Junction box inside return air

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Old 05-04-08, 10:31 PM
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Junction box inside return air

Is it up to code(I know answer will vary) and are there any ill effects of having a junction box hidden inside a return air duct?

Have some recessed lights that require a junction box - code here says all boxes have to be accessible. I don't want a cut out or a noticeable panel, would hide very nicely behind my return air grill which is located near the lights in the ceiling.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 04:30 AM
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At least here in the US wiringf can only cross perpendicular through a air return. No junctions allowed. Air returns act like a chimney under fire conditions and allow fire and smoke to spread rapidly.

The junction box on a recessed does not need additional access. Removing the housing provides the access.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 10:01 AM
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These recessed lights I've used all interconnect to each other, and then require hard wiring inside a junction box:


O ---- O ---- O ----- BOX ---- POWER SOURCE

O = lights
---- = wiring with connectors that came with the lights
BOX = junction box
POWER SOURCE = self explanatory

I'll have to try and move the junction box to another location.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 07:11 PM
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If I followed your diagram. Why not just run from the power into the first recessed light? Where is the switch for these lights?
 
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Old 05-05-08, 07:25 PM
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The switch is 14/3 running from the junction box to the switch. The way my lights are wired 14/2 power source to the light, 14/3 to the switch. Cost more money, but allowed me to scalible. Reason I can't run straight to the first recessed light is that it has custom connectors that are small 18awg.

These are not your typical recessed lights. They are intended for cabinets and to be plugged into the wall but they do offer a hard wire kit which is basically one of their custom connectors that allows you to tie into 14/2 black/white.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 07:57 PM
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Based on your latest post I am wondering if it would be Code compliant to install them this way. Is the included wiring listed for use behind the finished surface or only under or inside cabinets?
 
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Old 05-05-08, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
Based on your latest post I am wondering if it would be Code compliant to install them this way. Is the included wiring listed for use behind the finished surface or only under or inside cabinets?
Can be used behind finished surface with the hard wire kit. I placed the wiring inside BX sheathing as extra fire protection. It passed rough inspection, but I'll need to relocate the junction box I guess. Here is a diagram to better explain how they're wired:

 
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Old 05-07-08, 09:00 AM
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pcboss,

Spoke with local code authority, can't have the box in a return air duct. Going to try to have to relocate to the other side of the joist if I have enough slack.

Just to avoid any confusion, if you were to look inside the junction box, it looks no different than how a typical fixture with 18awg stranded wire ties into a "light" box. The only difference is that these lights daisy chain, similar to the concept of a fixture with say 5 lights on it that daisy chains 18awg wire between each light inside the housing. These just have the wires running between each other on the outside(now wrapped in BX sheath for additional fire protection) and have custom connectors to each other.
 
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