Camo J box


Old 02-26-06, 10:47 AM
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Camo J box

Is there any code requirement that would prevent camouflaging an exposed J Box so that it is nearly invisible? I have a box in a spare bedroom wall that has bugged me for years. I don't know hwy it's there, but I think someone moved an electric baseboard heater. The J Box was used to splice a 22V line.
Even though it was painted to match the wall, it stood out like an ugly wart. Today, I repainted the wall, but before I did I blended the box cover into the wall with joint compound. I did not cover the box with compound. I have to say, I did a pretty good job. After I painted the thing the only thing visible are the screw slots. I'm tempted to fill the slots in also.
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Old 02-26-06, 12:22 PM
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The box needs to be accessible.
Accessible: Capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish or not permanently closed in by the structure or finish of the building.

You or the local inspector need to make a judgment whether what you have done falls into the definition above from the Code.
Old 02-26-06, 12:23 PM
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In my opinion you have created a code violation. It is against code to make a box inaccessible.

You think this was for a 240 volt baseboard heater. Do you know how many cables are in this box? If only one cable, then what you should do is to find the other end of the cable, and completely remove the cable from both boxes. Then you can completely and without worry remove this junction box, cover it over, whatever.
Old 02-26-06, 12:41 PM
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wayne, I work for a MAJOR University, (and have worked in many High class buildings).
MANY architecs hide panels, boxes and the like into the decor. I have problems finding some of them, BUT they are ACCESSABLE (and readably accessable).If this is your home,and you know where this junction is, make a NOTE of it. DO NOT BURY IT. Blend it in, In my oppinion you should be fine.

I know I would not want an electrical gray 6x6 can showing in my dinning rm., but I would also like to know that I can access it if I need to.
Old 02-26-06, 01:17 PM
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My opinion from your description is that it is fine. The screws are not buried.
I wouldn't grouse if you smeared a thin layer of compound over the cover to get the texture to match even better.

Removing the old box and wires is still the best strategy.
Old 02-26-06, 01:33 PM
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Unfortunately, the wires continue on into another BR and another BB heater so I can't remove the wires and box w/o a new cable run. That means tearing into drywall just to get rid of the box. If I could park a dresser or some other piece of furniture in front of it I would. It just sits there irritating the hell out of me.
Anyway, there is no inspector involved - I wasn't doing any electrical work, but I will probably call him for an opinion, he's pretty reasonable. I guess it all boils down to what is accessible. With the cover faired to the wall with joint compound it might take a knife to free up the cover but it's accessible.
Thanks for the opinions guys.
Old 02-26-06, 09:37 PM
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As indicated by the previous responses, what you did is debatable. My test would be to remove the cover plate and then put it back on again. If this makes it look differently than it did before, then it's a code violation.

I would guess that what you did is not "capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish". At a minimum, I'd say that exposing the wiring would damage the finish.
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