When is a Junction Box Concealed - How Accessible do They Have to be?


Postby GrumpyMike » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:40 pm

Hi,

I understand that the wiring regs require that no electrical connections are 'hidden' so that all junctions can be inspected.

I've just had some electrical work done, and the electrician has added some junction boxes in some crawlspace under my eaves. The workmanship seems fine, but the crawlspace is only accessible through a tiny little hatch hidden at the back of a cupboard. Does this constitute "unavailable for inspection"? Is this a breach of the wiring regs? or is this ok?

The electrician assured me that so long as the access hatch to the crawlspace didn't get plastered-over, then it would be ok, but I'd like a 2nd opinion?

Any ideas?

Thanks
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Postby ericmark » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:04 am

I would agree if you can assess it then it's OK.

But this has always been the question what is assessable?

[quote]514.9.1 A legible diagram. chart or table or equivalent form of information shall be provided indicating in
particular:
(i) the type and composition of each circuit (points of utilisation served. number and size of conductors, type of wiring), and
(ii) the method used for compliance with Regulation 410.3.2. and
(iii) the information necessary for the identification of each device performing the functions of protection, isolation and switching, and its location. and
(iv) any circuit or equipment vulnerable to a typical test.
For simple installations the foregoing information may be given in a schedule. A durable copy of the schedule
relating to a distribution board shall be provided within or adjacent to each distribution board. Any symbol used shall comply with BS EN 60617.[/quote]

This rule is often not complied with specially "its location" and if an electrician is given assess to this information when doing an electrical installation condition report then although he may not want to lift the living room carpet and remove two screws and a section of floor board (with junction box below written on it) to assess a junction box to test tightness of screws it would be hard to say it was not accessible.

Of course the problem lies when some one glues down a floor on top of the floor boards.

In real terms maintenance free junction boxes are not that much more expensive than ones with screw terminals so to show a warranty of skill one should use maintenance free junction boxes anywhere where they are likely to be missed by an inspection.
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