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Old 05-26-2011, 01:14 AM   #1
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What is this electrical box for?


I uncovered the plate in my bathroom to paint the walls and I am curious to what this is for.
I have one outlet on the opposite wall. This box is right above the light switch on the other side of the wall. I'm not sure but the wires don't seem to look like the wires in the other outlet. Could it be for another outlet?

I hope I don't sound too stupid.




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Old 05-26-2011, 01:45 AM   #2
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What is this electrical box for?


It may at one time have been a light fixture (depending on the height), or a receptacle that was removed. Unless there's a problem, it shouldn't be of any concern. The cover should be blank, with no opening.

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Old 05-26-2011, 06:42 AM   #3
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What is this electrical box for?


Whatever it was the box was overfilled.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:19 AM   #4
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What is this electrical box for?


It's like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in reverse... 1 goes in, 2 come out.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:26 PM   #5
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What is this electrical box for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Whatever it was the box was overfilled.
Interesting. What would be the fix here, as far as removing it without damaging the hole too much to use a retrofit box?
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:37 PM   #6
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What is this electrical box for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Whatever it was the box was overfilled.
What do you mean by overfilled?

I thought if the wiring was correct for another outlet, I would put one in.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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What is this electrical box for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AirheadAnnie

What do you mean by overfilled?

I thought if the wiring was correct for another outlet, I would put one in.
He means both that it's 'overfilled' and that there's no way on earth you could wedge an outlet in there.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:32 PM   #8
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What is this electrical box for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AirheadAnnie View Post
What do you mean by overfilled?

I thought if the wiring was correct for another outlet, I would put one in.
The box is not deep enough for the amount of wires in it. It is called "Box Fill" and is covered by Code.

If you wanted to put in a receptacle, you'd have to pull that box out, and get a deeper box to put in.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:35 PM   #9
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What is this electrical box for?


there are rules ad to how many wires you can cram in a certain size box, etc.


the solution (should you choose not to just ignore it) would be to install a extension ring, it would stick out a way from the wall a bit.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:43 PM   #10
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What is this electrical box for?


Quote:
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there are rules ad to how many wires you can cram in a certain size box, etc.


the solution (should you choose not to just ignore it) would be to install a extension ring, it would stick out a way from the wall a bit.
If those wires are #12, is my calculation correct yielding 18 cu. in.? I did not include the wire nuts; is that an error?
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:43 PM   #11
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What is this electrical box for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
The box is not deep enough for the amount of wires in it. It is called "Box Fill" and is covered by Code.

If you wanted to put in a receptacle, you'd have to pull that box out, and get a deeper box to put in.
I am going to take a stab, the box & wall appears to be the same age that is in my house (pre-1940's). The box in the bathroom before we renovated had three armored cable in it, and same with the back bedroom & living room. I would say time to either pull out the one wire after finding out where it goes, or get a bigger box.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:13 PM   #12
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What is this electrical box for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
If those wires are #12, is my calculation correct yielding 18 cu. in.? I did not include the wire nuts; is that an error?
no you don't count wire nuts, in the US(yes in CANADA)

I'll bet the wire is 14ga TW wire
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:25 PM   #13
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What is this electrical box for?


Quote:
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I'll bet the wire is 14ga TW wire
I can't bet against you; you get to look at it more than I Is TW wire insultaion bigger than it's Romex cousin?
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:00 PM   #14
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What is this electrical box for?


been playing with it a lot on the current job IRL. TW is thicker than THHN by almost 2x, It is a much older insulation type, not seen to much in new work.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:17 PM   #15
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What is this electrical box for?


That box volume might be as low as 7.5 cubic inches. Each #14 requires 2 cubic inches. Currently there are 6 conductors in that box for a minimum capacity of 12 ci. Add a device and the box would need to be 16 ci minimum.

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Last edited by Jim Port; 05-27-2011 at 08:37 AM. Reason: corrected conductor count
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