Code requirements for junction boxes

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-13-17, 12:40 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-13-17, 12:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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.
 
  #3  
Old 11-13-17, 01:07 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 4,279
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.
 
  #4  
Old 11-13-17, 01:41 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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.
  #5  
Old 11-13-17, 02:03 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,541
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.
 
  #6  
Old 11-13-17, 02:14 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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.
 
  #7  
Old 11-13-17, 07:49 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,364
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.
 
  #8  
Old 11-14-17, 05:07 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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?
 
  #9  
Old 11-14-17, 07:27 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,541
Guess who hasn't looked at the '17 updates yet. :-)
 
  #10  
Old 11-14-17, 08:33 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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.
 
  #11  
Old 11-14-17, 09:02 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,541
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.
 
  #12  
Old 11-14-17, 09:18 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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.
  #13  
Old 11-14-17, 09:41 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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.
  #14  
Old 11-14-17, 11:23 AM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 3,952
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.
 
  #15  
Old 11-14-17, 11:31 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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.
 
  #16  
Old 11-14-17, 12:56 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,541
The electrical code doesn't define specifically what any room types are -- it leaves all of that up to local interpretation.
 
  #17  
Old 11-14-17, 07:19 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,364
Guess who hasn't looked at the '17 updates yet. :-)
.
Yeah, we are on the cutting edge in MN.
 
  #18  
Old 11-14-17, 08:03 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,465
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.
 
  #19  
Old 11-15-17, 07:12 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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?
 
  #20  
Old 12-04-17, 12:22 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
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.
I have this covered, but can I also have a 15A GFCI circuit in the garage? Codes says I have to have at least a 20 amp GFCI circuit, but doesn't say I can't have a 15A as well.
 
  #21  
Old 12-04-17, 02:11 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,541
Many states prefer to stay at least one revision (or sometimes more) behind the latest national model code, so it looks like 2011 NEC is the requirement in Virginia. You can add more circuits in the garage once the code minimum is met.
 
  #22  
Old 12-04-17, 07:02 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,364
but can I also have a 15A GFCI circuit in the garage?
.
Yes. Code (2017) states you must have at least one 20 amp circuit to the garage. It says nothing about having more.
 
  #23  
Old 12-04-17, 07:31 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,659
Thanks. Think I'll have the one 20A GFCI near the front of the garage and the door opener in that circuit as well. The outlets at the back of the garage will be 15A GFCI and will feed the outdoor outlet out bacm as well.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes