".
IF you are doing these "home improvements" within your own home/property you own, then I should stop here. BUT-IF you are doing "Home Improvements" as a business: I feel as if I just had my toes stomped on. Why? Because I'm one of those who have been in the "trades" for years, gone to many hours of different schools, and obtained different trade licenses, and business licenses, and invested thousands of dollars in equipment, to do "Home Improvements"- -legally.
Quite frankly, using "J-B Weld" to attach an electrical box of any type is poor quality workmanship. I'm going to be a little ugly here: but if you are thinking of using "J-B Weld" to attach the box, why did you run conduit? David T.
Yes, this is all a part of a DIY for finishing a basement (after all, this IS a DIY formum). If I was getting paid to do this, I should know building codes better.

As for why am I running conduit, the conduit is just for protecting the wire running down the pole. The circuit is in a garage and is mostly romex stapled to the side of floor joists. But I need to protect the wire to reach the switch I want to put on the pole. So I'll have a j-box at the top of the pole to make a romex to conduit transition, and then a handy box about mid-way down the pole to install the switch.

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