How to locate a hidden junction box ??


Old 09-28-05, 08:21 PM
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How to locate a hidden junction box ??

My dishwasher stopped working so I called in a repairman who told me the problem was there was no power to the dishwasher.

I flipped all circuit breakers off and on, but still no power to the dishwasher. I just had the panel replaced last year, so I don't think it is a prolbem with the box, nor breakers...

The dishwasher is down one level and about 50 feet from the panel box.

Is there any way to locate a hidden junction box (I'm told that is my problem) . I have already opened up a wall and ceiling where I think the wire could be, but no luck, and I'd rather not have to punch more holes in the walls....

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-28-05, 08:34 PM
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hidden junction box

well not much i know off . but you could try a fishtape teflon one and feed it into pipe and when it stops mark the fish tape then pull out and see how many feet away it is at least if its running up straght youll know were to look. but it still could be going left to right if you shake the tape in pipe you might hear were it is as well good luck
Old 09-28-05, 08:48 PM
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junction boxes are not allowed to be hidden in the walls or ceilings. they must be accessable. Therefore, the juction boxes are usually in the attic or basement/crawlspace areas. How was your dishwasher connected, plugin to an outlet or hardwire?
Old 09-28-05, 09:01 PM
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Illegal but possible that the dishwasher was fed through the load side of a tripped GFCI outlet????
Old 09-29-05, 05:33 AM
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If it is hidden behind a wall, then you might try a metal detector, or better yet a strong magnetic. In fact, a magnetic will allow you find the outline of the box, whereas a metal detector would also pick up screws etc.
Old 09-29-05, 06:42 AM
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My guess is that you do not have a hidden junction box, but rather a tripped GFCI.

It sounds like you do not know what circuit the dishwasher is on. I hope this is not the case. If it is, shame on you. You should know this. This information is invaluable at a time like this, and could save your life in an emergency. If you haven't done so, then please map out your entire electrical system. You'll be glad you did.
Old 09-29-05, 09:45 AM
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Thank you for all your replies.

The washer is hardwired, there is just a cable going from the dishwasher down through a hole in the floor underneath the dishwasher. The hole is very small, no conduit or anything.

I will recheck the GFCI's. By checking, I mean that I have tested them, hit test button, then reset button and plugged in a radio into both outlets.. Is there anything more I can do??

Yes, I know I should have a electrical map. I did have one taped to the panel cover on the old box, but don't have one for the new panel. Will do so in the near future.

My problem of course is that with an older house and a few renovations done over the years, I hire electricians to do the work and trust that they do it properly and to code. If it does turn out to be a hidden junction box, and I find out who did it, I'll give him a kick in his circuit breaker.

I'll also go down into the crawl space. The attic ??? I'll have to get some skinny little sparky to go up there (I do know of one and am waiting for his call) I'm afraid my 210 pounds would do more damage than good when I fall through the ceiling...

Once again, thanks for your help...
Old 09-29-05, 10:23 AM
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Chances are the j-box is down in your crawlspace. It would not be unusual to rough-in a dishwasher circuit to a j-box just under the dishwasher location so when it comes to final hookup you just need to drop a couple feet of romex through the floor.
Old 09-29-05, 12:08 PM
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Well, just got out of the Crawl space. Good news! The cobwebs aren't all that bad!!

Bad news, did check the two junction boxes I could see, and they appeared OK. Current on the far side of the boxes.

Drew diagram of all cable I could see, new or old, colours, flat, round, front of house, middle, back. Will paste in on back of panel cover. And yes, will finish in more detail ie outlets...

But five of them disappeared into a wall , so couldn't get in there to see if there are junction boxes.

Will wait for electrician....

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