DIY Doctor

Joining cables in a semi-accessible space

Postby aussierob » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:17 pm

Can someone clarify the UK code on this point?

I have been told it is permitted to join cables in the space between ceiling and the floor above. Normally I would just replace the length with a longer cable, but in this case the dammage to decor would be too horrific to contemplate.

I propsoe to make the join by cutting a small inspection hole in the cieling, making the join then patching. My local (trade) suppliers have sold me an Ashley J501 box for this purpose (it has screw down cable grips at each end).

I am struggling to see how this location would be considered '[i][b]accessible[/b][/i]' which is my understanding of the current code requirement.

I saw a post on this site suggesting it is OK to install junction boxes beneath plasterboard which would be a similar thing.


Any clarification would be helpful
Thanks in advance
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Simply Build It

Postby kbrownie » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:56 am

You can use a Ashley J803 Maintenance Free Junction Box 32A 3 Terminal, or crimp joint cables.
All electrical accessories should be accessible for inspection and testing that's the requirements.
The above accessory and method is allowed though.
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Postby sparx » Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:39 pm

Hi Rob,
any screwed terminal type joint must be accessible for inspection, however a crimped joint is considered permanent, as are the push fit types but they are only suitable for solid core not stranded core cable.
'Accessible' would mean under a removable section of flooring say, but I doubt also a 'made-good' hole in a ceiling would count!!
In my experiance of 45 years in the trade I have never known a joint (properly made) to fail, & it has been done as you describe for years, it's only recently been queried, and ........what can I say!!
regards Sparx
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Postby moggy1968 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:07 pm

I have however seen crimps fail and cause fires!! so much for the regs :o)
they are difficult to apply correctly unless you are experienced in their use. use either maintainance free JB or have a look at helacon push in connectrors.
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Postby aussierob » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:26 am

Thank you KBrownie, Moggy and Sparx for your excellent advice , I am pleased I questioned this otherwise I might have gone ahead with the wrong box on my trade supplier's advice.

The Ashley J501 (screw terminal) that they recommended is designed for non-fixed installations, they should have given me a J803/J804 (push fit terminals) which complies with 17ed for non-accessible installations.

I've since found a very helpful guide on the subject if you Google ""

Thanks Rob
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