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Junction Box Problems

An electrical junction box is a container made out of metal or hard plastic that contains the wiring junctions or intersections for electrical connections. These help the wiring in the home or public building interface with the main power supply provided by a local utility. The general purpose of a junction box is to conceal the electrical junctions from sight and to keep them from being tampered with. Here are some of the frequently asked questions answered by Experts regarding junction boxes.

Is having a junction box fitted into the wall a violation of the electric code?

It is not against the code as long as you take care to see that the junction box is not buried behind the sheet rock. You will need to install a blank cover over it as the code dictates that every splice needs to be accessible.

Is there a electrical code that specifies if a junction box is required in a crawl space of a house or can taped wires be left in its place?

It is imperative that all joints and wire connections be enclosed in a junction box. This is a clear violation of the electrical code. If you find lose wires that are not enclosed in a junction box, you should call the utility or the local electrical inspector about the wiring immediately.

The junction box in my bathroom consists of two blue, two brown, and two grounding wires. I wired a non-switch light fixture by connecting the proper colored wires to the fixture. However the wall switch did not shut off this light, but the other overhead lights went off. By using a tester, I can find that one of the brown wires is 'hot' when touched with the tester to either blue wire. How should I go about correcting the wiring?

It would be ideal for you to use a switched fixture for that installation. You need to connect the wires of the same color to each other. The brown wires need to be connected together with one lead of the fixture and the blues together with the lead of the other fixture. The switch needs to be located on the fixture itself.

The junction box where my old electric cooking range was connected has a black wire, another black wire with a red stripe and a bare silver wire. Now the new cooking range I purchased has copper red, black, white and bare wires. Do I need to have the wiring in my home replaced?

You need to update your wiring in order to conform to the electric range wiring code. A 3-wire range was acceptable in the past but the new code today stipulates 4-wire with limited grandfather code acceptability. You will need to consult your local governing authority and your local Building Codes department who can help you to conform with the latest rules.

I would like to know if a junction box would be allowed in the ceiling of a shower as I need to replace a bath fan in the bathroom downstairs and the existing wiring is slightly short to make the connection to the new fan. Can I place a junction box to connect the existing wire to some new wire?

Case details : The shower pipe protrudes 11 inches below the ceiling and the shower head where the water exits is 15 inches below the ceiling.

It would seem alright to place a junction box where you intend as long as it is protected from an overspray from the shower. The area you are talking about could be classified as a “wet location” by the local inspectors. In order to fix this problem, you could use a blank cover which is marked “Suitable for use in wet locations” or “Suitable for use in damp locations” over the junction box which should be sufficient protection.

Is it legal to have a junction box in an attic? Should this be suspended over the insulation or should it be attached to the ceiling just below the insulation?

It is alright to have a junction box in an attic as long as it is accessible. You may suspend it over the insulation since this will be visible and accessible to people in future.

Since junction boxes and their placement need to adhere to the National Electric Code (NEC) it is important for people to be aware of what is legal and what is not. Sometimes, in trying to fix a problem, the electric code may be violated unintentionally. In such cases it is always wise to ask Experts will answer your questions and clarify your doubts easily. What’s more, asking an Expert can at times be quick and affordable.
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