Code question - RE: JB Accessibility

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Old 10-15-11, 02:40 PM
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Code question - RE: JB Accessibility

Ok, I know hidden boxes are prohibited, and having had to go on a hunt for a few plastered over boxes myself I want to cause bodily harm to anyone who does it.

But, I'm in a quandary here.. I'm putting up a ceiling in my basement, and there is one section (small hallway at the bottom of the stairs) where due to the odd ductwork routing I can not install drop tiles without it looking stupid. So I want to just furr it out and put up drywall there. Now there is a single octagon box (has a few splices in it, not enough slack to work with) with a bare bulb, that I will be changing to a recessed can.. If I install the can light right next to the octagon, will it still be considered accessible once it's drywalled over? I know that's the concept behind the JB that's built into the can - that you can pull the can out and still access the box - but does it count as access for another box? It will have to be furred approximately 6" to accommodate the can light, ducting, and plumbing, so the drywall won't be directly in front of/blocking the cover plate.
 
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Old 10-15-11, 03:17 PM
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Tough call. I have done that once in the past, but the old JB was floating and could be moved out through the recessed hole.
 
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Old 10-15-11, 03:34 PM
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How about the Tyco splices that do away with the need for a J box?
This seems like a situation where they could solve your problem.
 
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Old 10-15-11, 04:25 PM
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Could a person even know that the box was there?

That's one main key point. Since you know it's there, you can access it. But, it you sold the house, would the new owner or his hired electrician even know the box was there? If not, I would say it is NOT accessible, because you cannot access it if you don't know it's there.
 
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Old 10-15-11, 04:39 PM
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If the octagon is right where the drywall is going to be, why not just put a blank cover on it? It seems like it would be the easiest way to ensure you are to code and to have the best access to the box. If it's not close enough for a cover, you can put one of those access panels in.
 
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Old 10-15-11, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
How about the Tyco splices that do away with the need for a J box?
This seems like a situation where they could solve your problem.
One of the lines going to the box is THHN/conduit. I doubt they would be approved for that type of splice in open air, I think they are approved for Romex to Romex only.

Originally Posted by rodder98 View Post
That's one main key point. Since you know it's there, you can access it. But, it you sold the house, would the new owner or his hired electrician even know the box was there? If not, I would say it is NOT accessible, because you cannot access it if you don't know it's there.
See I have to disagree with that. IMO it's no different than having the splices happen inside the can's built-in junction box. or having a junction box hidden by removable ceiling panels. If you were to trace a problem to that point, you'd pull the can out and see the octagon box, and because of the furring space you'd have a reasonable amount of space to work in it. This differs from a box that's plastered over because if it's plastered over it can't ever be accessed again without demolition. It's also something that would be noted on the circuit map that gets permanently attached to the breaker box.

Originally Posted by drooplug View Post
If the octagon is right where the drywall is going to be, why not just put a blank cover on it? It seems like it would be the easiest way to ensure you are to code and to have the best access to the box. If it's not close enough for a cover, you can put one of those access panels in.

That's the thing, it's NOT up against the drywall. It's going to be furred down 6-8", so it can't just be cut through. Also, given its proximity to the can, any cover or access door would be right up against the trim ring and would look really stupid. That's why I'm wondering since the can is designed to be removed for access to ITS junction box, if it could count as an access panel for another.
 
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Old 10-15-11, 05:41 PM
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Attach it to the can light permanently in a fashion to allow it to be serviced like the can light would be (never). Then it becomes part of a code compliant can light jb. In my mind, I am seeing a jb that really is accessible if you reach over the drop ceiling a little.
 
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Old 10-15-11, 06:36 PM
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If your putting the can right next to the J-box, why not just move the cables/conduits to the can j-box. OR put one in the can box and pull the other someplace and add a piece of cable.

I have heard of electricians doing what you propose, and the inspector approving it, maybe you should ask your AHJ. Remember, the code is not there for aesthetics, it is there for safety.
 
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