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#88924 - 08/14/04 07:31 PM Accessibility Question
Pete Magsig Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Hello,

In 314.29, it states that boxes need to "be rendered accessible without removing any part of the building..."

In the definition of "Accessible (as applied to wiring methods)" it says "Capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish..."

What if I have an attic room with a storage closet, the floor of which is some 1x6's deck-screwed into the joists? Can I have J-boxes under those floorboards?

I can remove the floorboards fairly handily with a screwdriver, but does this constitute "accessible"?

How about if the floor boards aren't screwed down, and have finger-pulls in them?
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#88925 - 08/15/04 07:15 AM Re: Accessibility Question
Roger Offline
Member
Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1716
Loc: N.C.
Welcome to the forum Pete. Screws do not render an area or box inaccessible. Many commercial type access panels are held shut with screws.

As a matter of fact, the access into my attic requires a phillips head screwdriver to open.

Roger
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#88926 - 08/15/04 11:31 AM Re: Accessibility Question
PCBelarge Offline
Member
Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 681
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
Roger
I am going to respectfully disagree with part of your statement... this should be interesting

If the floor boards are screwed down, I would consider that inaccessible as per
Art 100.
I see the screws to an access door as different than the screws in say, sheetrock or the flooring.
By backing the screws out from the access door, the door is opened. Backing the screws from the flooring or sheetrock (I know you did not mention sheetrock, I am just trying to impress a point), that is removing part of the building finish.

Pierre
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#88927 - 08/15/04 01:55 PM Re: Accessibility Question
Zapped Offline
Member
Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 482
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
I have to agree with PCBelarge on this one.

Two things you must consider:

1. Someone other than yourself will likely be looking for this box someday. Having suffered (too many times to count) through trying to find a box hidden the way you describe, I would hate to be the guy searching for this one.

2. What makes LOGICAL sense will not always pass inspection. Technically, I think I would have a real hard time convincing any inspector that I've ever dealt with that this could be defined as "accessible".

An attic access door with a screw latch is considerablly more obvious than one of several floorboards.

My opinion: don't do it!
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#88928 - 08/15/04 02:15 PM Re: Accessibility Question
iwire Offline
Moderator
Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4391
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
I doubt I could sell this to an inspector around here and I doubt I would try. (Never say never. )

But I think Roger makes a good point.

Pierre
Quote:
Backing the screws from the flooring ....., that is removing part of the building finish


There is nothing in the definition of accessible that says we can not remove the buildings finish only that we can not damage the building finish.

Quote:
Accessible (as applied to wiring methods). 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.


We remove the buildings finish every time we lift a ceiling tile out of a suspended ceiling.

Interesting topic for sure, how about the access for hot tubs that is usually a building finish that needs to be unscrewed?

Bob
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Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
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#88929 - 08/15/04 03:25 PM Re: Accessibility Question
Roger Offline
Member
Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1716
Loc: N.C.
Hello Pierre,
Quote:
this should be interesting
LOL.

My point is as Bob said,
Quote:
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.


Here is my attic access
notice the sheetrock screws that are through the sheetrock and into the joist and must be removed to allow entrance, would this be different than a floor board screwed into a floor joist?

I know there are only two screws, but would four, six, or eight make any difference if removing them caused no damage to the building?

IMO a screw that is accessible in itself is a removable fastner.

Roger



[This message has been edited by Roger (edited 08-15-2004).]
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#88930 - 08/15/04 03:42 PM Re: Accessibility Question
PCBelarge Offline
Member
Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 681
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
I knew this might get interesting - it is better to use more than one head to try and figure some of this stuff out.

Access doors, such as Roger has mentioned, and any other access door are designed and installed for the purpose.

My next question is; Would you consider flooring that is screwed down, with a junction box under that flooring to fulfill the requirement of the junction box being accessible? Or sheetrock that is screwed in place covering a jbox to also fulfil the same requirement.

The access doors give us a hint something may be behind it, the flooring and wall covering leaves us no clue.

Pierre


[This message has been edited by PCBelarge (edited 08-15-2004).]
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#88931 - 08/15/04 06:48 PM Re: Accessibility Question
wa2ise Offline
Member
Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 782
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
Quote:
If the floor boards are screwed down, I would consider that inaccessible as per
Art 100.


The floor boards in my mom's house are screwed down. How would you know where the box is hidden under them, or to even think that that was done? Also a subsequent owner may install carpeting or parquet flooring or such over the existing floorboards. Now the box is really not accessable. Maybe you should mount the boxes in holes in the floor boards with appropriate covers.
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#88932 - 08/15/04 07:22 PM Re: Accessibility Question
Pete Magsig Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI, United States
How about if the floor boards were labelled in some permanent way?

I tend to agree with Pierre that an access panel looks like an access panel, whereas floorboards are pretty much just floorboards. One option, I suppose, would be to build a trap door into the floor.

I also agree with 'Zapped' - the last thing I want to have happen is someone in the future trying to guess where things are. [I've done a heck of a lot of hard work figuring out what's been done to this house in the past: wiring the garbage disposal into an ungrounded light socket? Yikes!]

Any other opinions or suggestions?
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#88933 - 08/16/04 12:08 AM Re: Accessibility Question
e57 Offline
Member
Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2876
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
I originally avoided this.... (after arguing about "accessible" behind a stove)

If it were an obvious access panel... Yeah! But floor boards, no... You'd never find it, if you were not the guy who installed it. And, in a floor, are you going to be responcable for someone putting a foot in it? Say the 400lbs woman standing on one high heeled shoe. Looks like a fine tailored (out-of-style)law-suit....
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"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
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