Do I have a hidden junction box?

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Old 05-09-10, 10:28 AM
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Do I have a hidden junction box?

I unfortunately think I already know the answer to this question, but here goes. I was replacing a ceiling fan with a new ceiling fan and I noticed that the box had older wiring (house is from the 50s so I could tell from the 16 AWG ground in the 14-2 wiring). I also noticed there was no power coming to the box. What raised red flags was that earlier I had replaced the switch and noticed there was only newer (14 AWG ground) 14/2 wiring with no incoming power. So I have wiring at the light that is different than the wiring at the switch, neither box has more than one set of 14/2 wires, and yet the switch controls the fan and the fan/light turns on with power...

Basically I have this:

fan/light (older 14/2)--->????--->switch (newer 14/2)

Do I have a junction box hidden somewhere in which the 14/2 wiring from the switch gets connected to the 14/2 running to the fan and live 14/2 wiring?

Assuming the answer was yes, I removed the switch box (which was held with the old work tabs) and took a picture up the wall. There's no junction box in the wall at least (probably in the ceiling or soffit). Will an electrician be able to find it without ripping my walls to shreds (beyond what it will take to remove junction box and redo wiring) or should I prepare for a mess?
 
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Old 05-09-10, 10:41 AM
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I would hope that the junction box is accessible from the attic. Your guess is as good as mine as to if it is or not.
It may be covered up by insulation making it harder to find, but by finding the ceiling fan wires and tracing them in the attic it should not be too hard to find the junction box.
 
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Old 05-09-10, 11:49 AM
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It could also be a receptacle box. One common scenario is a switch loop to a receptacle and power from the receptacle box to the fan.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 03:24 AM
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No attic access (ceiling fan is in the kitchen with a second floor above it). Also there are no receptacle boxes on this circuit (that I can find at least...). Well there's one where the washing machine plugs into (something I need to put on its own circuit at some point), but I can see there's only one wire going to it.

Looks like the connection is hiding somewhere in the soffit. My hope is that it's at least in a box, but my worry is that it's just spliced.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 06:48 PM
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Looks like the connection is hiding somewhere in the soffit. My hope is that it's at least in a box, but my worry is that it's just spliced.
I've seen that a few times, good luck!
 
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