While browsing some Google results I came across a document by some
particular State/Municipality building department advising DIY
homeowners that junction boxes are not permitted in attics.
Is this an NEC rule or a local idiosyncracy? In either case, why would
this be bad?
I've discovered two metal junction boxes in our attic with the Romex
simply fed through the knockouts with no clamps. I was planning to redo
them with clamps, but now I'm wondering whether it would be good to
undertake a more radical upgrade.
A) I have never heard anyone complain about junction boxes within an
attic. It is not an NEC rule. What is the URL to the document? Where
(what page?) does the document say this.
B) Some boxes have cable clamps INSIDE rather than outside. You might
have run across such a box. Otherwise feel free to add the clamps.
Hope this helps,
PS: If there really aren't any clamps I would take the time to inspect
the other boxes within the house. Pull out a light and a receptacle or
two in your investigation as well.
On 08/05/05 01:28 pm email@example.com tossed the following ingredients
into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:
It's the "Circuits and Wiring Information Sheet" from the City of
Page 1, right-hand column, under heading "Junction Boxes":
"Do not install junction boxes in the attic or conceal them in walls."
I'll check the boxes in question. I have already found some weird
electrical stuff in this house, including a couple of instances of wires
joined by twisting copper wire around the untwisted conductors and
insulated with the cap of a "magic marker" and the whole lot taped up.
That makes no sense at all. That would mean that junction boxes must be
on the surface of the wall (how 'bout that exposed Romex?) and in the
basement, I guess.
There are some other bizarro factoids in that PDF file. Like how the
roughing-in inspection has to be done with all insulation off, what the
heck can that mean?
I'm sure that whoever wrote those sections had good intentions but I
doubt he intended it to be read the way we are.
You could always put a light or an
outlet, depending on the location of the
That might make the "locals" happy. You
could always use extra lights or an
outlet in a attic .... well, since the
advent of good battery drills and saws,
as usefull as it used to be.
You are right, true or not, it makes no sense.
For example all of the light fixture boxes and
outlet boxes in the ceiling are attached to joists
and open from the attic (usually covered with
insulation). There is less protection in the
attic than in the room below. So putting a box in
the attic would not increase the danger any. I
would bet that the statement applies to
I did the unthinkable and called up the city of Bloomington, MN for
clarification. When I asked about the attic box rule the lady said
that they follow the National Electrical Code. I didn't know exactly
what she meant by that answer so I asked her if that meant they had no
rules in addition to the NEC. She said that she wasn't an inspector
and didn't know. None of the inspectors had the time to speak with me
and I was not given the option to hold. I left a voice mail and will
let you know what the inspector says when (if) he calls back.
Hope this helps,
Goog going; anxious to hear back! I wonder if "attic"
in a place like Mn means something different than it
means to the rest of us? Either that or some
clarification of the statement is missing. It just
isn't reasonble as it is.
I've seen local guys come up with some real BS stuff on their own
before. Someone I knew was putting a hot tub on their outside deck.
The electrician went to get a permit to run the wiring. The building
inspector hands him a list of their requirements, some of which came
from BOCA proposals, that were not even adopted. The classic was that
the spa must have a cover capable of supporting two adults for a
rescue. Now that surely ranks as dumber than no junction boxes in an
attic. I mean, do these guys even know what a hot tub/spa is? I've
seen a lot of them, even large ones at hotels, and have yet to see one
where having a cover that would support two people would be in any way
relevant to rescuing anyone from a spa.
I had not heard back from the city so I called them up again. "All
lines were busy." I waited on hold for about 4 minutes and spoke to
the operator. She wanted to know which electrical inspector I wanted
to speak with and I told her that any of them would do. Then she asked
me what region of Bloomington it concerned and I said all of them. She
then asked me where the property was located and I said that my
question concerned a "Circuits and Wiring Information Sheet" and not a
particular property. She seemed perturbed by my insistence that any
electrical inspector would do but eventually she gave up and said that
she would put me into someone's voicemail. At this point I was
disconnected. I guess it is not too late to hear back today from my
call placed Friday so I'll hold off until tomorrow before calling them
Hope this helps,
I called back and spoke with the operator Julie. I asked to speak with
an inspector. She told me that they were all out on inspections but
that I could leave a message. I told her that my message from 6 days
ago had not yet been returned and she said that I might be able to
catch them between 3-4 pm today. I thanked her and then left a message
in "Rick's voicemail" for him to call me back.
Will keep you posted,
Sounds like his gal friday runs a lot of interference
for him. No well known name, no interest. Just a
homeowner? Nahh, don' wurry 'bout him!"
You should tell them you're making this info available
to millions of people on the internet next time.
Called at 8:14 EST hoping to reach an inspector before they left for
the day and reached a message which says that the offices are open
starting at 8:00 (they are in a different time zone than me). "There
is no operator assistance at this time." If I am having an emergency I
can dial 911.
I called back at 9:54 am and was told that they were all out doing
inspections. "They should be in around noon or so." I was again
transferred to Rick Butterfields voicemail. I left him a message to
call me back and gave him both my numbers.
Hope this helps,
Called back in the hopes of reaching an inspector. 11:15 am "All lines
that you are trying to reach at this time are busy. Please remain on
the line and your call will be answered in the order in which it was
received." ... 11:20 am Spoke with the operator. Left a message with
Rick again. I left two numbers. I specifically asked him to leave a
message if for some reason I did not answer (might already be on the
Hope this helps,
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