Junction boxes in the attic

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-23-11, 04:33 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,445
Junction boxes in the attic

I know today's code says all junction boxes must be accessible.

However, my house is old (1972) and used all electrical conduits. When I go into my attic I see some junction boxes up in the attic screwed or nailed to the joists, they are not accessible from below. I assume today, one cannot get away with it unless said junction boxes are very close to an attic access hatch?

So here is one situation I have. I just ran a new circuit via EMT pipe in from a new 20A circuit to a new bathroom. I got the wire down to the bathroom door entrance area and secured two new 4x4 boxes. The new boxes will have switches for wall sconce, overhead light, exhaust fan and outlets.

Now I need to split the wire and run three pipes back up to the attic to the overhead light, to the sconce, to the exhaust fan. I would prefer not to run three pipes up. It is more pipe and more holes to drill through the top plate. Is it acceptable to run a 3/4" pipe up carrying three hot wires and one neutral, through the top plate, and once it gets into the attic, I secure a new junction box to split the neutral there into three, paired with the three hot wires, and connect MC flex cables to it, which will make it easier to run to the individual devices.

The only problem I see is this junction box in the attic will not be accessible easily. Obviously I can get to it if I need to, but it is not near an attic hatch and it is not accessible from below.

I can probably make it accessible from below by turning the box down and cutting a hole in the ceiling...just would be an eyesore.

Opinions?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-23-11, 04:51 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,852
"accessible" means from either top, bottom or side...attic or basement, whatever. Even covered with blown in insulation doesn't really matter I don't believe. As long as you can get to them without cutting open the wall...they are fine.
 
  #3  
Old 07-23-11, 04:52 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: KS
Posts: 1,896
There is no 'from below' or 'easily' stipulation in NEC. They just need to be 'accessible', which means as they stand with no hole cutting required. So these existing boxes (as long as they are cover-side up) are ok by today's code, and you are ok adding more, as long as you mount them so the cover is facing up. If the existing ones are cover-side down (if they look like they were wired from below then plastered over) then it is inaccessible and needs to be flipped. Insulation coverage does not make a box inaccessible.

As for your wire plan, yes that is fine. 3/4" is a bit overkill, 1/2" is fine for 4 current carrying conductors. Again, as long as the box is fastened in a way that it can be accessed from the attic, it is fine.
 
  #4  
Old 07-23-11, 05:09 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,445
The existing ones in the attic are mounted sideways, in other words, the edge side of the box was mounted on the top of the joists, so the cover is facing not up nor down, but sideways.
 
  #5  
Old 07-23-11, 05:34 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: KS
Posts: 1,896
That's fine, it's still accessible from the attic without having to cut holes.
 
  #6  
Old 07-28-11, 06:07 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,059
Originally Posted by MiamiCuse View Post
Now I need to split the wire and run three pipes back up to the attic to the overhead light, to the sconce, to the exhaust fan. I would prefer not to run three pipes up.
You may also want to consider running one pipe from the switch box, to the overhead light, to the fan, then to the sconce. The hot wire to the sconce would pass through the other two boxes on its way to the sconce. That eliminates a junction box (while legal, is just another splice) and probably limits the amount of pipe you have to cut/bend.

Of course you can route the pipe how it makes sense with your layout.
 
  #7  
Old 07-28-11, 06:17 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,354
I agree with Zordt, run the conduit however you can connect the 3 points. You can pull through to get to the next fixture.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'