29 votes
Accepted

"Old Work" electrical box: should it be screwed into the stud?

Junction boxes are not to have additional holes drilled into them for securing them to studs. The box you have shown can be used and mounted fairly secure if you take the time to cut the opening as ...
  • 60.5k
24 votes
Accepted

Removing knockouts in old work metal boxes

A lot of handy boxes and old work "gem" boxes have knockouts that are made to knock from the outside in. This picture of a Steel City handy box shows it clearly If you have to remove these ...
24 votes
Accepted

Covering a former service panel turned junction box

Hang a nice picture over it. Easy. Cheap. No inspector can complain.
22 votes

Are these pigtails inside the panel and outside a junction box allowed?

Pigtails in a panel are fine... Wire-splicing and pigtailing within a loadcenter cabinet (panel enclosure) is expressly permitted by NEC 312.8(A), and is quite safe (provided the splices are made up ...
22 votes
Accepted

What is this "loose faceplate ring" and is it something that should be fixed?

If you feel behind where the "extra screwholes" are, there should be a metal strap with holes in it (that's connected to the metal ring, and will be folded into place behind the wall to hold ...
  • 146k
21 votes
Accepted

I need 30 amps in a single room to run vegetable grow lighting. How to accomplish?

Since you've got conduit, and since most lights are not designed to be directly on 30A circuits (normally in the US designed for 15A or 20A circuits), run two 15A or 20A circuits through that conduit ...
21 votes

What is this "loose faceplate ring" and is it something that should be fixed?

This is likely a low voltage mounting bracket kind of like this one: There are fewer codes to meet than actual mains electrical boxes, especially with regard to plugging in and unplugging things ...
19 votes
Accepted

What is this thing on my junction box?

This is easy What you have here is a low voltage (NEC Class 2) transformer that steps house voltage down to a safe voltage -- they're typically used to power doorbells or HVAC controls, but may be ...
19 votes
Accepted

Do the quick connectors in my new bathroom fan need to be in a junction box?

All connections must be in a junction box. They're mentioned several times in the instruction manual. Pull the wire through the hole and into the junction box (not included). Using a quick ...
  • 109k
18 votes
Accepted

Replacing an outdoor PVC junction box where it rains a lot

Wrong box. Bad installation. Why is the lid so warped? Far too much stuff was crammed into that box than was legal (cubic inch rules) or practical. So the installer just cranked down the lid screws ...
15 votes

"Old Work" electrical box: should it be screwed into the stud?

No, and you'll crack the box if you try. Plastic is not metal. Plastic boxes are flimsy things. They don't have any strength except where they have been gusseted specifically to have strength. This ...
14 votes

What is this thing on my junction box?

It is a transformer. It purpose is to reduce your house voltage to something lower, typically used for doorbells.
  • 10.9k
13 votes

How can I add a recepticle to this junction box full of push splices?

Good news and bad news. The good news is, this is very strightforward. This box is being used solely for distribution. There are no switches involved here, so you have the good luck that the wire ...
13 votes

What are the dangers of hidden boxes?

I have heard and even participated in lengthy debates on this subject. The code is very clear, and the difficulty in maintenance and troubleshooting is of course easy to see. Many of the arguments go ...
13 votes
Accepted

How to remove junction box that is nailed on?

The two items that you were thinking are nails are in fact almost 100% sure to be rivets. See yollow circles in the below picture. Picture Source These rivets secure some type of metal bracket to ...
  • 62k
13 votes

How do I fix an outlet where the junction box falls into the hole and the wires are too short?

Since you're apparently about to do some drywall repair anyway... Purchase a new "old work" box. You'll probably need a metal one to accept your armored cable termination. Carefully cut the ...
  • 109k
13 votes

Best way to cover exposed THHN cables where conduit has been pulled out

The conduit entering the box evidently needed, but someone thought it didn't need, an expansion fitting. They appear to have also skipped glue, as I don't see any remains of glue or broken conduit in ...
  • 146k
12 votes
Accepted

In a multi-gang box, are neutral wires paired with specific hot wires?

This is a single circuit, and the neutral is common to all branches of this circuit. In this case, all neutral wires in this box must be connected together. Similarly (and this is regardless of ...
  • 28.4k
12 votes
Accepted

Outlet screwed directly into stud

It looks like you are up against a corner on the left, which means you can't simply shift the outlet into the box location. In a perfect world you have enough cable to move the box to the other side ...
  • 109k
12 votes

How can I fix the mounting of these outlets in this box that is taller than the outlet?

All your listed options will work. Folded edge covers always fit a bit wonky, unfortunately they don't make a crushed corner version for 4-11/16" boxes Gap between faceplate and mud ring that ...
12 votes

How do I remove this connector from a solid electrical wire?

These don't get "removed", they get cut off. Snip the copper solid wire at the end of those connectors, strip off the insulation and then use wire nuts or some other approved connector to ...
  • 60.5k
12 votes
Accepted

Properly grounding junction box for conduit transition

NM wires are "mystery meat" The UL specification for NM cable does not require the wires to be THHN, or marked with their insulation type for that matter. As a result, you can't just "...
12 votes
Accepted

How should I repair a nicked wire in a junction box?

If just the insulation damaged and not the wire, tape and/or heat shrink tubing will work. If the copper wire is damaged, usually better to cut it back to good wire. Nicks in the wire could cause it ...
  • 11.4k
12 votes
Accepted

How do I fix an outlet where the junction box falls into the hole and the wires are too short?

It appears the hole is to big to use a re-work box. I don't know your skills or resources however I would suggest removing some drywall and moving it to a stud. While you have it open you might ...
  • 4,083
11 votes

Can I wire this light fixture set with the plate mounted directly to the stud?

As Jack noted, you really really need a junction box here. As mounted, the wires could rub against the metal plate. A pancake might be overkill, though (and you do need a NM clamp for those). I would ...
  • 21k
11 votes

Outlet screwed directly into stud

Use a surface mount electrical box:
11 votes

Do my junction boxes need to be behind a backsplash or flush with it?

NEC 314.20 says that the box must be set back no more than 1/4" from the surface of non-combustible material 314.20 Flush-Mounted Installations. Installations within or behind a surface of ...
  • 21k
11 votes
Accepted

Are there any locations for electrical boxes relative to drywall seams that cause trouble for drywalling?

For the vertical seam, this is indeed common. To prevent crumbling at the edge, you can install the drywall then cut out the box hole. Place the drywall against the studs, apply screws without ...
  • 11k
11 votes

What is this "loose faceplate ring" and is it something that should be fixed?

Actual boxes are not required for low voltage wiring and both cable service coax and Cat-5/6/7 qualify as low voltage. The “ring” is a perfectly normal low-voltage plate. If it is loose, adding screws ...
  • 9,352
11 votes
Accepted

Can I connect 2 metal boxes to give me required box space?

(2) What kind of connector do I use between the two boxes? I think I need to have a little bit of distance between the two boxes -- like maybe a half inch or so -- to make sure the mud rings fit ...

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible