Multi-circuit splice aesthetic issue

kelanizAugust 5, 2010

Hi all.

Per Mom Orders, I recently removed an 6' wide dividing wall between her dining & living rooms. The late wall contained hardware for three circuits, and seemed to be the approx. midpoint for each. The issue I have is how to aesthetically splice two circuits that were on opposite sides of the wall (one switch, one outlet) and can't reach each other to be spliced in one 2-gang box:

Ckt #15 (removed receptacle)

LR receptacles, mid-run. Enters through corner stud 10" high. Exits through ceiling

Ckt #21 (removed light switch)

DR receptacles and utility light, mid-run. Enters through DR wall ~42" high, exits through ceiling.

All this occurs in the 2' wide stub wall where DR met LR. (LR is 2' wider than DR, so imagine that junction) I wanted to just splice both circuits in a nice 2-gang box with a nice blank cover. Unfortunately the previous homeowner was an idiot, so there's *zero* slack in one wire on both circuits; i.e. #15's ingress is only long enough to reach the removed receptacle, and #21's egress is only long enough to reach the removed light switch.

So, that means two splices and two boxes. However, since the wall is gone, that'd mean one blank plate at ~17" and another one above it at the odd height of 40", which is unacceptable to The Boss.

I can't just terminate the lines, because each is mid-run and services a half-dozen receptacles. Also, due to the hell that is loose-fill celluose in the attic and other impediments, it's not possible to replace the short leg from each circuit with a longer wire.

The only thing I could think of was to splice #21 at switch height, and run #15 through the floor and J-box it to a joist from the basement. It's my understanding that splices have to be accessible, and that would accomplish that.

But I thought I'd ask anyway; Is there a better solution? Lots of poring through NEC & NC's code reqs hasn't given me much help, so I'm left with little choice but to appeal to the old work masters here to share from their huge bags of tricks :)

Thanks in advance!

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basement is fine if possible. If there it attic, it is fair game as well, just place the box up high enough out of the insulation. If you just don't want to go up there, call any electrician and they won't have a choice but to do it for you at whatever their hourly rate is.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 11:31PM
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"If there it attic, it is fair game as well, just place the box up high enough out of the insulation. "

Insulation is not a 'finished surface' and the box is not required to be above the insulation.

It can be a PITA for a latter person to find the box though.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 11:01AM
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Yeah, I'm thinking basement will be the only way to go.

I'm nice, so I will mount the box above the insulation, just wanted to make sure there wasn't another option that I was unaware of, before going into that dismal attic hell. :)

Heh, speaking of PITAs, the 'Former' clearly did not consider me when doing his work. The problem with this attic is threefold and darn near diabolical:

Recent 94-100 degree temps + 80-100% humidity + broken attic fan (they were supposed to have fix before closing) = 110-154 degree daytime attic temps, and a brisk 90-108 at night.

~18" blown celluose insulation that's never been disturbed and has settled to become a highly immobile mass. I hate this stuff. It's like trying to find a needle outside after a blizzard, in low light andwearing a small oven, and while kicking through the resists-moving-snow to find the next 1 1/2" wide balance beam to perch on.

Almost as annoying, whoever did the electrical attached 14/2 on top of *every* joist or other potential stepping spot with uninsulated staples. (Is that even legal?) Seems like every place I kick insulation off in my search for places to stand, there's a wire.

I'm sure after the years, heat and traffic weaken the sheathing, that combo of electricity, metal and fluffy cellulose will really go together well. :)

Anyway, thanks again for the info. Off to the attic I go :)


    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 7:02PM
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" Unfortunately the previous homeowner was an idiot, so there's *zero* slack in one wire on both circuits..."

That is actually pretty standard.

There is no requirement to leave excess cable in the walls for later rework.

It would mainly just increase the cost of materials for every job with a very limited potential for pay-back.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 12:51PM
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