removed a wall, wire not long enough

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  #1  
Old 06-06-12, 07:23 AM
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removed a wall, wire not long enough

Hello,
I have removed a wall that had two light switches.
I am moving the switches to a different wall. The wire to the switches is not long enough to go to the new location (actually there are 5 wires between the two)

These come down from the attic. Is it OK to put a junction box in the attic to basically extend these wires to the new location?

Thanks
Randy
 
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Old 06-06-12, 08:05 AM
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I believe you should be fine with a junction box in the attic.
 
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Old 06-06-12, 08:08 AM
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Yes, it is okay to put a box in the attic so long as it remains accessible.

actually there are 5 wires between the two
Assuming you mean two 2-conductor non-metallic cables (AKA Romex) with ground there should be six wires not five. If this is NM-b (Romex) cable and one is ungrounded it would not be code compliant in most cases to extend the ungrounded cable. Can you give us more detail?
 
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Old 06-06-12, 08:11 AM
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Is it OK to put a junction box in the attic to basically extend these wires to the new location?
Probably, so long as it is properly secured, covered and accessible.

I'm guessing that when you say
there are 5 wires between the two
you mean 5 cables. The better solution would be to replace those cables with new ones that are long enough to reach the new location without splicing. In fact, one junction box will probably not be large enough to contain all of the splices required to extend 5 cables, even if each one is only a 2-conductor cable.

What are the cables (Type NM or MC, number and colors of conductors in each), and the function of each - such as "panel feed" or "traveler set to a second 3-way switch," etc.) If you think pictures might help us understand your question better, see How To Include Pictures.
 
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Old 06-06-12, 08:18 AM
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Hello,
Thanks for all the response.
These are all 14/2 cables.
Both boxes are light switches. One is a three way with the 3 cables and the other is just a normal light switch with two cables. Unfortunately there is no really easy to re-run without demo-ing alot.
So maybe a separate junction box for each wall switch?

Thanks again
 
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Old 06-06-12, 09:11 AM
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Yes, a separate box for each switch is okay.
 
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Old 06-06-12, 09:14 AM
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These are all 14/2 cables.
Both boxes are light switches. One is a three way with the 3 cables and the other is just a normal light switch with two cables.
If one of the switches is a 3-way, then one of the cables in that box would ordinarily be a 3-conductor cable (black, red and white).

In order to help you effectively, we - and you - need to know where each cable is coming from (its source) and going to (its load), what wires each cable contains, and how each wire is connected.
 
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Old 06-06-12, 11:12 AM
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You might be able to use a larger single box.

From the DIY vault: itsunclebill wrote:

The number of wires allowed in a box is determined by the size of the box and the size of the wire. Plastic boxes are marked with the maximum number of each size wire. Metal and other material boxs fill is based on the box size in cubic inches and the required space for each conductor size.

#14 wire require 2 cubic inches each. All the grounds together count as 1 wire. In your case, 6 cables with 2 wires each plus a ground requires a box that is big enough for 13 #14 wires. This winds up being a 4 X 4 X 2-1/8 (or deeper) metal box, or a plastic box rated for 13 or more #14 wires.

Generally, the number of connections in a box doesn't matter as the required space in a box for a given size wire takes connections into account. I generally like to limit the number of wires in a wire nut to 4 as more makes getting a good connection with all the wires a bit tough. I would also encourage you to run different circuits for receptacles and lights so plugging in something with a problem doesn't leave you in the dark
And chirkware replied:

As itsunclebill stated, the box must be large enough (in terms of cubic inches, or "cu in") for the number of wires, and size of the wires. This is termed "box fill".

To calculate this, you add the number of wires (not counting grounds), plus one for any grounds, and plus two for every device in the box (receptical, switch, etc). In your case, you have 12 wires, plus 1 for grounds, , no devices, so you count it as 13 wires. The fill is then based on the size of the wires. For #14 wires, each counts as 2 cu in. So 13 * 2 is 26 cu in. You need at least a 26 cu in box. If you think you may ever add additional cables, you will want a bigger box.

Keep in mind, this junction box must be PERMANATELY ACCESSABLE. You CANNOT close it up behind drywall. If you install a drop ceiling, it can be accessable by moving a ceiling tile.

If you use a metal box, you will need to be sure to ground the box as well.

I would strongly urge you to try to reduce the number of cables coming into this box. Securing six wires into a wirenut is going to be VERY hard. Also, the advice to put the lights on a separate circuit is good (though certainly not required). As itsunclebill stated, the box must be large enough (in terms of cubic inches, or "cu in") for the number of wires, and size of the wires. This is termed "box fill".

To calculate this, you add the number of wires (not counting grounds), plus one for any grounds, and plus two for every device in the box (receptical, switch, etc). In your case, you have 12 wires, plus 1 for grounds, , no devices, so you count it as 13 wires. The fill is then based on the size of the wires. For #14 wires, each counts as 2 cu in. So 13 * 2 is 26 cu in. You need at least a 26 cu in box. If you think you may ever add additional cables, you will want a bigger box.

If you use a metal box, you will need to be sure to ground the box as well...
Original thread: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ction-box.html
 
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