Electrical Boxes and Enclosures

Eletrical boxes and enclosures house and protect connections, including simple switches or connections for fixtures such as lamps. These boxes ground wires to prevent circuit shorting. They also come in different shapes and designs depending on the circumstances of their use.

What are the types of electrical boxes and enclosures?

There are different types of boxes and enclosures. They include:

  • Work box: There are two types. The first is located indoors and installed within a wall. It is set in place when the wall is being constructed and used during construction. It is put upon metal bars and hung from the support of the house. The second is called a remodeling box and functions similarly to the first one; however, it is designed for alteration of existing walls. It is attached to a drywall using clamps.
  • Handy box: This is an indoor box installed on a wall surface instead of inside a wall or ceiling. It is useful for walls that cannot be opened up or walls that have no interior.
  • Outdoor box: This box is similar in function to the preceding types of electrical boxes; however, it is waterproof. It often includes hinged covers that protect it when not in use.
  • Junction box: This electrical box protects wires that do not connect to an outlet or other fixtures but rather to other wires.
What factors should you consider when choosing electrical boxes?

The following should be considered when determining the appropriate box needed:

  • Rectangular box: This is the standard enclosure for switches and outlets.
  • Circular or octagonal box: This box is used for lightweight objects attached to the ceiling, for instance smoke detectors.
  • Square box: This box is used to install pairs of switches mounted side by side and is twice the breadth of rectangular box.
  • Ceiling box: This box is used for other objects attached to the ceiling such as chandeliers.
  • Metallic construction: This box is required in some buildings due to its durability.
  • Non-metallic construction: This box is easy to install and used with non-metallic cable.
  • Adjustable depth boxes: This box can be altered so that the box exterior is flush with the surface of the wall regardless of how much room is present on the wall.
What accessories should be considered when choosing an electrical box?

The electrical accessories to consider include:

  • Box covers: These provide concealment for interior boxes to protect accidental contact with wires. They also provide enhancement depending on the existing decorative styles. Although junction boxes have to have smooth covers that allow accessibility of the box interior, outdoor weatherproof covers are appropriate for outdoor boxes to protect them from the elements.
  • Braces and bar hangers: These attach to the axle within the wall, and the box is then attached to them. These pieces are vital where a significant weight is hung from the box.
  • Extension rings: These rings make it possible to alter the size of non-adjustable boxes. The addition of these gives the box more room for wiring.
  • Electrical box insulation gaskets: These are small squares or circles of foam placed inside or behind an electric box for insulation.