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Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

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  • Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

    While doing reno projects I often run into the issue of having to move, extend or repair 14/2. Now, I know according to code, all junctions are to be made in boxes, but sometimes this is extremely unpractical. What do you do if a wire is damaged during construction/demolition?
    For example, I recently ran into this issue when remodeling a basement. A 14/2 feed was accidentally severed that fed up through a newly tiled kitchen wall (an exterior brick wall, so no access from either side). Pulling off the kitchen cabinets and marble tile is simply not an option. Is it kosher to do a repair slice with Marrettes and electrical tape? Non acid soldered joints? Screw type butt joint connectors with shrink tubing (GB makes these)?
    Putting in a junction box at the damaged spot isn't going to be an option either, since the area is to be drywalled over and it's a high visibility spot (centre of the ceiling)
    I certainly know the reasoning for making junctions in boxes, since I've seen enough poorly make "legit" connections in boxes.
    Cheers

  • #2
    Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

    "Putting in a junction box at the damaged spot isn't going to be an option either, since the area is to be drywalled over and it's a high visibility spot (centre of the ceiling)" I guess I don't understand. If you're going to be doing drywall work, why not make a hole, install a small junction (octagon box) and then just cover it up?

    Note: Don't hide the junction box. I should have said "cover it with a wall plate". Don't cover it with wall board.
    Last edited by Woussko; 01-26-2007, 09:46 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

      Covering up a J-box (buried behind drywall) is just as much a violation as not using one.

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      • #4
        Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

        The code is clear, all junctions made in a box, all boxes accessable.
        Be creative, put in a light fixture, smoke detector etc.

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        • #5
          Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

          BT and WB are correct in that you can't hide a junction box. I like WB's idea of installing a light fixture or smoke detector. You could also look for a fancy cover plate.

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          • #6
            Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

            Just out of curiousity since you guys are always great at explaining this sort of thing...

            Why not cover it up? What can go wrong in the junction box? I understand why you want things in a box in the first place, to keep them isolated from other stuff so no unintentional grounds or shorts or anything form... but once it's in a box, especially one with a cover over it, why not cover it up? What makes that less safe than just having a covered up wire?

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            • #7
              Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

              Once it is in a box it is not a safety issue but a trouble shooting issue. If you have a bad connection and the box is covered by drywall it would be impossible to find and repair, your only option would be to run a new line.

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              • #8
                Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

                Well if a mouse chews through a wire... aren't you in the same boat?

                So it's not a safety issue or anything, right? Moral seems to be "make damn sure the connection is good before sealing it up".

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                • #9
                  Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

                  I think you are trying to make sense of electrical coding. That will only cause you head aches.

                  In general it is what it is. Often for no good reason.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

                    Originally posted by boytyperanma View Post
                    I think you are trying to make sense of electrical coding. That will only cause you head aches.

                    In general it is what it is. Often for no good reason.
                    heh. Fair enough. I can accept that.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

                      Not being an electrician I'll offer two schools of thought
                      1. It won't pass inspection
                      2. If a fire occurs and the insurance company finds out, it gives them a reason not to pay.
                      Note: I'm guessing the insurance will pay for the mouse incident, since it's one of those stuff happens things. I've yet to see a short proof splice, given enough environmental torture.
                      Only a surfer knows the feeling. Billabong ca. 1985 or so

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                      • #12
                        Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

                        Thanks for reminding me about the smoke detectors wbrooks! I had forgotten about them entirely. The amount of wire I was left with was too short to reach a pot light (and I didn't want to add any extra load to the severed wire circuit anyway) so the detector was perfect.
                        The guy I'm doing the work for wasn't thrilled with a hardwired detector, but I told him it was a good workaround to maintain Code compliance.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

                          What's wrong with hard-wired detectors?

                          I've got one waiting to be installed in my upstairs hallway. It's got a battery backup so if you burn down the house while the power's out it'll still wake you up but for the most part, it's added protection against forgetting to change the battery.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

                            Not sure why he wouldn't want a hard wired detector myself, unless he didn't like the location/look which wouldn't really matter if it was hardwired or not? My whole house is hard wired with detectors all connected together (9 total) between the main floor and basement. I think it is great and that when one goes off they all go off rather than waiting for the smoke to get to each one.
                            Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Splicing into existing wiring, sans junction box.

                              On that note... how is that done? I had the impression from reading the packaging that they'd somehow send the signals through the electrical wiring of the house or something rather than actually having specific wires running to each detector.

                              Is this true, or do you have to wire the whole house specifically with these in mind?

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