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Homeowners Ask: Are Junction Boxes Necessary?
Many homeowners want to learn the nuts and bolts of how their houses and the systems within are put together. Some folks are avid DIYers and like to tackle many projects themselves; others simply want to know what warning signs to look for and how to assess the safety and quality of workmanship. When it comes to a home's electrical system, junction boxes play a role that every good homeowner should understand.
Why are Junction Boxes Important?
In a word, Safety. Junction boxes enclose electrical wire connections to protect them from the environment and protect people and animals from the electrical connection. A junction box should always surround the spot where wires join together, and it should always be covered. Junction boxes aren’t just a good idea; electrical building codes require them.
How Many Junction Boxes Do I Need?
Wherever you have an electrical connection, that connection needs to be enclosed and protected. Anywhere you have wires spliced together, you need a junction box. Building codes require this protection because contact between wires can cause a spark. That's dangerous. So, yes, even when you twist the wires together tightly and put on the plastic cap, and then follow up with tightly wrapped electrical tape, the bundle still needs to be enclosed in a box.
Does a Junction Box Need to Be Covered?
Yes. The box must fully enclose all the connection parts, including the wire nuts (plastic caps) and the electrical tape. The junction box will have a cover, generally a flat panel. The circuit device covers the electrical boxes installed with switches and receptacles.
Why You Need an Electrician for Your Junction Box Issues
While installing a junction box itself is just a matter of a couple of screws into an inconspicuous area, it’s still a good idea to contact a professional electrical service when an issue with a junction box is identified.
Electrical wiring needs to be protected from the environment, just as much as people and pets need protection from electrical wiring. For example, if spliced wiring is left exposed, the tape can start to deteriorate, potentially exposing the live connection. In addition, the extra clutter of the wire nuts and tape and a connection left dangling are sure to draw any mice or other chewing critters that may have access.
As professional electricians, we believe in high-quality work accomplished with every safety standard either met or exceeded. Unfortunately, sometimes electrical work done in homes and buildings doesn’t meet those standards. Wiring repairs may have been made by a previous owner, or perhaps even by you, without a full understanding of building codes and things like junction boxes.
When a qualified electrician comes to check out your junction box, especially if you’ve had an outlet or a switch with problems, they will ensure everything is properly installed and secured. All building and safety codes will be met or exceeded. You also deserve to have a professional team you can count on to do the job right while providing excellent customer service.
Wilcox Electric has provided premium electrical services in the D.C. Metro area since 1989. Our team is highly trained and will treat you and your home right. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to make sure your junction boxes are safe and legal.