Maryland specific code question - hidden junction boxes

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Old 08-11-11, 09:03 AM
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Maryland specific code question - hidden junction boxes

I have heard conflicting information concerning hiding junction boxes behind walls.

For the record, is it legal or not in Maryland?

Me, I think it's a horrible idea - and don't plan to do it anyway - I just want to know with some certainty about it.
 
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Old 08-11-11, 09:21 AM
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I do not know Maryland code but I've never heard of a jurisdiction allowing this - junction boxes have to be accessible.
 
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Old 08-11-11, 09:22 AM
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Who ever said they were allowed is who has the conflict...lol.

The only discussion I've ever heard is the definition of hidden.
 
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Old 08-11-11, 10:22 AM
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Inaccessible junction boxes are not ever allowed. There may be some dispute on what is "accessible" and what isn't, but NEC defines it as: "Capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish or not permanently closed in by the structure or finish of the building."

Generally things that are hidden behind movable access panels, scuttle holes, service doors, etc are still considered to be accessible.

The code also defines "readily accessible" which requires quick access without encountering obstacles. This type of access is not required for junction boxes, but is required for safety switches, panels, and similar devices.
 
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Old 08-11-11, 11:16 AM
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Ok, glad to know my suspicions were right. I can't even tell you how many hidden boxes I've found behind my basement walls so far. It's frightening...
 
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Old 08-12-11, 10:24 AM
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IIRC Baltimore County is under the 08 NEC with a few local amendments. Except for repairs you would need a licensed contractor to pull the permit for other electrical work. Baltimore County does not recognize homeowner permits.
 
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Old 08-12-11, 10:52 AM
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Define "repair"...

Like, "making the house not a fire hazard" - that's a repair in my mind.
 
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Old 08-12-11, 10:58 AM
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Replacing the wiring would require a permit. Repairs are limited to something like replacing receptacles or fixtures.
 
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Old 08-12-11, 11:14 AM
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*muttermutter* friggin harry homeowner makes a botch of the house wiring and *I* get to pay extra to fix it when I dang well know how to do it myself... *muttermutter*
 
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Old 08-12-11, 11:46 AM
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Yep, the rules apply to and limit only those who choose to follow them.

That said, there have been many who did what the previous owner of your house did and lost the house and maybe their lives to a fire.
 
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