covering a spot where a light was

abbey_cnyApril 7, 2010

I recently added/moved some outside lights around. There was a light over the middle of my garage door. I had that one removed and had two lights added, one on either side of the garage door. The electrician covered up the spot where the one light was originally with a metal plate. I am now getting ready to have my house resided. Is it permissable to cover that metal plate with a piece of siding? or do I have to leave that metal plate exposed? Looks rather ugly, especially when the new siding goes on, but I don't want to cover up something I shouldn't. Thanks for any info!


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If there is an electrical junction box with wire connections under the plate it must remain accessable.

If the metal plate only covers a hole in the wall without any wires under it, cover it with siding.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 2:50PM
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To cover over a junction box it must be decommissioned.

You are not required to remove the wires or box, just disconnect them from their feed point.

If there are live wires in the box it may not be buried.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 3:46PM
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thank you for the info. I do not believe there are live wires in the junction box but I will confirm that or have it decommissioned before the siding goes on.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 4:49PM
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In a worst case, if it is still a live box, you could always dress it up with a decorative cover or panel on top of the box cover plate. It has to remain accessible, but it doesn't have to just be the ugly, naked cover plate.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 7:49PM
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One more question regarding this....I did have the original light removed by an electrician, and the two new lights put on either side of the garage door by the same electrician. So would an electrician normally leave live wires in the wall like that? I will still have it checked because I am somewhat paranoid about electricity, but I am curious what the normal procedure would be when removing a light. And if there are live wires, they can be made not live? disconnected? whatever the term is? Thanks once again.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 12:25PM
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Depending on where the new lights are, he could have fed them from the box that had the original light, or he could have run new wiring to them and capped off the old wiring. I suspect he tapped into the wiring that was already in place. Nothing wrong with that as long as the box was left accessible, as it has been. In fact it's often not possible (nor is it code-required) to remove runs of live wire that are no longer used from a wall...they just have to have ends that are still terminated in junction boxes. It's standard practice, so don't be paranoid. If you take off the cover plate you will likely see wires with wire nuts on them, and they are probably essential to the functioning of your new lights.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 1:52PM
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If there are splices, perhaps the box could be changed around for access INSIDE the garage.
Since the house is being sided anyway, it doesn't really matter if you butcher the outside wall on this project.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 2:44PM
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thanks once again! very helpful info. I am guessing he would have fed the new lights from this location, but I will verify that and see if the junction box can be made accessible from inside the garage.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 5:45PM
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