I have an existing ceiling junction box feeding a ceiling fan (with lights) that I'm replacing with a flush mount ceiling fan (no lights) and plan to add four recessed lights controlled by a separate switch. The ceiling junction box currently has four 14/2 cables in it. (One feeding power in, two taking power to ceiling junction boxes in adjacent rooms and one is the switch loop for the fan.)

I need to add a cable for another switch for the recessed lights so rather than cram a 5th cable in an already crowded box I was planning on installing an attic accessible junction box on the joist next to the existing box. I'd move all the connections to this box (Power in, two cables feeding other boxes, new cable to the fan/recessed light switches.)

Assuming I use appropriate boxes, connectors, grounding, etc., are there any obvious flaws / concerns with this approach?

2 Answers 2


Assuming your attic is accessible via a persistent access panel, that's fine. There's no difference between that and, say, having a light and switch up there. Just be sure to run the cables in such a way that they aren't prone to damage from foot traffic, and fasten (staple) to code (generally every four feet and within 12" of boxes).

That said, if your box is standard round and 2-1/8" deep you can have five cables coming in. You'd be at max with ten #14 wires, but with a little planning and careful laying-in it would fit.

  • I would use a standard 4-0 box metal with cover and how many clamps you need (most common box comes in different depths but usually cheapest) make sure to run the outer covering on the wire 1/4” inside the clamps , bond your grounds to the box a pig tail here is fine. 3 cables of 14-2 box fill will be 6 conductors 1 ground 1 clamp or 8x2cu inch 16 cu inch total and that is about any 4-0 box you can find 4x1-1/4 = 18 cu inch.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 4, 2021 at 21:51

Considering the work you'll go to in moving all those cables to a new box -- what about replacing the existing junction box with a larger one (or combination thereof)?

For example (image credit to Hubbell): a 4" square box

4" square box

with an extension ring stacked on it if more cubic inches are wanted:

extension ring

and topped with a mud ring to fit the existing hole in the drywall ceiling.

mud ring

  • Note that this may require mounting the fan to joists instead of the box Jan 4, 2021 at 23:57

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