Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Adding electrical receptacle from 3 1/2" octagon box
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Adding electrical receptacle from 3 1/2" octagon box


I have a couple 3 1/2" metal octagonal boxes in my garage ceiling (drywall).  I want to replace or run from them some electrical outlets.

I saw many 4" receptable covers that I could just wire outlets into.  Just my luck I have 3 1/2" boxes, and I can't find any outlet covers for 3 1/2" octagon boxes.

Is the best thing to do here run from the octagon boxes to new outlet boxes (basically making them into junction boxes) or is it better to rip out the 3 1/2" octagons and replace with outlets?  Or is it all the same either way, just matters what work I want to do?


Re: Adding electrical receptacle from 3 1/2" octagon box

Octagon boxes are meant for lights, not outlets. Hence the shape and the depth. It is never a good idea to combine different types of devices on the same circuit. Nothing in the NEC stating you can't. Not this year anyway. But it is never a goode idea. If you need to work on the lights, that also means that you have no power to an outlet for tools or a light. And vice-versa. The octogan boxes are there for lights. That means they are switched from some location. The only thing in the box should a switch leg. So you would lose power to the other devices once the lights are switched off.

It would be best to create a new circuit for the outlets. The NEC does state that you cannot have an outlet in a location that is not accessible. Being that is on the ceiling, that is not easily accessible. A little gray area there. Garage door openers fall into this same category. That must the the only electrical equipment that is plugged into that device.


Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

Re: Adding electrical receptacle from 3 1/2" octagon box

Thanks for explaining the how AND why Handy Andy!  

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