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Old 10-06-2008, 12:16 AM   #1
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No Lighting Box??


My Daughter and Son in law are about to move into their new house. Three of the pendant lights that they had purchased for the kitchen were temporarilly lost in storage. The builder had the electrician install a cheap substitute to get through inspection. At unpacking time the expensive pendant lights were found and I was asked to install them in place of the cheap ones. I unscrewed the cover and was amazed to see the mounting bracket just screwed through the sheetrock into the joist. A one inch diagonal hole had been bored at the bottom of the joist and the romex stuck in it with wire nut connections near the wood of the joists. I asked my son in law if he knew about this and he said the electrician told him that he did not use lighting boxes for pendant lights anywhere. These are all 110 vac lighting connections and I had never heard of it being done without a box. I thought NEC code required boxes for all connections and splices. Is this in violation of code? My granddaughter's bedroom is just above these fixtures and I want them to take action to have the electrician/builder retrofit to code..
Kerry in Baton Rouge, LA

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Old 10-06-2008, 12:40 AM   #2
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No Lighting Box??


It may be that the electrician meant that he never puts boxes in on the rough-in stage for pendant lights. This is fairly common. The reason is, you often don't know the exact layout of the area that the pendant lights are going in, so you put wire in place without a box. The sheetrock goes up, and the house gets finished. Now, with a clearer picture of what's going on, the electrician can come back, and use "old work" or "remodel" boxes to place the lights exactly where they go.

Definitely call the electrician or builder and be sure they are going to finish. There need to be boxes for the fixtures.

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Old 10-06-2008, 03:14 PM   #3
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It may be that the electrician meant that he never puts boxes in on the rough-in stage for pendant lights. This is fairly common. The reason is, you often don't know the exact layout of the area that the pendant lights are going in, so you put wire in place without a box. The sheetrock goes up, and the house gets finished. Now, with a clearer picture of what's going on, the electrician can come back, and use "old work" or "remodel" boxes to place the lights exactly where they go.

Definitely call the electrician or builder and be sure they are going to finish. There need to be boxes for the fixtures.

Maybe, but would you put a temp light fixture up without a box? I would not...
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:48 PM   #4
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Maybe, but would you put a temp light fixture up without a box? I would not...
agreed!
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:57 PM   #5
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I would check all the outdoor wall lights as well....
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:33 PM   #6
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Maybe, but would you put a temp light fixture up without a box? I would not...
That depends on how temp we are talking about. If the inspector was walking up the driveway, then yes. If it had to be there for months, then no.

But the point is, the new lights need a box, and the electrician needs to install one.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:00 PM   #7
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No Lighting Box??


The boxes are being put in.
When the General Contractrator was informed, he was suprised as well. The electrician had apparently intended to redo it as 277 suggested, he indicated that he did not know the exact location at wire pulling time.
It is quite curious that a temporary wire placement would be accompanied by 1 inch holes bored diagonally through the bottom edge of the joists. as opposed to a hole throgh the sheetrock at the edge of the joist to install a temporary fixture.

It may have just been a breakdown in communication, but the GC on this job has been less astute in his capacity than one might expect.

Much thanks to InPhase277.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:16 PM   #8
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I see this all the time unfortunately. When I do a final inspection, at least 3 or 4 light fixtures are removed to check for boxes. I find missing boxes in at least half of the homes I look at. No kidding.
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:00 PM   #9
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It is quite curious that a temporary wire placement would be accompanied by 1 inch holes bored diagonally through the bottom edge of the joists.
That's not good from a structural POV either. In all practicality your house won't fall down, but you did say holes. And diagonal. If they're in different joists, then all of those joists are compromised. I think it goes that if you notch the bottom of a 10" floor joist by 2", then that joist is effectively 8". Diagonal drilling from the bottom is pretty much the same as notching, I guess a touch better.
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:44 PM   #10
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I see this all the time unfortunately. When I do a final inspection, at least 3 or 4 light fixtures are removed to check for boxes. I find missing boxes in at least half of the homes I look at. No kidding.
Its unbelievable the stuff guys do, I'm not really sure how some sleep at night.
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:24 PM   #11
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Its unbelievable the stuff guys do, I'm not really sure how some sleep at night.
It never ceases to amaze me either, and it makes me mad. No electrician can tell me that he didn't know he needed a box behind a fixture, so I know they're cutting corners intentionally. I'll be really understanding of mistakes, but am intolerant of deliberate corner-cutting.

You know how I handle it when I find a box missing at final? I assume that the electrician has no idea what he's doing or he has no conscience, so trust goes out the window. He has to expose his work throughout the house unless I'm convinced that I saw a box there at the rough-in inspection. That means that every light fixture in the house comes down for the reinpsection, or they can be present and remove any fixture that I point at. I'll point at several...Many will be easy to get to and some of them will not be easy to get to. I don't do it to screw with people, but it does a good job of driving my point home when they're 20' up in the air removing fixtures to prove that they actually remembered to put a box in.
They'll remember it next time.

As tradespeople and inspectors, credibility is all we have when it comes to working with each other. If credibility is lost by either of us, our jobs get a lot tougher!
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:33 PM   #12
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No Lighting Box??


I see tons of outdoor wall fixtures with out boxes, people are either too lazy or to dumb to make the preperation work at rough in time... but boy does it grind my gears to go to a newer house to install a new fixture and "SURPRISE" no box behind the old fixture.

Also love the old type house with new fixtures and yet STILL no box installed... WTF???
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:06 PM   #13
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I see tons of outdoor wall fixtures with out boxes, people are either too lazy or to dumb to make the preperation work at rough in time... but boy does it grind my gears to go to a newer house to install a new fixture and "SURPRISE" no box behind the old fixture.

Also love the old type house with new fixtures and yet STILL no box installed... WTF???
And what about the supply wire having a 90 degree rating in old boxes? Hardly ever see anyone address that issue (I have been guilty myself). But there are a few occasions where I don't put a box on the rough. One is vanity lights. Too many times I've put up a box, only to have the plumber decide to shift the sink 8". Unless you got a strip light, you're in for fun. I'll stub a wire now, then either cut in a box for a round base fixture, or for strip lights, I have drilled the back plate to accept a connector and wired straight in.

I once cut a 4-11/16" box cover into a circle to use as a back plate for a ceiling fan on a wood beam. Was it UL listed for that? No. But was it beautiful and completely functional? You bet. We know that others may not have put anything between the wood and wire splices. It wasn't inspected, but I believe that a reasonable inspector would be understanding for the circumstances at that place. KC, as an inspector, how would you feel about that?
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:48 PM   #14
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I once cut a 4-11/16" box cover into a circle to use as a back plate for a ceiling fan on a wood beam. Was it UL listed for that? No. But was it beautiful and completely functional? You bet. We know that others may not have put anything between the wood and wire splices. It wasn't inspected, but I believe that a reasonable inspector would be understanding for the circumstances at that place. KC, as an inspector, how would you feel about that?

Not excatly sure what you did, but in beams I just cut in a 1/2" deep pancake box, or a fan rated pancake box and be done with it.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:56 PM   #15
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KC, as an inspector, how would you feel about that?
I'm not going to open myself up to being scrutinized for what I would say about a non-listed installation/application, or get into a debate about it because I assure you we do not agree. I've played that game before.

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