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#83214 - 01/21/03 09:23 PM Insulation over jbox
bobp Offline
Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 73
Loc: Puyallup, WA, USA
There is an interpretation by the WA L&I that is going to prohibit covering of boxes in attics with insulation. Their reasoning is that if you must move insulation, then the box is not accessible. Anybody have any ideas on how the installations are going to be done to meet this requirement and to keep the insulators from burying the boxes? Put shields around it, put 'em on stands? What's that gator guy from Australia say? Cripey!!
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#83215 - 01/22/03 04:08 AM Re: Insulation over jbox
Redsy Offline
Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
Is this a formal, local amendment, or simply an interpretation? If it is an interpretation, I would think that substantiation should be provided.
Article 314.29 of the 2002 NEC requires only that boxes be installed so that the wiring can be rendered "accessible".
Article 100 defines "Accesible" as "Capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish or not permanently closed in by the structure or finish of the building".
I can't see insulation rendering a box "inaccessible"

[This message has been edited by Redsy (edited 01-22-2003).]
#83216 - 01/22/03 06:44 AM Re: Insulation over jbox
bobp Offline
Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 73
Loc: Puyallup, WA, USA
It's being incorporated as a rule of law in the Wa Administrative Code. Still haven't figured out why.
#83217 - 01/22/03 07:03 AM Re: Insulation over jbox
ThinkGood Offline
Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI

How specific are they? Blown-in, fiber glass batts, foam board, etc.?

I can see where rigid foam board would present a problem, in that one would have to cut into it. Blown-in would be a matter of pushing the stuff aside. Batts would have to be cut as well.

I guess he electricians will have to have a working relationship with the insulation people. That is, after you finish dealing with the sheet rock installers and the painters, etc.

SHOULD a junction box be covered with insulation, anyhow? Is heat a factor?
#83218 - 01/22/03 07:29 AM Re: Insulation over jbox
ElectricAL Offline
Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 615
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA
I just remodeled a kitchen that was originally wired in the early '60s. Single story ranch style single family. The wiring I was modifying was mostly FMC. The original installers had used numerous junction boxes in the attic above the kitchen ceiling. All the boxes were on top of the ceiling 2x8 joists and mostly kept close to the rafters (to keep the center clear).

Then in the early '90s the house was given 20 inches more insulation. I had to tunnel through three feet of insulation to search for the suspected boxes !!!

On the other side: If a j-box under insulation is inaccessible, is the outlet box that a luminaire is mounted over, that requires tools to get at, accessible?

Al Hildenbrand
#83219 - 01/22/03 07:36 AM Re: Insulation over jbox
bobp Offline
Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 73
Loc: Puyallup, WA, USA
The proposed change to WAC 296-46B-314(2) includes "Conduit bodies, junction, pull and outlet boxes" and you will "Have to elevate to be visible" without moving the insulation. This includes luminaire boxes and doesn't differentiate between batt and blown insulation. Ain't this one gonna' be fun. Also, from what I can find, it has been accepted.

#83220 - 01/22/03 09:09 AM Re: Insulation over jbox
Mike Wescoatt Offline
Registered: 06/17/01
Posts: 164
Loc: Cedar City, Utah
What about using those small flags like the lawn sprinkler guys use? Or maybe the flexible survey stakes that are planted when the grade work is done?
"Before I do any work I'll need a stamped surveyors map of the boxes up there..."
Really, would a small flag stapled to the rafter right next to the box satisfy them, or can you help them reconsider their rule?
Mike Wescoatt
#83221 - 01/22/03 10:54 AM Re: Insulation over jbox
Big A Offline
Registered: 01/22/03
Posts: 47
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
Hello All,

I have been lurking in the shadows for awhile and decided to log in. Love this site.


What really irks me about this decision is the fact that they will only pick on this point until it is brought to their attention that there are dozens of other places where "accesible" boxes are a whole lot harder to get to than these. How about the hundreds that are in the ceilings of countless supermarkets and office buildings? Or how about the ones in the ceilings of high bay factories 20' off the ground?
It sounds to me like somebody decided to open a can of worms before they really thought about it. JMHO

[This message has been edited by Big A (edited 01-22-2003).]
#83222 - 01/22/03 11:21 AM Re: Insulation over jbox
bobp Offline
Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 73
Loc: Puyallup, WA, USA
Hey Guys,

I'm with you, this is ludicrous. I found out about it a week or so ago and it's to late.
As for the flag, the change says they will have to be raised above the insulation.

#83223 - 01/22/03 02:45 PM Re: Insulation over jbox
txsparky Offline
Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 578
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
This includes luminaire boxes

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