Electrical junction boxes are essential in any electrical wiring, whether for factories or houses, where it’s used to make a connection between two wires or more to create a connection for an outlet or a light fixture. They make a safe path for electricity to flow through the house.
Junction boxes can not be installed inside walls or hidden, increasing the risks of electrical issues and fire hazards. When the boxes are hidden, and any issues happen, they will be difficult to notice, so they will continue to exist.
Can Electrical Junction Boxes Be Hidden?
Electrical junction boxes can not be hidden, and it’s against most building codes; this is due for many reasons. The main reason is that it becomes difficult to inspect if there is any issue in the junction box. In addition, repairing any issue in a hidden junction box will require you to remove the wall’s finish.
You can not hide the junction box because it will become difficult to locate later; buried junction boxes are hard to keep track of. The second reason you can not hide electrical junction boxes is that if there is an issue n the box, it will be hard to repair.
Hidden junction boxes will require that the plaster be broken or removed to repair them, which means more damage than needed. The last reason is that the risks of hitting a junction box when drilling becomes higher when they are hidden in walls. You can mishit an electrical box when installing any new electrical equipment to the wall.
Why Can’t You Hide an Electrical Junction Box?
Hard to Locate
When an electrical junction box is hidden inside a wall, you will not be able to keep track of it because you can forget its place over time. For example, you will need more time to locate the box and repair the issue if there is a high-voltage surge. The more time you take to locate the box, the more damage can happen to the box.
Therefore, it’s recommended that electrical junction boxes be visible at all times to notice if there is any electrical issue happening in them. As a result, this will make it easier and quicker to repair the issue.
Harder to Repair
Hidden electrical junction boxes are harder to repair because you might not be able to see the issue in the junction box. Therefore, you will need to break the wall or remove the plaster to reach the electrical junction box and repair the issue. Another issue you face when the junction box is hidden or buried is the wiring.
The wiring in junction boxes can sometimes be crowded and stacked, so when the box is buried inside the wall, it becomes more difficult to know which wire is the reason for the problem. Meanwhile, when the junction box is located outside the wall, you can easily remove the wires and repair the problem.
Increased Risks When Drilling
Commonly, you will need to install a picture frame, a television, or a wall hanging at a point in the future. You will need to use the drill to fix these things, which means drilling through the walls. Unfortunately, hidden electrical junction boxes increase the risks of short circuits when using a driller.
When drilling, you may unintentionally hit the junction box, which will cause a short circuit in your house. Therefore, it is recommended when using the driller that you make sure there are no electrical junction boxes behind the area where you work.
Are Junction Boxes Allowed in Walls and Where?
Electrical junction boxes are not allowed to be hidden in walls under any conditions where it’s against most building codes. The junction boxes should always be accessible at all times to make it easier to locate them in any case of a power surge or an electrical issue.
It’s easier to notice if there is any issue in electrical junction boxes when they are not hidden or buried inside walls. Therefore, if you are going to install a junction box in the wall, it has to be accessible and not inside the wall.
Where Should Junction Boxes Be Installed?
Electrical junction boxes are installed to connect two or more wires to create a connection to a light fixture or an outlet. The junction boxes must be installed in certain places to save effort, time, and money when there is an issue to be repaired in them. Junction boxes can be covered for protection, but they need to be accessible.
- The Wiring Diagram
Any house has a wiring diagram that specifies where the wiring of the house should be installed, for example, the junction boxes. The boxes are found in the diagrams as the letter “J”; the letter “J” will refer to where the boxes should be installed in the house.
- Near Heavy Equipment
Junction boxes should be installed near any heavy equipment; therefore, if the equipment is located near walls, the junction boxes should be installed on these walls. For example, you will find junction boxes near the generators, pumps, and compressors in factories or warehouses.
Cabinets are the best place to install electrical junction boxes in houses, where they are covered, protected, and accessible for repairs in case of any issues. For example, if you look inside your bathroom or kitchen cabinet, you will find an electrical junction box.
How to Install an Electrical Junction Box in a Wall?
To install an electrical junction box in a wall, you will need to have the required experience, or you should hire a licensed mechanic. This is because the electric wiring must be sealed and properly aligned to protect them from any damage as they are very sensitive.
Installing an electrical junction box has certain criteria; the junction box should have the right size that fits all the wiring without causing them to be stacked or crowded. In addition, you should prepare the right tools before starting to make it easier for you.
- Decide the Place
The first step is to decide where you are going to install the junction box in the wall; the place should be away from any sources of damage like fire, water, or human contact. Before drilling for the box, you should ensure that the wires have enough space inside the box. Next, after marking the place, use your driller to drill the wall to install the box screws.
- Connect the Wires
After placing the junction box, pull the wires through the wiring line in the junction box; you will need to ensure that each wire has at least six inches of extra length inside the box. Next, remove the insulation of the wire ends to be able to connect the wires together.
- Seal the Wires
The last step is to cover and seal the wires after connecting them together to avoid them getting in contact with other wires. When wires come in contact with each other, they can cause a short circuit, leading to a fire hazard.
To sum up, electrical junction boxes can be installed behind walls, but it’s highly recommended that they be always accessible at all times. When the junction boxes are hidden or buried in walls, it becomes harder to notice if they have any issues. ‘
In addition, if you notice an issue, it will be harder to repair it as there is not much space for taking out the wires. As a result, the wires can be stacked, and you will not be able to decide which wire has the problem.
If you want to install an electrical junction box on a wall, it should be on the wall, not inside, and it should be covered to protect from any damage like fire, water, or human contact.
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