Does electric box have to be right next to fixture?


Does electric box have to be right next to fixture?
The first electrician (provided by the HOA) who installed a floodlight on my wall didn't use any electric box, afaicr. He just screwed the fixture to the T1-11 and ran the wire through a hole in the T1, behind the fixture.
Even though T1-11 is not very flammable???, or is it?, I presume that is a violation of code?????
Ten years later when the fixture burned out, I suspect it was a different electrician (although maybe from the same company) replaced it and installed a box on the the ouside wall and then the fixture on the box.
I need to both replace and move the fixture, and it may be much easier to do it myself than have the HOA electician do it.
(I could put the box on the outside like it is now, but) it would be a lot easier if I could put it on the inside, either with a hole just big enough for the Romex, or a hole almost as big as the box, between the fixture and the box. Are either or both of these Okay?
Thanks a lot.
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Is there a cover on the back of the fixture or is it open to the elements?
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Derby Dad, the base of the floodlight is like a little dome, no openings on the front, and it backs up against the wall or the electric box. Nothing open to the elements.

That would be hard for a couple reasons. I figured out a one-step way I can install this from inside the attic, without borrowing a ladder, but it requires at least a ring of T1-11 between the box and the fixture. At least a half inch smaller than that the box or fixture base is big. Would that be okay?
(Long tedious background not needed to answer my question: I was going to have the HOA electrician replace the broken floodlight fixture, but I realized I could replace bulbs or fixtures myself with a borrowed ladder if I lowered the fixture as much as possible, 4 or 5 feet, from shoulder or head high in the attic, to foot level. I asked for it to be as high as it is, but I didn't foresee having to call an electrician every time there was a problem. I can only borrow a 16 foot ladder, I think it is, and right now it needs a 20 foot ladder just to change a bulb. I can't expect the HOA to pay to move it.
I couldn't ask the electrician to do all this, including caulk the old holes, or let him charge the HOA for moving the fixture, so I thought of doing the first part myself, and then thought I could do the second part too!
I'll have to patch the 1" hole and two little screw holes that are at the first location. I think I can unscrew the screws with a pliers from the inside, tie a string to the fixture, cut the romex, lower the fixture to the ground. (It's broken but the bulbs are good.) Drill new holes at the base of the wall (just one layer of T1), lower a string, put machine screws through the new fixture and a nut so the screws don't come out, tie a nylon string to the fixture and lift the fixture to the attic, maniuplate the wires through the big hole and the screws into the two pre-drilled screw holes (this is the tricky part) than put on washers and nuts. And I think I could do a box at this time, but not if the hole is as big as the box.
I'm going to caulk the old holes without a ladder as follows: From the inside, maybe I can stick my finger through the big hole to caulk the little screw holes (I don't remember how big the hole is, etc.) If not, I'll make some tool. To caulk the big hole, I'll get a small piece of scrap T1-11 and make a hole of the same size. I'll put vaseline on the edge and a little on the back. I'll clamp it to a one foot square piece of 3/4" wood and I'll caulk the hole. Then I'll separate the two pieces of wood and mount the 1 foot square piece to the inside of my wall, probably with white glue with the caulk in the original hole.
This all won't take as long as it sounds.
20 years ago, using a long flexible drill bit, to drill a hole so I could run a piece of romex down an outside wall, from inside the attic, which has very little eaves, and thus very little vertical leeway, I drilled wrong and the drill came out the out side of the house. When I had a ladder, I caulked it, from the outside, with brown latex caulk that matched my russet brown house perfectly. Twenty years later, the patch still hasn't shrunk and from the ground, I can't even see where it is.
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No. 2008 NEC section 314.20 says "In walls and ceilings constructed of wood or other combustible surface material, boxes, plaster rings, extension rings, or listed extenders shall be flush with the finished surface or project therefrom."
Cheers, Wayne
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On Wed, 2 Sep 2009 15:59:53 +0000 (UTC), Wayne Whitney

Okay. Thank you. I'll do it right, even if it requires borrowing a ladder for the second half. I drive a LeBaron convertible, that only takes a class 1 hitch, or whatever is the least strong. I got it mostly to hold a bicycle rack, and I bought a one that has a square upright-holder that screws on to the draw bar. Then with angle iron I made a fork shaped upright with only 2 tines about 18 inches apart, and I used a big piece of foam rubber on top of the windshield, and I can borrow the ladder now without making my friend deliver it. At least when the weather is good enough to put the top down. I start off trying to make a canoe rack, and ended up with a much less impressive ladder and pipe rack. I had no place to keep a canoe,
I bought the hitch for the first Lebaron, but I've used it on all 3 for a total of 20 years so far. I could use it on other cars too if the struts holding the rear bumper are the same distance apart, or if I can somehow drill another hole in the horizontal hitch bar, which is 3/8" or 1/2" thick and looks very hard. :)
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snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com (mm) writes:
| I think I can unscrew the screws with a pliers | from the inside, tie a string to the fixture, cut the romex, lower the | fixture to the ground. (It's broken but the bulbs are good.) Drill | new holes at the base of the wall (just one layer of T1), lower a | string, put machine screws through the new fixture and a nut so the | screws don't come out, tie a nylon string to the fixture and lift the | fixture to the attic, maniuplate the wires through the big hole and | the screws into the two pre-drilled screw holes (this is the tricky | part) than put on washers and nuts. And I think I could do a box at | this time, but not if the hole is as big as the box.
How about this? Fully attach the fixture to a box in advance, sealing the unused openings with plugs and bringing a UF cable out the back with a weather resistant clamp. Put the above machine screws through the mounting tabs on the box. Lower the string through the central hole (which you have made large enough to accommodate the clamp on the back of the box) and attach it to the UF cable. Lift and position the assembly as above. Add a splice box in the attic to connect the feed cable to your new piece of UF.
If you really want the fixture flush you are going to have to make a much bigger hole and you can pull the whole box in. People use non- weather-resistant boxes in such installations but I wouldn't.
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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On 2 Sep 2009 20:45:45 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote:

Actually, everything is good except the circuit in the sensor (that turns the light off at dawn), and for the previous fixture, that is good but the light socket is burned. So I can combine the two to make one.

This is very good. I may do just this. Thanks. Except instead of nuts on the screws that I suggested to hold them in place, I may put a splinter or a split kitchen match in the hole before I shove the screw in. That will hold the screw for a while, and I'll be providing my own screws so if I lose one, I'll have more. And it will tighten down better.
Or maybe a speed nut, one of those pieces of spring steel with a hole in them that are less than a milliter thick, not counting their curve. I save them when I take apart something that uses them.
I can screw the interior box right behind the outside box. BTW, I think the first fixture once fell over, down, because it was only screwed into T1-11. And the first electrician actually went up in my attic to run the romex to my ceiling fixture, but installed no inside, or outside, box.
Now I'm so enthusiastic I want to do this tommorrow, but first I have to make a path to the attic hatch!

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