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#82661 - 12/07/02 12:02 PM Is this a code violation  
cougarweeds  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3
Charlotte, NC
I am in North Carolina and just completed my 1 year walk through with my builder for items to repair. I have outside spot lights (plastic fixture that holds 2 flood lamps) on two corners of my house. I took one down to put up a motion sensor and discovered that there was no box behind the fixture. The electrical wire was pulled through the vinyl soffet and the light was held in place by a sheet metal screw in the metal edging that holds up the soffet. My builder has told me that this light fixture does not require a junction box because it is considered a "pancake box." My concern is that the wire connections are up against the vinyl soffet and metal edging and I thought that all connections were supposed to be contained. If this is a violation and my builder is lying, who do I contact to correct the problem. Thanks!


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#82662 - 12/07/02 12:30 PM Re: Is this a code violation  
spyder  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 210
Massachusetts
Sounds like a violation to me the way you describe it.


#82663 - 12/07/02 12:50 PM Re: Is this a code violation  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878
NY, USA
Cougar,

It should have a box behind it. Here is a "Pancake Box" it is usually 3-1/2 or 4 inches round and 1/2" deep. There may be other depths but you get the idea. It may also have built-in clamps for NM Cable.

[Linked Image]

Bill


#82664 - 12/07/02 01:52 PM Re: Is this a code violation  
CTwireman  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
Sounds like you are being lied to. The builder's electrician would be responsible for correcting this problem.

I would also inform the local electrical inspector so they can be on the lookout for these shoddy practices in the future (if inspections actually exsist in your area.)


Peter

#82665 - 12/07/02 04:04 PM Re: Is this a code violation  
Bjarney  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Not too pick nits too much—but is Bill A's illustrated pancake box suitable for damp or wet locations? Should that be an issue here? Where do you draw the line?


#82666 - 12/07/02 04:18 PM Re: Is this a code violation  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878
NY, USA
Bjarney,

Good question,
This is commonly used though (made of plastic too). If you think of it as being recessed into the building finish would that make a difference? Fixtures installed in wet locations must be "installed so that water cannot enter or accumulate in wiring compartments ..." (410.4(A)) This is usually done by caulking or ducseal. Doesn't this mean that the box itself effectively out of a wet location when used on a wall outside? And if the Fixture is sealed in this manner it should also cover requirements for Boxes installed in Damp or Wet locations as per 314.15(A)

In our specific case here I read it as being under a soffit and therefore not a wet location as per Article 100 Definition. " .. unprotected locations exposed to the weather" I don't see any requirement for Boxes to be listed for Damp locations.

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Addiss (edited 12-07-2002).]


#82667 - 12/07/02 08:19 PM Re: Is this a code violation  
cougarweeds  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3
Charlotte, NC
Thanks for your help. I will call the county inspector on Monday. The Pancake box pictured should be mounted on the structure of the house, correct? When I removed the middle screw of the light fixture and pulled it down there is just the the wires with nothing behind them but soffet.


#82668 - 12/07/02 08:24 PM Re: Is this a code violation  
CTwireman  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
The pancake box could be used to mount the light fixture, but it would be much easier to use a surface mount 4" round weatherproof box. They cost around $5.

Again, the electrician that did the original installation should pay to have this fixed, not you.


Peter

#82669 - 12/07/02 08:37 PM Re: Is this a code violation  
sparky  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,308
like these CT ?

[Linked Image]


#82670 - 12/07/02 09:14 PM Re: Is this a code violation  
Bjarney  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Thanks for your research and reply, Bill. {I wasn’t trying to pick a fight or anything.} I assume that their acceptable ‘track record’ for an outdoors ungasketed fixture is generally good, but in many commercial or industrial premises it may be considered much differently.


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