Can an octagon fixture box that was also found to be a junction box, be closed and covered over in the ceiling after remodeling. Box not needed.

  • 1
    There's a huge difference between covering it (with a plate), and covering OVER it (with anything that makes it inaccessible).
    – Mazura
    Jul 18, 2019 at 22:05

5 Answers 5


Absolutely not. Any box containing splices or live wires, even if it's not being used, must remain accessible.

  • If live wires are running through the box without a spice, would that still require access?
    – Hank
    Oct 31, 2014 at 16:54
  • 2
    I've never seen a box with cables running through it without a splice... If so, you could carefully cut the box from around the cables, attach the cable to a joist and cover the hole, but this seems highly unlikely.
    – gbronner
    Oct 31, 2014 at 17:16
  • @gbronner, I was not referring to a cable passing thru unspliced. I meant a single cable that was live. Oct 31, 2014 at 21:17
  • 5
    @Henry Jackson, ANY box containing live wires must remain accessible. Oct 31, 2014 at 21:18

As long as there are no cables in it, you can rip it out or cover it. If there are cables in it, you can't.


You state that the "box is not needed"; I presume you mean not needed for the fixture but that the wire connections originally present still remain. If that is the case then you cannot bury it. An alternative, if there is access to the box from above via a crawlspace or attic, would be to replace or re-orient the box so that access is provided from above. Then you could cover the hole in the ceiling.

Depending on your local code, you may be able to use one of these new type splice units, and eliminate the junction box. These are available at home centers and electrical supply houses, one brand is Tyco. Ask for a in-wall romex splice kit.

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  • The fine print of the Tyco connectors say they are not approved for splicing sheathed NM wire manufactured prior to 1990. Not sure what that's about, but it's something to note.
    – scottbb
    Mar 24, 2022 at 22:46

I just was told by my inspector that if I use one of the in-wall romex splice kits I can drywall over it where I could not drywall over the metal j-box I had origonally put in. It's in a really poor place for a cover.


Listen to the first answer it is never permissible to cover(hide) a junction box behind anything. God Bless Big Jim

  • What exactly is meant by "hide". Covering junction boxes with drop ceilings is common and expected; could the same principle be applied elsewhere? For example, if a wall was finished with vertical wood planking, could one hinge a section of planking with a box behind it if one ensured that an electrician would be able to find and open it?
    – supercat
    Dec 16, 2014 at 22:31
  • @supercat, Yes, the method you mention would be acceptable. Also if said box in OP's scenario were reconfigured so the cover could be accessed from an accessible space above (e.g. attic) that is ok too. Dec 11, 2020 at 4:13

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