I've got a situation in which I need to use a J-box to extend an existing run. Unfortunately, the box will be placed in a location where, for aesthetic reasons, I'd prefer not to install an access panel. I thought I could install a light to circumvent this problem, but the boxes that come with small recessed halogen fixtures (my preference in this case) are too small to accommodate 3 12/2 conductors (power in, 1 beginning of the run switch, power out). Would it be code to install a j-box on the joist next to fixture such that access to the box is via the fixture hole in the drywall ceiling?
The fixtures with the mounting bars on them will usually come out too after loosening several screws inside the can. Many will say that a 'floating box' that can be pulled down out of the ceiling through the hole will be acceptable. It would be best if you can relocate the splice to a more accessible area if possible.
#76750 - 03/22/0107:31 PMRe: how accessible is accessible?
In my opinion, the floating junction box would be a violation of 370-23. I don't see anything in this article that would allow the box to be supported by cable. This is the same article that bans homemade extension cords that use (un)handy boxes or 4x4 boxes or just about any other common box with a receptacle installed in them.
Before the days of the inexpensive circuit tracer, a customer paid me about $200 to find a loose connection in one of these boxes. I admit I'm slow on the uptake sometimes, but it took awhile for me to understand that someone would perpetrate such a dastardly deed.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
#76752 - 03/23/0104:50 PMRe: how accessible is accessible?
I don't recommend this as I think it is questionable also. In a previous discussion, at another BB I was asking about preferred ways of dealing with New Ceiling fixtures and older wiring types. (I think Sparky may have seen it too) I was told by several Inspectors that it was acceptable to use a 'Floater' Box to splice a short length of newer 90C wire and push it up in the ceiling. I don't see this as being much different, except that it may be easier to avoid and if it is not wiring associated with the fixture it could be a real pain to find.