Ease My Mind About Father-In-Law's Wiring Job

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Old 12-13-05, 01:35 PM
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Ease My Mind About Father-In-Law's Wiring Job

Last month, I spent an afternoon ripping out and replacing a bad bathroom exhaust fan. Most of the work was done up in my attic. My Father-In-Law stopped over to say hi and offered to "wire up" my new fixture. I was relieved because my lungs and eyes were already on fire on account of the fiberglass insulation.

After he left I went upstairs to turn the lights off in the attic. This is what he did: White wire from new fan connected via wire tie to white wire from power cable (14/2). Same for Black wire and same for ground wire. He wrapped the connections in electrical tape and tucked them down on the insulation in the attic and then put more insulation around and over the fan and electrical connections.

If this is normal and OK - then fine. I don't know a ton about electrical, but this struck me as somehow being "not right", but he knows much more than me about this kind of thing. Is it OK for the electrical connections to be sandwiched between layers of fiberglass insulation like this?

Thanks
 
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Old 12-13-05, 01:41 PM
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All connections must be made with wire nuts and in approved and permanently accessible and covered electrical boxes.

Wrapping the connections in tape is not necessary, and only sufficient if there is a wire nut under that electrical tape.

Covering connections with insulation is okay, but only if the connections are in a covered electrical box.

If your FIL's installation is not up to code, it should be pretty easy for you to correct the deficiencies. You should do so as soon as possible.
 
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Old 12-13-05, 01:46 PM
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Is it OK for the electrical connections to be sandwiched between layers of fiberglass insulation like this?
Absolutely not.

All splices must be made in a permanently accessible plastic or metal junction box with a cover. There should be 6" of each wire in the junction box, so to do this right you may need to add two boxes with a couple feet of new wire in between. A junction box may be covered with insulation.

I'm not sure what you meant by "wire tie", but the correct way to join two wires is to use a yellow wirenut for two #14. A correctly installed wirenut requires no electrical tape and has no bare wire exposed, except of course for the bare ground wires.
 
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Old 12-13-05, 02:23 PM
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I'm sorry no wire ties here - wire nuts is what I meant!

The three connections (one for each wire) are twisted together using wire nuts. The bundle of wires and wire nuts have been taped together with electrical tape. The connection is secure, but it happens to be sandwiched between insulation.

Would it be better to mount a junction box next to the fan and make my connections in there or would it be OK to just insert the connections into the fan housing?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-13-05, 03:32 PM
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The connections sound ok, but they need to be housed as ibpooks described.
 
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Old 12-13-05, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by XS6DFG0
Would it be better to mount a junction box next to the fan and make my connections in there or would it be OK to just insert the connections into the fan housing?
You'll have to look at the fan housing to see if it has an area for making electrical connections. Sometimes lights and fans have a built-in electrical box where making connections is allowed. If you still have the fan installation instructions, it will probably say if there is a compartment inside the fan suitable for electrical connections. If this is the case, make sure you have the required 6" of slack inside the box where you make the connections. If you can't make enough slack, add another j-box in the attic a foot or two down the line and run a couple feet of new wire to the fan fixture.
 
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Old 12-13-05, 05:51 PM
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Thanks everyone - I have the slack (in the wire) to do it, and I have a separate compartment in the fan housing, but I'll still check the directions. Worse case - I'll install a junction box - that might be easier anyway.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-13-05, 07:48 PM
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I don;t think you can install a junction box (at least not at that junction). Most of those fixtures have individual wires inside the "compartments". If your father in law connected those individual wires to the conductors of the 14-2 cable, then you MUST put those connections back inside the "compartment" where they belong.
 
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Old 12-14-05, 06:50 AM
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Racraft:

That is correct. The fan housing had a compartment in it with a hole. When I was prepping the new fan, I had to reach into the hole with pliers and pull the three wires out of it. My Father-in-law simply attached those wires to 14-2 wire that was coming out of one of the nether regions of my attic.

So I guess I'll just try to place the connections in the comparment of the fan housing.

Thanks.
 
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Old 12-14-05, 06:56 AM
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You need to do more than that. You need to but a cable clamp (sometimes called a "Romex clamp" or "Romex connector". The clamp holds the NM cable in place.

The compartment on the fixture should open and you should be able to get at the inside. You will need to disconnect the wires, slide the clamp onto the NM cable and then attach the clamp to the compartment on the fixture. You will then remake the connections inside the compartment.
 
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Old 12-14-05, 07:34 AM
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I'll do it - Thanks
 
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