Proper placement of junction boxes in the attic


Old 11-23-06, 11:36 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 2
Proper placement of junction boxes in the attic

Hello- I'm new to the forum and I appreciate this opportunity to ask a few questions.
First- the other day I noticed that the light fixture in the kitchen was flickering- so I replaced the switch- to no avail. Next, I turned off the circuit and removed the fixture and realized that the wiring had begun to melt and the wire covers had split and were all corroded. I went into the attic and noticed that the old two wire (w/o ground) had been spliced to 12/2 w/g and the splices had been wrapped in electrical tape. I have owned the house for 4 years now and think that had I let this wiring persist, the wiring would have caught fire. I did have a home wiring inspection- yet he never said anything regarding this or the fact that all the ceiling boxes were covered with ~20" of cellulose insulation. This is against NEC code isn't it?
2. I want to run new 12/2 w/g romex to all the fixtures and reduce the load on the 15 amp circuit that is now handling the whole south side of my house (excluding kitchen outlets) which is near safe loading. Question- the junction boxes that I intend to place in the attic need to be exposed- can I attach them to the knee wall sill plate? This will allow full access yet will this meet NEC code or the L and I code for Washington State which supersedes NEC?
If this is not clear- I can send photos later when I return home after Thanksgiving......
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Old 11-23-06, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,659
Your fixture can be covered with insulation. It is not a code violation.
You can mount the new junction boxes any place in the attic. You can even bury them in insulation if you like. They will be hard to find but not a code violation.
Check your fixture for the max bulb wattage sticker. The problem you describe is often caused by putting over wattage bulbs in the fixtures. This generates the extra heat to melt the wires.

This all assumes (usually a mistake) that you are talking about junction boxes and ceiling mounted fixtures, and not recess cans. Recess cans need to be IC rated to be covered with insulation.
Old 11-23-06, 08:28 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 2
The max wattage used in the fixtures has been 60 and yes these are just ceiling boxes. Thanks
Old 11-24-06, 12:36 AM
rdn2113's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wally World
Posts: 451
Hi Oldwire - welcome to the forum!

joed definitely has you on the right track - especially with regard to the watt size of the bulbs in the fixtures. Using bulbs with wattages that exceed the specification for a fixture is one of the main causes of wire damage, and in some cases, fires.

The taped splices need to be corrected by using wire-nuts, or some other approved splicing method.

One quick note: I live in College Place, WA, and the State of Washington adopted the NEC as the official electrical code to be used in all jurisdictions throughout the state, which L&I enforces through the inspection process. Local communities may adopt more stringent codes in addition to the NEC, but may not lower or otherwise supplant them.

Best wishes!!

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