HELP! What is this wired box in my bathroom?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by danjwhitehead, May 18, 2016.

  1. danjwhitehead

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 18, 2016
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    Hi,

    We want to remove this wire and terminal in our bathroom - but we have no idea what it is!

    See the photos attached. It is screwed into a wall mounted bathroom cabinet - but isn't wired into anything at all and doesn't serve a purpose from what I can see.

    Does anyone know if we can safely remove it / what it is?
     
  2. kubeek

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    looks like a connection point for a lamp or something you would attach.
     
  3. gerty

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    Aug 30, 2007
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    If you have a volt meter check for voltage across the 3 wires, meter set on "ac volts". Don't touch the wires until you've verified they are dead. Let us know what you find.
     
  4. DGElder

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    Apr 3, 2016
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    It is a mains junction box - not being used. But still could be live! It won't hurt anything if you remove it, if done properly. Your lights aren't going to go out or something like that. The question is where do those wires lead, they could be going to a switch, a light fixture or another junction box in the wall somewhere. In the mean time you need to keep that cover on it to avoid risk of shock or shorts.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  5. Alec_t

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    The cable running to that mains junction box may still be LIVE. Take extra care when measuring. Judging by the way the cable appears to emerge from a crude hole in the wall, it may be illegally wired, perhaps off the back of a power socket in the adjoining room. Get a competent person to disconnect it.
     
  6. wayneh

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    Sep 9, 2010
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    In a bathroom, that's almost certainly a code violation. It doesn't look like it can reach water, but it might be in reach of someone standing in the tub for instance.

    You might be able to find the other end of that Romex cable in a nearby switch box or outlet box. If you can, you could then disconnect it there and pull the entire Romex out through the hole in the wall. Worst case, you could remove that box, cut off the uninsulated ends of the wires, and then terminate each wire end with a wire nut and wrap with electrical tape. Stuff the whole thing into the wall and spackle over the hole. I'm not sure I'd feel right about doing that, but it's a viable last resort.
     
  7. #12

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    Nov 30, 2010
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    I don't know what it is, but the wire in it isn't going anywhere. Could it be a smoke alarm? If the cover doesn't have any gizmos in it, I would trace that wire back to where it came from, disconnect it, and put the cover plate back on. Failing that, put the end of the wire in a UL approved metal box, wire nut the ends, and shove the cable and box back into the wall. Apply drywall patch as necessary.
     
  8. mcgyvr

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    #12 likes this.
  9. kubeek

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  10. #12

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    If it's already a legal junction box, shove it back in the wall and plaster over the hole.
     
    ErnieM likes this.
  11. GopherT

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  12. mcgyvr

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    err.uumm that would be a code violation if you bury a junction box behind drywall..
     
  13. #12

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    I know it would be illegal if it was actually junctioning anything, but this is just a termination.
    I don't actually know if you're correct. It just seems that a box that goes nowhere is disposable, ignorable, expendable. Nobody will ever need to get into it to inspect or service the connections that don't exist. Logically, it's useless. Legally, I'm not sure.

    @mcgyvr
    Can you even vaguely remember the code section which says you can't bury an unused electrical box? Probably not, because the code doesn't consider how to properly install a junction box that doesn't serve any load. If you can give a fair guess, I can try to look it up. I have the book.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  14. GopherT

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    NEC 314.19 Junction boxes shall be installed so that the wiring contained in them can be rendered accessible without removing any part of the building.

    "Accessible" as defined in the NEC NFPA 70-2005, Chapter 1, section 100
    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.
    This is as opposed to "Readily accessible":
    Quote:
    Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being
    reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections
    without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite
    to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable
    ladders, and so forth.
    The standard for junction boxes is "Accessible".
     
  15. tracecom

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    Apr 16, 2010
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    Is there a hole in the top of the cabinet where a wire might have passed through from the junction box? If so, there may have been a light or an outlet inside the cabinet.
     
  16. #12

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    Now, to find the definition of, "junction box".
    A box which actually contains junctions?:D
     
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  17. GopherT

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    Thanks, made me laugh.
     
    #12 likes this.
  18. Alec_t

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    The wire colours in the junction box (which it definitely is) are red and black. Those are the colours used in the UK for Live and Neutral, respectively, prior to 2006.
     
  19. wayneh

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    We're thinking alike on this one. I'd declare it NOT a junction box, since there are no junctions, and bury it. Actually I'd try to pull the whole thing out first and only bury it (or leave it alone) as a last resort.
     
    #12 likes this.
  20. mcgyvr

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    Even though the OP states nothing is connected to it they also didn't state if the wire is still live...
    IMO...
    Unless that wire is disconnected from the "source" end its still considered a junction box... (inspector may put it under a "future use" case if they wanted)..
    But yes.. Its a very..very gray area as the NEC has very little to say about abandoned cabling unless its communication cables (which must be removed)

    I'm not familiar with the equivalent NEC codes in the EU though.. And those rules may include wording that relates to this case.. So I really can't comment one way or other other as they aren't from the US
     
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