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Open Electrical Junction

Open Electrical Junction Box


Richard Acree

Have you ever wandered through the attic or crawl space and seen something like that in the picture below? Did you do anything about it? If not, please read on.



Sometimes an electrician will cut corners in places where they think nobody will notice, or care. One of those corners is electrical junction boxes. These boxes are required at various times in an electrical installation. The corner they cut is the cover for the box. Inside the junction box is where electrical conductors are joined together. Usually this junction is with some of those plastic nuts shown in the picture. See the photo right. Occasionally, those nuts have been known to come loose and wires, which are under some stress after having been crammed into the junction box, have moved. Some even loosen and disconnect. Now if someone comes along and puts an object inside that open box, an object like a screwdriver or finger, you can imagine how exciting it will get when the sparks fly. This is an electrocution waiting to happen.

Now look at the picture below for another implication of how an open junction box can create a serious problem. In the picture below you are in a crawl space looking up at an open junction box. Clearly you should be able to see the open junction box. But what else is wrong?

HINT: Metal, like copper piping, is an excellent conductor of electricity.

ANSWER: This situation is especially dangerous because the open conductors are hanging directly above the copper metal plumbing pipes. So let's just go ahead and power up the entire plumbing system when one of these conductors comes loose and drops down onto the pipes. YIKES!

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Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this article are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at, or call 615-376-2753.

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one.

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