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Old 07-19-2010, 11:02 PM   #1
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Cover electrical boxs in ceiling


Okay - when planning our basement, we thought we would install a drop ceiling. From our experiences with lighting in the rest of our house, we wanted to have PLENTY of options for arranging the can lights in the basement, SO, we have numerous electrical outlets (4 gang) installed in teh ceiling (obviously to use with pull-in can lights and such).

Seemed to be great idea. Well, here is it, many moons later and now we are seriously considering finishing the ceiling with DRYWALL.

My concern are these electrical outlets. What do we do with them? Can we "cap" them off? I don't feel comfortable just drywalling over them and if I leave them exposed, I'm sure people will say, WTF?

Help!
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netplayn View Post
Okay - when planning our basement, we thought we would install a drop ceiling. From our experiences with lighting in the rest of our house, we wanted to have PLENTY of options for arranging the can lights in the basement, SO, we have numerous electrical outlets (4 gang) installed in teh ceiling (obviously to use with pull-in can lights and such).

Seemed to be great idea. Well, here is it, many moons later and now we are seriously considering finishing the ceiling with DRYWALL.

My concern are these electrical outlets. What do we do with them? Can we "cap" them off? I don't feel comfortable just drywalling over them and if I leave them exposed, I'm sure people will say, WTF?

Help!
anything that is a junction or box where electrical can be spliced is required to be accessable... you can not just drywall it over, its a building code / electrical code violation
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:08 AM   #3
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What exactly do you have in your ceiling? When you say 4 gang, do you mean this:



Do you have slack going into the box, meaning, is there enough wire going into the box for you to lower the boxes into the drywall ceiling? If so, you can replace whatever box you have now with a round box or single gang box and put a blank cover over it.

Or, if the circuits going into the boxes don't do anything else, you can abandon the wire (disconnect it completely) and just drywall right over it with no worries.

If these boxes up in the ceiling are for lights, I assume they are just a switch let coming out of a switch box? If that's correct, you can just pull the wire out of the switch box and be done. Of course, pulling all the wire out would help since copper is getting about $3/lb.

More information would help, pictures would be great.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:39 AM   #4
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I'm sorry - I was tired last night and didn't use the correct terms.
What I have in the ceiling are 4-plug outlets (or double gang outlets)

http://cache3.smarthome.com/images/9586.jpg

Our lighting was SUPPOSED to be "plug in" type so we could position our lighting wherever and have lots of flexibility.


So, PROBY - I think I understand what you're saying.
Now that I'm more clear headed, I think I'm asking the wrong question though....

I will still need electrical to the lighting fixtures - regardless. SO.... here's a better question....

I have wiring for FOUR plugs.
I need electrical for ONE (maybe TWO) lights in that area.
How do I convert?
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:01 PM   #5
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You could just remove the box and receptacle and run the cables into the new lights as long as you do not go over the number of conductors allowed in the light boxes. you could also rerun the cables.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:14 PM   #6
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Yup, I agree with Jim. Run the cables (if there is enough slack) in the high hats. If necessary you can install a box in the ceiling that can be accessed from below to make splices, then throw a cover plate over it when the drywall is up.

Or you could just pull out the wiring you have and rewire it.

What option you take depends on the size of your basement and how much work it would be to rewire.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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Thank you for the help.
I think I'll try to use the existing wiring to supply the direct wire lighting and then pull the extra wires.
It seems so logical now.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:40 PM   #8
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any reason why you changed your mind and decided to go with drywall? drop ceiling makes things so much easier for basements, and does not limit future expansion such as if you decide to add a network or power drop somewhere upstairs for example.

If you don't want to use the plugs, then you could simply just remove them completely. Use the same wire to go to a regular octagon box that will be used for lighting (accessible of course).
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:49 PM   #9
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We are in the process of getting our house ready to sell.
We need something fairly quick to intall, inexpensive (we have finished the basement almost entirely ourselves - except for electrical!!!), and it needs to look great (not basement-like).

If we were staying, we would probably stick with the drop ceiling - for all the reasons you mention, but cost-wise and time-wise, drywall seems to be the way to go.
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