I have a customer wanting me to drywall the basement ceiling which has junction boxes... I can not drywall over junction boxes correct? And should recommend she has a drop ceiling put in?

  • 1
    How far are the boxes set back from where the face of the drywall will be, and what size/shape/material are they? Aug 23 '18 at 3:38
  • They are level with the rafter now I'll be adding 2x4 runners to come below some plumbing lines then drywall Aug 23 '18 at 3:41
  • Round metal box Aug 23 '18 at 3:41
  • How thick is the drywall, and are these runners on edge, or on the flat? Aug 23 '18 at 3:41
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    I've seen drop ceiling with drywall boxed around ductwork, and that can look just fine. I've seen drop ceiling with ceiling tiles boxing (vertical sides and underneath) around ductwork and that is ugly. Aug 23 '18 at 3:58

You are correct, the junction boxes must remain accessible. The NEC 314.29 prohibits covering up boxes such that you'd need to remove "part of the building" to access the wires inside. The drywall is considered "part of the building."

You can move or extend them so the boxes are flush with the drywall when you're finished, so you can access the wiring by removing the cover.

With a drop ceiling, opening a ceiling tile for access is not considered "removing" part of the building, so you can have junction boxes above the drop ceiling.

314.29 Boxes, Conduit Bodies, and Handhole Enclosures to Be Accessible.

Boxes, conduit bodies, and handhole enclosures shall be installed so that the wiring contained in them can be rendered accessible without removing any part of the building or, in underground circuits, without excavating sidewalks, paving, earth, or other substance that is to be used to establish the finished grade

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