I'm replacing a couple switches in a bathroom with smart switches and ran into a problem. The previous owner redid the bathroom and the switch box in question had 5 Romex cables (four 12/2, one 12/3) going into it. Only one of them had any sheath past the integral clamps (my understanding is there should be a minimum of 0.25 inches). When removing the switch box to see why I couldn't get any slack, I found that the rest of them had between 2 and 5 inches unsheathed before the box.

Am I supposed to add a junction box above it in the wall to splice all of the cables to add new cable that is long enough, raise the switch box 6 inches, or something else?

Edit: pictures added for 1. Inside junction box 2. Small divot cut out to make finding sheaths easier 3. NM splice kit

  • Is there an attic or basement above/below the bathroom? You could pull the cables back and splice them, make sure the junction box is accessible.
    – beswald
    Jan 14, 2020 at 20:31
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    Remember that if you add a junction box, it needs to be accessible. It cannot be buried behind drywall, for instance.
    – SteveSh
    Jan 14, 2020 at 20:32
  • @beswald, there may be some room up there but a bunch of shelves were put in to the wall blocking the only entrance to the attic that I can find. Jan 14, 2020 at 20:50
  • @SteveSh, thanks for the reminder. I've used a Tyco NM splice kit before since I know they are made to be used outside of a junction box. I was just hoping there would be a better way than using 5 of them to get so little extra distance. Jan 14, 2020 at 20:56
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    NM splice for 334.40(B) to replace romex after white wire snapped when fighting it ibb.co/r0H4JfM View of divot cut out to find where the sheath was for particularly bad ones ibb.co/XYn2Rdb Inside of box ibb.co/gtKjDJ1 Jan 15, 2020 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


I would get some white heat shrink slide it over the conductors and make sure it extends inside the box the 1/4” and at least it’s width past where the sheath was removed.

I have skinned the outer sheath several times in the past. The inspector only asked to verify if it was listed and then asked me to change from the black shrink tubing to match the color of the existing outer sheath. Way cheaper than tyco splices. My jurisdiction allows this others may not.

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    I have used shrink tube to splice on a section of jacket. You want the one with the adhesive inside, the regular heat shrink pulls off pretty easily. Jan 15, 2020 at 18:52
  • Yes the adhesive style also seals that’s why it needs to be slipped on its width past the point of damage or in this case removal.+
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 15, 2020 at 18:55

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