A junction box is a metal or plastic box where several electrical wires are brought together. Wires that are not needed for a current fixture or outlet are capped with individual screw-on caps and tucked inside the junction box. All junction boxes, even those with wires that are not currently in use, should be covered with a close-fitting plate of metal or plastic, using screws to affix the plate to the wall. Uncovered junction boxes are exposed to risks of water and humidity corrosion and are a danger to anyone touching them.
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Protection From Electrocution
An uncovered junction box poses a shock risk. The wire ends may be capped, but the wires are still carrying electrical current as long as the circuit is switched on at the breaker box. Covering the junction box prevents accidental touching of the wires and keeps the end-caps intact. A secure cover also prevents infants and curious children from exploring the wires and possibly electrocuting themselves.
Protection From Pests
Uncovered junction boxes invite chewing insects and rodents to nibble on wire sheaths and caps. If the wire sheaths or end caps are compromised, the live wires may touch each other, causing a short circuit or even a fire.
Protection From Water Hazards
Junction boxes located in a bathroom, near a sink or laundry machine or outdoors are at risk from water and humidity. Cover junction boxes In these areas with a gasketed plate to prevent water from getting inside the box accidentally.
Protection From Code Violations
Ensure that covered junction boxes remain accessible. The National Electrical Code requires that junction box covers be removable and not be hidden behind permanent walls or ceilings.
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