We are designing circuit runs for a ground floor of a house flooded by a hurricane and it is best to use a few junction boxes to run the circuit branches. One reason for the junction boxes is to keep too many wires out of device boxes and to avoid very long runs that back track. The junction boxes are more efficient runs. Am I wrong to think of them this way? Furthermore, if the place floods again we want to have to replace only the wires up to a certain point. Some high up junction boxes will make it possible for us not to tear up the upper half the house all the way back to the breaker box to run all new wires. We will only have to do the lower half of the house up to some junction boxes. The house has no viable crawl space underneath the house for junction boxes, it is too wet and prone to salt water rising. The other option is to put junction boxes in a finished closet so that the face plate can be removed and the wire splices accessed. I know that switches and receptacles cannot be in a closet and some electricians think that junction boxes are okay in closets by NEC and it depends on local codes.

What is the NEC code for closets and junction boxes?

The other idea is simply to put the junction boxes right out in the open in the living room outside and above the closet then put a cabinet around them so the whole junction box is accessible in the cabinet but is not an eye sore in the living room. The cabinet door would open and there would be the junction boxes. Nothing else would go in the cabinet. The cabinet should be built to fit only the junction boxes so no one uses it for storage. There may only be one junction box in the end, but it needs a proper location.

  • There are no restriction (that I'm aware of) that disallow switches or receptacles in closets. Luminaires are allowed as well, but there are some restrictions in their placement.
    – Tester101
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


As far as I know junction boxes are ok for closets. Your local jurisdiction may have other ideas. Please consider consulting them.

Today's circuit panels are full of (expensive) AFCI breakers that will be damaged by flooding and running many wires can get expensive with current copper prices. Could you instead run a heavier gauge wire to a subpanel located above the water line and nearer to the loads, and branch out from there?

Also using junctions to "split" a circuit to go two directions should be used sparingly. Most electricians will expect wiring to "daisy chain" from point to point, junctions can make fault tracing much more difficult. Some jurisdictions require that the wire be unbroken from the panel to the first load.

  • I was wondering if I could just put the first receptacle outlet on the circuit up high on the wall-I have been told that the max height should not exceed 5.5 feet--I cannot find it in the NEC though. As long as the room has the proper amount of receptacles spaces at the 12 inch range height. This way if the beach house floods the wiring in the front of the house will only need new wire back to that high outlet and not all the way to the back of the house to the panel. Any code violations with this?
    – user11933
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 3:12
  • 2
    5.5 feet??? what about receptacles for garage door openers? I think you are finding a lot of false information on the internet. Never believe forums, unless they quote the code. If they can't quote code, they don't have the book and are likely getting their information from other forums.
    – Tester101
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 12:14
  • 3
    I found the 5 1/2 ft. reference in section III Required Outlets of Article 210 Branch Circuits, 210.52(4) Located more than 1.7 m (51⁄2 ft) above the floor. Which taken out of context, may lead you to believe that there is a 5.5 ft. height restriction on receptacles. If you read the actual text, you'll find that this is not true. The receptacles required by this section shall be in addition to any receptacle that is: (4) Located more than 1.7 m (51⁄2 ft) above the floor
    – Tester101
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 12:52

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