Can you have a junction box behind drywall?

Asked By: Mariya Hackett | Last Updated: 2nd March, 2020
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The National Electrical Code (NEC) dictates that no wiring splices are allowed outside of an approved enclosure. One type of approved enclosure is a junction box. Junction box covers must remain accessible; they cannot be covered with drywall or other surface material.

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Similarly one may ask, can a junction box be in a wall?

A junction box, also known as a splice or switch box, is an electrical enclosure inside your home that contains wiring. Electrical wires run behind the walls and through the ceiling of your home, meeting at junction boxes. It is a safety hazard to completely bury a junction box in a wall.

Secondly, can a junction box be inside a cabinet? Yes, it would be against code to have a cabinet cover the junction box. Anywhere you connect wires to wires, or wires to fixtures, the connection needs to be accessible. Since your cabinet would be permanently affixed to the wall and covering the junction box, it wouldn't be allowed.

Subsequently, one may also ask, are junction boxes illegal?

2 Answers. You cannot cover any junction box that still has live wires in it. Your best bet is to either remove the box all together or just put a cover plate on it. If there are live wires in the box, sooner or later you will need to get to the box again, which you can't do if you've covered it over!

Can you use a junction box to extend wiring?

If you do need to extend the wires, yes, a junction box would be needed. It must remain accessible. You've pretty well identified your two choices; if you don't want to re-run longer cables, you'll need to splice in some additional cable.

35 Related Question Answers Found

Why can't you cover a junction box?

Why You Need a Junction Box
The cables are secured to the box with cable clamps (or conduit connectors, if the circuit includes conduit), and the box must have a removable cover to create a complete enclosure. Junction box covers must remain accessible; they cannot be covered with drywall or other surface material.

Can you leave live wires in a wall?

You can simply use tape over the live wire to fit into the cap. However, it is important to terminate the wire in a junction box and avoid burying the wire in the wall. The tape may come off when temperatures change and potentially become dangerous.

Can you splice electrical wire in a wall?

Spliced wires are not to be held together with electrician's tape. Electrical wires are never left on their own in the wall cavity or ceiling. Instead, all splices must be contained within a junction box and the individual wires attached with wire nuts.

Should electrical boxes be flush with drywall?

The front edge of the box must be flush with the finished wall surface, usually 1/2-inch-thick drywall. You can use a scrap of drywall to position the box.

How many wires can go in a junction box?


In your case, you have 12 wires, plus 1 for grounds, , no devices, so you count it as 13 wires. The fill is then based on the size of the wires. For #14 wires, each counts as 2 cu in.

How do you bury electrical wires in the wall?

Wall chasing
Burying a cable in a wall is a traditional way to hide and protect the cable. Modern cables can be buried directly in plaster, or protected with capping before plastering. Before a cable can be buried however, a chase needs to be cut!

How do you find a hidden outlet?

How to Find Hidden Electrical Outlets
  1. Locate your breaker or fuse box to begin tracing wires.
  2. Connect the red wire from the tone generator to the red wire from your home electricity.
  3. Connect the black wire from the tone generator to the black wire in the house.
  4. Turn the tone switch on and move the hand-held tone generator across the wall.

How do I find my electrical box?

Check your garage for the circuit breaker or fuse box. It might also be in a storage room, the basement, or a hallway. If you can't find your box in one of these areas, look again or see if you can spot where the power connects to your house from outside. Check for your box in the surrounding areas.

Can you plaster over a junction box?

No, not if you are plastering over the junction box, this is not compliant to the wiring regulations as the cables are not identified in a permitted safe zone, so do not attempt to hide this termination.

Should I use plastic or metal electrical boxes?


Plastic boxes don't use metal cable clamps and do not provide the required grounding path. Metal electrical boxes are primarily used with metal-sheathed or "BX" wiring. However, they can also be used with Romex or NM wiring if desired. Most new residential electrical systems use Romex and plastic boxes.

How do you replace a junction box?

Follow the National Electrical Code (NEC) when replacing a junction box.
  1. Turn the main breaker off in the panel box or, if you know which circuit is in the junction box, turn off the breaker to the circuit.
  2. Remove the cover from the junction box you are replacing.
  3. Remove all of the wire nuts from all of the connections.

Do junction boxes need to be mounted?

Junction boxes, with blank covers are allowed above a suspended ceiling as it is not considered a closed space. The wires that are loose and wirenuted need to be put in a j-box. Also, clamps need to be used at each wire going into a j-box. Solid metal covers need to be installed on the boxes.

What is the purpose of a junction box?

What Junction Boxes Do. A junction box performs several essential functions: Encloses the wiring connections and protects them from physical damage. Provides a means for mounting the electrical device and securing the electrical cable(s) serving the device. Prevents accidental contact with live wires and terminals.

Can an electrical junction box be buried?

There is no such thing as a buried junction box (OK, people bury them all the time, but you're not supposed to). So, there is no legal way to splice a cable in a buried conduit run without bringing it to the surface in a handhole or box.

Do all light fixtures need a junction box?


Not all light fixtures require junction boxes because some have their own. When installing one of these fixtures, it's okay to feed the wire straight into the terminal box, make connections and screw the box closed. When feeding a cable into a fixture box, it's important to secure it with the clamp in the box.

Can you put a junction box in the attic?

Junction Boxes in Insulated Attics
In this case, the boxes will open into the attic; occasionally they're uncovered. Since insulation is combustible, you must install face plates on all attic junction boxes to prevent contact between bare wires and insulation materials.

Can you install an outlet in a cabinet?

Installing one in the wall of a cabinet is easier than cutting into a finished wall that requires patching and repainting. Electrical outlets for cabinets install in a single-gang tiger box -- also known as a remodeling box -- that doesn't require attachment to a stud.