Sconce/junctionbox issue


Old 01-18-11, 03:22 PM
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Sconce/junctionbox issue

Hello, I'm working on a high end custom residence. Over a fireplace, since the client hadn't selected her sconces, the electrician left excess wiring looped up behind the sheetrock, so that once we selected the sconces, the exact location of the j-boxes could be determined. Well, we've selected the sconces, but they are these antique custom fixtures, and the mounting plate has to be one of the smallest I've ever seen, approximately 1"wide by maybe 3" long at the most, with wire feeding out the back. So our concern is, what kind of j-box can we use?? The company that sold us the fixtures says there tiny boxes that are made for this type of application, but we certainly haven't had any luck finding them. The electrician says he usually uses a typical round box, and then a round plate is used to cover the box, then painted to match the wall, but the client doesn't like the sound of it. I read on another forum that you can basically drywall over the entire box, so long as you leave a small hole that you can stuff the connection back through into the box, but it's my understanding that this doesn't meet code. Does anyone have any creative solutions for this? I know I've seen some wall sconces with extremely small backplates before, but I've never had to figure out how to install one.

THis is the other forum thread I saw: Electrical Wiring in the Home: Narrow Antique Sconce No Backplate J-Box to big, quality fixture, wire nuts
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Old 01-18-11, 03:48 PM
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Can you post a picture of the fixture mount? I can't imagine a fixture that can't mount to a standard box. I'm thinking of an old work box if the area is open for it or a pancake box if you're at a stud.
Old 01-18-11, 04:35 PM
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I have seen them before. They look like a handybox for a single device, but half as wide. Try your supply house.
Old 01-18-11, 06:23 PM
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Can't help you but expect a nice bright red tag from your inspector if you follow the instructions in your link. Of course I can't be sure what your inspector will accept but I doubt that would fly.

From the other site:
The only code requirements is that the connections be in a box. If you have the wallboard guys cover the box and leave a hole about the size of a dime,with the wires hanging out into the room. When it comes time to make the connections, the wire nuts will fit back into this hole nicely, you've met the code by having the connections in a box and only have to worry about covering the hole.
Nothing in the code says the whole box has to be open.
Old 01-18-11, 06:31 PM
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The other site quoted is incorrect about being able to cover the junction box with drywall and only leave the wires sticking out.
Old 01-18-11, 06:33 PM
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Are these by chance European or Belgium antique fixtures? If so, they won't cover American standard boxes and the electrician's method of mounting them to a plate painted to match the wall color is accepted practice. Check these antique sconce fixtures out, some are European.

Antique Wall Sconces

In years past, a 3 1/2" octagon box was considered standard. They are still available if they would work.

Last edited by CasualJoe; 01-18-11 at 06:35 PM. Reason: typo
Old 01-18-11, 07:26 PM
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I know this is out of the scope of what you do but if you can find some used brass sconces at a thrift store you could pull the bases and mount them to the salvage bases. Not sure how your customer would like that of course.
Old 01-18-11, 07:59 PM
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The expert on that site is 100% wrong! Not only do splices need to be in a box but the splice needs to be accessible. That means the splice is able to be accessed without damaging the wall finish.

We have refused to mount quite a few antique fixtures do to the fact that they are not UL listed. I suggest going and picking out some modern listed fixtures.

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