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Code requirements for junction boxes


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11-13-17, 12:40 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Code requirements for junction boxes

I need to install a junction box in a drop ceiling in order to branch off to my new garage circuit. Considering the ceiling has removable tiles, do I still need to install an access door in one of the tiles? Aside from pulling new cable (which isn't an option) are there any other options to identify the fact that there is a hidden junction box?

 
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11-13-17, 12:49 PM   #2 (permalink)  
Answering my own questions here...

NEC 314.29 states the junction box must be accessible without removing any part of the building. Assuming "remove" means to cause damage, it sounds like putting a box above a tile ceiling is perfectly acceptable.

 
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11-13-17, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)  
Make sure I have this right, your going to use that circuit to supply the garage?
A garage should be totally on it's own at least 20 amp, GFI protected circuit even if you only think you need just one outlet.
Your also only allowed one supply to an unattached building.

 
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11-13-17, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)  
This is an attached single car garage for parking my car and light electrical loads, not a shop. The circuit I plan on tapping off of only has 5 or 6 receptacles on it. I will be installing a GFCI outlet in the garage which will feed two other plugs. Does code say it needs to be a separate circuit, or is that personal preference?

Come to think of it, although my panel is full, there is a 50A circuit breaker from my old range that I left installed as a filler after getting a gas range, so I could remove that breaker and free up space for another 20A circuit. I think I'll go ahead and do that for the outlets, but the lights will be fed from an existing circuit as originally planned. Does my (wall mounted jackshaft) garage door opener need to be GFCI if I am using a single receptacle?

Only downside is I have to look at that ugly yellow cable sheathing. That, and I was hoping to keep the inspector away from my main panel. Not that it is overloaded or a hazard, but you never know what nit-picky thing they will find and make you fix/upgrade because of current codes.


Last edited by mossman; 11-13-17 at 02:02 PM.
 
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11-13-17, 02:03 PM   #5 (permalink)  
You can put junction boxes above a drop ceiling. Code does not require a dedicate circuit for the garage. However, it does say that if a garage has electrical power, you must have at least one interior light which is switched from all human doors, a switchable exterior light at each human door, and at least one GFCI-protected receptacle.

You can paint the exposed romex to match the wall if you want, or use conduit or some metallic wiring method instead. UF-B cable is usually gray or black and can be used anywhere romex can be used.


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11-13-17, 02:14 PM   #6 (permalink)  
Sounds good. I will have three 20A GFCI protected receptacles, four interior lights, and two exterior lights on either side of the garage door, even though code does not require it.

I appreciate the tips on the wiring! UF-B cable is about $50 more per 250ft roll though, so I'm not sure yellow bothers me that much. It will eventually be hidden by sheetrock anyhow.

 
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11-13-17, 07:49 PM   #7 (permalink)  
Code does not require a dedicate circuit for the garage.
2017 Code requires a dedicated 20 amp circuit to an attached garage, and detached garage with electric power, it also requires a receptacle per each vehicle bay space. All GFCI protected of course.

2017 NEC

“210.11(C) (4) Garage Branch Circuits.

In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one 120-volt. 20-ampere branch circuit shall be installed to supply receptacle outlets in attached garages and in detached garages with electric power. This circuit shall have no other outlets.

Exception: This circuit shall be permitted to supply readily accessible outdoor receptacle outlets.”

Below is the 2017 requirement for garage receptacles outlet placement.


“210.52 (G) Basements. Garages, and Accessory Buildings.

For one-and two- family dwellings, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in the areas specified in 210.52(G)(1) through (3).

These receptacles shall be in addition to receptacles required for specific equipment

(1) Garages, in each attached garage and in each detached garage with electric power, at least one Receptacle outlet shall be installed in each vehicle bay and not more than 1.7 m (51/2 ft) above the floor.”


Source: Garage receptacle requirement for 2017 NEC.


