rewiring my house - too many junction boxes?

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  #1  
Old 09-13-12, 03:10 PM
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rewiring my house - too many junction boxes?

I've looked around and haven't really gotten a solid answer one way or another on this. I've been in the process of rewiring my house (adding/replacing/relocating circuits). My house is about 980 SF, has just one floor, and was built in 1949. It's actually an old Sears catalog home.

I'm going from an old 10-space/40-Amp panel to a 40-space/200-Amp panel. I'm re-circuiting the whole house to try to isolate loads and/or parts of the house, and to even out the load on each circuit.

I have been installing receptacles, switches, etc. little by little as I have time. I am basically installing them wherever they have to go in the first floor (or in some cases running the power into the attic for ceiling lights), and letting a few feet of wire hang down into the basement. When I'm at the point where I'm ready to start circuiting them together and running them to the new panel, I've just been nailing a single-gang plastic box to the floor joist and wire-nutting the few feet hanging down from above to the main line going back to the panel.

Obviously these junction boxes are adding up...there are at least 10-12 of them, and will likely be more.

Obviously, this is not an ideal way to do it - I realize that. In a perfect world, I would have a single piece of wire going from each circuit to the panel. When I started the job, this wasn't really feasible (too many variables I guess), so I have been moving forward with my current method.

In just about every case, there is only one - MAYBE two - of these splices per circuit. I'm making sure that the splices are solid and that the boxes have covers on them.

Anyone have any thoughts? Suggestions? As I said - I know this isn't the best way to do things, but it's too late for that discussion. I just want to know if this is completely out of the ordinary or if this is more common in renovation work.

Thanks a lot.

Brian

Edit: FYI - none of the new circuits are being used. the new panel hasn't been energized yet.
 
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Old 09-13-12, 03:25 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

It is unconventional, but I can't think of any reason it wouldn't be acceptable, so long as the cables (not the wires - those are inside the cables) are properly secured and the J-boxes are well-mounted and will always remain accessible.

I would use metal boxes made for surface work, and bond those to ground, rather than using plastic boxes. If you're talking about the blue (typically) plastic boxes with the flaps that secure the cables that are simply pushed into them, those are only rated for use inside finished walls and ceilings. Ans when you say
In just about every case, there is only one - MAYBE two - of these splices per circuit.
I would make sure that there is no more than one. I can't see why there would need to be.
 
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Old 09-14-12, 10:15 AM
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I belive he is saying each wire coming from the panel feeds 1 to 2 outlets
 
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Old 09-15-12, 08:26 AM
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As you mentioned, it's certainly not the 'preferred' method, but sounds perfectly within code. Is there a reason you aren't just dropping the wires down into the basement and leaving 20' or however much would be required to get back to the panel? You may end up with a bit of wasted cable, but it's part of the cost of doing the remodel.

One suggestion I can make, is instead of using 10-12 boxes, how about using a 12x12 box with a few 3/4" conduits running to the panel? It would look a lot cleaner, but as stated, either way would be code compliant. (note that due to derating, you'd want to use a couple smaller conduits instead of one large one)

Again, just a thought.
 
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Old 09-17-12, 11:06 AM
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Thank you guys for the replies. It's nice to get a few constructive replies instead of being told to rip it out to install continuous cable to each.

I actually already bought a few 2-gang metal boxes to replace the single plastic ones I already mounted. Anything from here on out will use the metal boxes.

I wasn't sure exactly how far this project was going to go, so I didn't start from the beginning with more wire hanging down below. I figured I would be connecting to some existing circuits, etc. Then (of course) one thing led to another, and I'm replacing just about the entire electrical system in the house.

I'm just going to move forward with the larger metal boxes, and taking extra precautions to keep everything nice and clean.

Brian
 
  #6  
Old 09-24-12, 03:01 PM
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Just make sure you mark the junction boxes with the breaker number on the side and the cover of the boxes that each one is connected to with a paint marker,don't mark just the cover because they can get mixed up if you remove all of them to work on the circuits later.
 
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Old 09-24-12, 04:05 PM
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I actually mark the circuit #s inside the box as I go, then copy everything to the cover when I'm ready to install that. I've never used a paint marker. Sounds messy. I just use a sharpie.
 
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Old 09-24-12, 05:11 PM
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Yeah,a sharpie would be better,paint markers take too long to dry,inside the box is better too!
 
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