Floating Electrical Box- Is it Code Compliant ?

An electrician recently added a single width plastic electrical box, the kind that (normally) has two nails for securing to stud, in my attic crawl space. The box is being used as a junction box for new wiring to a bathroom exhaust fan that is on a GFCI circuit branch.
1. Is it legal per NEC to add any junction box in an attic crawl space ?     Access is only via bedroom closet.
2. Is it legal per NEC to have the plastic electrical box unsecured to a joist/stud?      The box sits along side a ceiling joist but is not anchored. For some unknown reason, the electician decided to use a box that did not include the nails.
3. If this is illegal per NEC, WHY ? What are the dangers, if any?
Thanks.
~ Vince ~ Long Island, NY, USA
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I think (1) could go either way, but (2) I know is a no-no. Don't have the NEC in front of me, but an unsecured box? No way!
-Dave
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1. as long as the box is accessible with out removing finishes your fine.
2. All electrical boxes are to be attached to the structure.
3. danger, minimumal this is not a traffic area and likely the box will lay there until you sell the place and/or forget about it.
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As others have said, probably not a huge issue.
However, it shows sloppiness toward the trade, as well as a lack of respect for the NEC, and you as a customer, which makes me wonder if any other 'shortcuts' were taken elsewhere. I mean - how hard is it to get the proper material and install it correctly?
Is there a cover on the box? Are the cables going into the unsecured box secured with staples within 4" of the box?
When you say 'electrician' - are you talking about a licensed and insured individual/company? Did you see his license?
If not, all bets are off, and you got what you paid for.
If so, even though he/she will be pissed, I'd ask them why they did what they did, and come out and bring it up to code (nicely).
That's what you paid for, and if it concerned you enough to post here, then it's probably something that irritates you enough that you want it corrected.
I say call them back and make them do it right.
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My comments are inbetwween yours, below:

Yeah, this guy avoided perhaps $2.60 plus cost for a couple of U-nails.

The box is covered, but the wires are not secured.

I did not see his license, but the GC is licensed by the County as a Home Improvement contractor. I specifically asked the County if HI contractors are obligated to use a "licensed" electrician; they said "of course".

I have other remaining issues with the GC that did the bathroom gutting and remodelling. This issue just adds fuel to the burning fire.

When the electrician laid in the rough wiring, all that I saw was 14 gauge wire. The job included adding a GFCI duplex near the sink, and I know that 14 ga is not suitable for a 20 A circuit. When I challenged the GC on this, with the electrician standingby, the electrician claimed that he did not have the 12 gauge wire on his truck when he did the rough wiring. So, this is an electrician that comes to a job site w/o the required material !
The end result was to add a 20 A circuit breaker and 12 gauge wire for the duplex outlet (enough spare room remains at the breaker box, so I did not complain). I was expecting a single home run, 20 A circuit for the duplex outlet, the newly added Panasonic 90 FI exhaust fan, that includes two 13 W flourescent and a 4 W night light, the four globe fixture (240 W total), and a new hall duplex outlet (intended for a vacuum cleaner, etc.). A separate 15 A circuit, via a GFCI device mounted in a box handles all but the sink's GFCI duplex.
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Vince -
Did they pull an electrical permit? I'm guessing no, based on the added details.
It doesn't sound to me like a licensed electrician was ever anywhere near your property, and the fact that you found the 14 ga. wire is alarming; as from what you have said I'm guessing it's very likely a 20A breaker would have ended up on the 14 ga. wire.
I'd call out an electrical inspector. It's going to get your GC in plenty of hot water, and things may get very ugly.
Bottom line there is a right way and a wrong way for things to be done, it's the GC's responsibility to make sure things are done right by qualified people - IMO he/she is asleep at the switch (no pun intended).
The whole point of hiring a GC is to make sure problems don't happen. I strongly encourage you to hold him responsible, even if it ends up in court.
"The end result was to add a 20 A circuit breaker and 12 gauge wire for
the duplex outlet (enough spare room remains at the breaker box, so I did not complain). I was expecting a single home run, 20 A circuit for the duplex outlet, the newly added Panasonic 90 FI exhaust fan, that includes two 13 W flourescent and a 4 W night light, the four globe fixture (240 W total), and a new hall duplex outlet (intended for a vacuum cleaner, etc.). A separate 15 A circuit, via a GFCI device mounted in a box handles all but the sink's GFCI duplex. "
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I have several digital photos that show the unsecured electrical box as well as the loose wires. Or, I will be unloading my bedroom closet to allow an inspector to visit.

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