Are you getting ready to work on your electrical system […]
Are you getting ready to work on your electrical system at home? Before you start, it is essential to know which components you should purchase for your project. Purchasing the wrong parts could create a system that is both inefficient and hazardous.
Thus, you should do your homework and research the different types of junction boxes that are available. Installing the right enclosure will provide adequate protection for your wiring, ceiling fan, fixture or receptacle. It will also make it easier to access the wiring if you need to replace some components down the road.
Below, we explore the different junction box types, as well as give you tips on which features to consider when purchasing an enclosure.
Before you start shopping, you should know what type of case you are looking for and why. Here are a few factors to considering before purchasing an electronics enclosure:
Volume, Depth and Setback
One of your most important considerations is the overall size of the box. It must have sufficient room to house wires, connectors and fixtures such as receptacles, switches and dimmers. Therefore, you’ll want to start by measuring the depth you need for an enclosure. The deeper the box, the more it can accommodate all the components.
From there, you’ll want to determine the height and width of the electronic case. Lastly, you will want to consider the setback. How far back from the wall’s surface will the box opening be? You may have to use a box extender to fill in any additional space.
Old or New Work Boxes
Consider the project at hand to help determine what type of case you’ll need for the job. If you’re working with an older structure, you’ll want to use existing work boxes. Replacing or refinishing large sections of a wall may not require new electronic enclosures.
All you have to do is cut an opening in the old box, insert the cable and attach the box to existing wall covering. If the box has mounting tabs, you can install it as is.
Cable Clamps, Knockouts and Collectors
You may have to connect cables to the box. If so, you can use cable clamps, knockouts or collectors. If you’re using a non-metallic sheathed (NM) cable, you’ll use a clamp to attach the cable to the box. It will prevent the cable from being pulled out of the unit.
If you’re using a box with a conduit, you can feed the conduit through a knockout hole. You’ll just need to match the size of the hole with the size of the conduit. Some boxes have different size punch-outs to accommodate different size conduits. You can use knockout boxes with NM cable by connecting the cable to the box so that it always stays in place.
One of the most common mistakes that people make is trying to shove too many cables through the same hole. Some boxes have two holes, while others have three. Use as many holes as you need so that the cables slide through the holes easily without bunching up.