Are you planning to install a bathroom light without a junction box? Well, then you are in for a tedious task.
Installing any light fixture without a junction box is like river rafting without a life jacket or mountain climbing without gear.
Get the point? Well, the point is the high risk behind installing a light fixture without a junction box.
So, why do we even need a junction box? As I said, the junction box is a life jacket to your electrical wiring that prevents fires or any other electrical hazard.
A junction or electrical box is coded that keeps such accidents away. It becomes a necessity wherever wires are spliced together in a circuit to install any electric fixture. Such wired connections should be concealed within a junction box.
Let’s dig deeper into this blog. I have covered various circumstances that you might face and what you can do in each situation to overcome the problem safely.
What To Do If There Is No Junction Box?
First things first, can you install a light without a junction box? The simple answer is no.
Having said that, if your electrician did not include a junction box at the spot where you now want to put up a light fixture does not mean you cannot install the light.
To overcome this minor setback, you can make use of a remodel junction box. Instead of tearing up a large part of the drywall, the remodel electrical box gets attached to the rear of the drywall. It can uphold a light fixture weighing up to ten pounds.
Keep in mind that not all light fixtures would require a junction box. Some of the newly designed and selective fixtures have their own electrical box. All you have to do for such lights is make connections within the terminal box and screw it closed.
Always remember to securely clamp the wires within the fixture box. You can make use of wire staples to clamp the wire with studs.
If you bring your wire through the drywall from a small hole, it should be stapled as close to the hole as possible.
When And How Do I Use A Remodel Junction Box?
Coming back to the introduction of remodel junction box. It can be used in a place where you wish to install a light fixture, but there is no electrical box installed.
A remodel junction box is made out of plastic and can be used for up to one or two connections and not more. The best part about the remodel electric box is that it attaches to any wall or ceiling where you would like to install a light fixture.
Remodel junction boxes are most commonly used in bathrooms. People love installing lights to improve the ambiance and enhance the look.
Now we know that a remodel junction box is our life jacket, and here’s all that we need to get the process started.
What Do I Need To Anchor The Remodel Junction Box And Make The Connection?
- A pencil or marker
- Drywall saw
- Remodel Junction box
- Utility knife
- Splicing tool
- Wire nut
Once you have the items mentioned above in hand, let’s move onto the step-by-step process of installing a bathroom light fixture without a junction box or, let’s say, with a remodel junction box.
Step 1: Switch Off The Electricity Supply
Safety is our priority. Whenever dealing with anything electric, always turn off the electricity supply to prevent the hazard of electric shock.
You can turn off the supply by switching the circuit breaker’s main power supply off.
Step 2: Let’s Do The Marking!
Once you have switched off the electric supply, place the remodel junction box onto the wall and trace the outline of the back of the box on the drywall to make your next step a lot easier.
Step 3: Cut Out With Drywall Saw
Once you have made your markings, use the drywall saw to cut out that opening in the wall for the remodels junction box.
Now you see why it was important to mark? This way, you’ll exactly cut out the only part needed to plug in the remodel junction box.
Once you’re done, remove the cut-out to make space for the electric box.
Step 4: Time To Wire And Install The Junction Box
All you have to do is feed the wires through the holes at the back of the junction box.
Once you have plugged in the wires through the self-clamping holes on the box, fit the remodel junction box into the cut-out on the drywall.
Securely twist the locking screws on the junction box to ensure proper installation and seating of the anchors at the back of the box onto the drywall.
To double-check whether the anchors have been fixed properly or not, pull the box outwards to ensure anchors have some resistance.
Once you are certain about the installation, tighten the screws to securely fix the junction box to the wall.
Step 5: Splice The Wire
Now that you have fixed your junction box and have wired it up, it’s time to splice the wires to connect your new light fixture.
Cut off six inches of protective casing from your light fixture’s electrical wire using a utility knife.
Once down, separate the wires using a splicing tool and remove the white and black wire plastic coating about half-inch to make a secure connection.
Step 6: Let’s Get The Box And Fixture Together
Once you have made the light fixture’s wires ready for use, it is time to attach them to the junction box for a happy reunion.
Take the wire from the box and the lighting fixture and twist them together in an anticlockwise direction with the help of pliers.
Once you have connected your light fixture with your remodel junction box, you are all set to go!
Step 7: Set Up The Adapter Of The Light Fixture
Does the light fixture you have bought come with an adapter? If so, you should attach the adapter to the remodel junction box and should also place all the wires within.
Step 8: Let’s Test It Out
Yes! We are all set to go! Now let’s undo step one and turn on the power supply from the circuit breaker to check if our connection is steady and working.
If you have followed each step carefully, your new light fixture is all ready to shine!
When Do I Use A Surface Mount Box?
Now that we know when and how to use remodel junction boxes, you must be thinking about surface mount boxes intended for similar use.
However, surface mount boxes are used for outdoor connections where remodel junction boxes cannot be used.
Thus, if you want to install a searchlight on the porch, use a surface mount box with the right exterior use rating for safety and waterproofing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you mount a light fixture without a junction box?
Can you? Yes. Should you? NO.
Mounting a light fixture without a junction box is just like inviting a fire to your place.
It is recommended to go through a tedious process and spend a few dollars that would ensure a secure connection that’s going to last more than anything temporary.
Do all fixtures need a junction box?
No, not all light fixtures need a junction box, and the reason is that some of them come with their own junction box.
The types of lights that come with their own junction box are:
- Recessed Lighting cans
- Fluorescent fixtures
- Track lighting
- Bathroom ventilation fans
- Wall-mounted heaters
If you are working with such lights, you can simply feed the wire into the terminal box, make the connection and screw the box tightly to form a safe and secure connection.
Can I use an outlet box as a junction box?
You can do that as long as it’s within the circuit capacity limit. As long as the connection is secure, covered well enough, and the breaker limit is not exceeded, you should be good to go.
However, it is still recommended that you use a junction box for a proper connection.
Do wires have to be in a junction box?
It is important to have a safe connection properly enclosed in a junction box as per the electrical code. Loose connections pose a threat of fire and electric shock.
Even if your connection is secure and concealed using electric tape, it is still not enough because the risk of overheating is still present.
Therefore, all wires have to be in a junction box.
Can I use a junction box to extend the wiring?
Yes, you can use a junction box to extend wiring. Turn off the power supply, take out the box and pass through the required wires, put back the box, and connect them securely.
To Summarise It
I understand that installing a junction box on your own is a tedious task, but it saves you from many hazards and risks.
Those people who believe they can install light fixtures without a junction box are breaching the electrical code and endangering their own lives and others around them. Especially when you have kids around, it is always important to have all wiring concealed and avoid loose connections.
A junction box fulfills this purpose and provides a steady and secure connection that will be in place for years. I have covered every essential step that you need to follow to install a light fixture in your bathroom where there is no junction box previously installed.
If you are stuck at any step, comment in the section below, and I will help you through it! Let’s promote safe living!!