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Rick, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 430
Experience:  10 yrs as a electrician. Have my own company.
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A junction box was installed in my crawlspace which is a 6

Resolved Question:

A junction box was installed in my crawlspace which is a 6 inch square, maybe 4 inches deep. The circuit in question is 100 Amp, 220V going from the main panel on the house to the sub-panel on the detached garage. The box is just inside the house's crawlspace, where the wires go into a conduit to go under the yard. The wires are super thick and to me it looks kind of inappropriate how they are crammed around in there.

Does the code talk about minimum sizes for junction boxes on major circuits like this? We had a near fire the other day because one of the "butt splices" somehow touched the inside of the box and the arcing melted a big hole in the box. The 100A breaker did not trip for some reason, just kept arcing until I could get to the box and flip it myself. It was lucky I was home when it happened. So these 100A butt splices appear to be wrapped in electrical tape. Is that normal? Is that good practice? I really expected to see something more professional.

The electrician replaced the butt splices and put more tape on them, but he hasn't installed a bigger box. Is it reasonable to expect him to put in something bigger and tidier and less likely to catch fire?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Rich replied 1 year ago.

Rich :

Helloo .. Rich here .. lets see if we can help you with this .. can you tell me what size wires these are in the box .. or matbe read the size on the jacket of the cable

Customer:

It is in the crawlspace under the house, a big hassle to get to. I took a picture though which I'll try to paste in here.

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

I just took a photo of the other end of the wires where they come out at the garage's panel.

Customer:

There was a lot of printing on the wires but no clear statement of what the wire gauge is.

Customer:

wires
Full Size Image

Customer:

Thanks for taking the time for this Rich. I really want to avoid a fire, but I also want to have reasonable expectations for what the electrician's work should look like.

Rich :

OK .. well it does look like he could have used a larger box for in the crawl space ... good news is that all the connection look really good .. they look like they are covered well with insulating tape and electrical tape .. I think that by the code if that conduit is 3/4 inch then the box is code ... yes it looks tight ..

Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to answer any of your electrical questions. According to National electric code seeing that your wire size is 2 awg That pvc pipe would either be 1" or 1 1/4" That being said the size of the box if 6" needs to be a 6x6 box. This is the minimum requirement. If it is 1 1/4 PVC the box needs to be a minimum 7.5" Basically you take the size of the PVC pipe (in your situation) and multiply it by six. You also take that figure, and that is how far the entry holes of the pipe or wire that enter the box need to be away from each other. NEC 314.28 Lets us know how big junction boxes are required to be.
Rick, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 430
Experience: 10 yrs as a electrician. Have my own company.
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