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11-14-17, 05:07 AM   #8 (permalink)  
I was going off the 2012 NEC because I don't have access to 2017. Greatly appreciated!

Only remaining question is can I feed the garage door opener with this 20A circuit, or should I just feed it off the 15A lighting circuit?

 
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11-14-17, 07:27 AM   #9 (permalink)  
Guess who hasn't looked at the '17 updates yet. :-)


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11-14-17, 08:33 AM   #10 (permalink)  
You're right, I haven't, because I don't have access. I suppose I could purchase a copy.

Any chance the receptacle requirement for foyers has changed? Over 60 sq ft area requires a receptacle on any wall greater than 3 ft not broken by doorways, full length windows, and similar openings. My foyer addition is 63 sq ft and I have three walls greater than 3ft. Seems ridiculous that I have to add 3 outlets in such a small space--two of them will be less than 3 ft apart. Not only that, but two of them will be near an exterior door, which makes it tempting to plug something in and use it outside, which would be a hazard. There should be an exception added that says every wall greater than 3 feet "and each outlet should be no closer than 6ft from and exterior door". This would eliminate two of the three.

 
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11-14-17, 09:02 AM   #11 (permalink)  
Nah, I was joking about myself -- my state doesn't adopt the new code for several years so I'm not up on the latest.

In your foyer are the wall segments unbroken? The 12' rule continues around corners as long as the wall is not broken by a doorway. The other way of looking at this is that it could be considered a hallway instead of a general living space, which would require only one receptacle if the hallway exceed 10' in length. In a short hallway, none are required. You'd probably want to run that by the inspector, but in my opinion is a reasonable approach.


Good luck with your project!
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11-14-17, 09:18 AM   #12 (permalink)  
It isn't technically a hallway, it's more of a foyer (7' x 10' area with garage entrance on one end, porch slider on the opposite end, and entry into the home on the side, but I'll definitely ask the inspector. Three outlets just seems ridiculous.

The code listed on my state's website was taken from the 2011 NEC. Does this mean my state (Virginia) has not adopted the latest code from the 2017, or is it because they haven't updated their website?

The main question is what distinguishes a foyer from a hallway?


Last edited by mossman; 11-14-17 at 09:33 AM.
 
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11-14-17, 09:41 AM   #13 (permalink)  
I don't to open up a can of worms regarding what constitutes a foyer. Turns out I will actually only need two outlets, so I'm not going to worry about it.


Last edited by mossman; 11-14-17 at 10:44 AM.
 
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11-14-17, 11:23 AM   #14 (permalink)  
A foyer is a room that you enter from a front door (from the outside) and then leads to another room, usually a living room, or sometimes a living room on one side and a dining room on the other.

A hallway is a long strip that connects several rooms, usually bedrooms, so you can go from one room to another. A hallway doesn't connect to an entrance door from the outside.


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11-14-17, 11:31 AM   #15 (permalink)  
It's definitely a foyer. I was just hoping to bend the definition, which is not defined in code, in order to make it a hallway. I'd have a hard time convincing an inspector. Two receptacles it is.

 
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11-14-17, 12:56 PM   #16 (permalink)  
The electrical code doesn't define specifically what any room types are -- it leaves all of that up to local interpretation.


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11-14-17, 07:19 PM   #17 (permalink)  
Guess who hasn't looked at the '17 updates yet. :-)
.
Yeah, we are on the cutting edge in MN.


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11-14-17, 08:03 PM   #18 (permalink)  
I was going off the 2012 NEC because I don't have access to 2017.

There is no 2010 NEC. The NEC comes out every 3 years. There is a 2011, a 2014 and now a 2017 NEC.

 
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11-15-17, 07:12 AM   #19 (permalink)  
Corrected myself two posts later...

The code listed on my state's website was taken from the 2011 NEC. Does this mean my state (Virginia) has not adopted the latest code from the 2017, or is it because they haven't updated their website?

 
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