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I need to move an electrical outlet to the next stud over. There's almost enough slack in the wire to pull that off, but not quite. If I install the junction box as is, the outlet will be almost to knee height. But if I pigtail it inside the box, I can bring the outlet down closer to standard install height, not not quite.

So here's my question, is there a junction box that's extra tall? One that would allow me to pigtail inside the box but install the outlet closer to standard install height.

I've seen junction boxes that have "behind the wall storage" to the side of the junction box like in the picture below, but does the same thing (or similar) exist for top down (or bottom up) wiring like I'm describing?

enter image description here

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    Any chance of just using a longer cable, instead of a too short one?
    – crip659
    Mar 17 at 18:03

3 Answers 3

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Key question: Why are you moving the receptacle?

If you are moving it because the old location will be permanently covered, e.g., by a kitchen cabinet, then you have to deal with the various ways of making it work without using the old junction box.

On the other hand, if you really are adding a new receptacle and there is nothing wrong with the old location, except ease of use, then use the old junction box to add a new cable. The old junction box will need to remain accessible. It can be blocked by movable furniture but not by permanent cabinets or covered in drywall, etc.

In fact, nobody ever complained about too many receptacles. So unless there is a real safety reason (hard to imagine, but you never know...), you can leave the receptacle in place and chain (pigtail or 2nd set of screws) a short cable from the existing junction box to the new receptacle/junction box.

I had a recent similar situation. I wanted to add a receptacle for phone chargers in a bedrroom, and the existing receptacle was barely in the right place on the wall horizontally but by moving it up a foot or so (non-standard, but who cares) it avoided any issue of bed location. I actually replaced the existing receptacle - it was old, wired incorrectly (hot/neutral reverse), grounded incorrectly (ground was functional but used a white wire to the box instead of green or bare), definitely a previous DIY set of mistakes (as I have found frequently in my house). Then I added a short 12/2 to the new receptacle higher up on the wall in a new metal box.

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NEC doesn't have a standard wall height, but it has other rules.

There is no such thing as a "standard" wall height. There's nothing wrong with knee height, and you'll appreciate the height when you get older and your back starts bothering you. But other rules do apply:

  • The cable in sheath must enter the box at least 1/4" past the cable clamp (intact sheath, not torn or split).
  • The wires must be at least 6" beyond the end of the sheath.
  • The wires must stick out of the hole at least 3" beyond the surface of the wall.
  • Extensions are allowed, but extension splices must be accessible - you can't use a funny box to place the splices somewhere no one will be able to get to it to inspect and rework.

In those boxes, those pouches are to satisfy cubic-inch requirements, not to accommodate impossible splices. (boxes must have 2.25 cubic inches per wire, with cable clamps counting as 1 wire, yokes counting as 2 wires each, grounds are 4 for the price of 1, and pigtails are free).

Code also has no position on whether yokes are oriented horizontally or vertically, so to answer your question about a vertical version of that box, tilt your head horizontal!

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  • Harper thanks, I completely understand now. In my case, I'm not adding a box but rather moving it and the slack is coming down from the attic. Thanks for the explanation re: the requirements for an extension. With that in mind, there's no sense in creating a splice because I'd be violating code, I'll just install the box higher than what is typically standard and stay safe.
    – rkb123
    Mar 17 at 18:58
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Where is this "slack" coming from? Wires need to extend 6 to 8" beyond the box for switches and outlets. If you can't pull in longer cable/wire, install a junction box where you can and splice more cable/wire in it and extend it to the new junction box and outlet. Put a blank cover on the splice box.

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  • Based on OPs comment the wire is coming from the attic. It' entirely possible to put a new box in the attic to make the splice there, then pull a whole new piece of cable down the wall so he can mount the outlet wherever he wants with plenty of cable to spare.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 18 at 12:26

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