The main function of an electrical box is to serve as an enclosure for certain wire connections to appliances, applications such as light switches, outlets and receptacles, and other electrical fixtures. There are different types for specific purposes. It is often used for indoor or outdoor electrical enclosures, and attachments to the front walls, behind walls and other similar applications.
Another use includes serving as container for electrical components that are needed for regular maintenance and upgrades. Its wiring to appliances is also used to encase and protect electrically charged wires. It also serves to prevent any short circuits.
Electrical boxes can not be easily bought and used. One must be careful enough in their selection of the wiring to appliances because the National Electrical Code and local building codes are specific on the applications of electrical boxes. Electrical boxes must be covered with electrical box covers. They can not simply be installed and covered with a dry wall, paneling, or any other wall covering.
Local building inspectors provide permits for your electrical wiring tasks and they can help ensure that an electrical project is accurate, safe, and secure. Factors to consider when choosing the right electrical box include the type of electrical box, shape and size, materials, features, and specific installation procedures and others.
The first type of electrical box is the handy box. It is mounted on a wall's surface. It is used to contain light switches and electrical receptacles. If installations behind the wall are too difficult or possible to accomplish, electrical hand boxes can be used instead.
Junction box is another electrical box that is used for wires that are connected only to each other. They are not connected to any outlet, receptacle, or fixture. Using the junction box enables circuits to be easily and securely split into different directions.
The new-work box is the term used for electrical boxes used as part of new electrical construction projects. They are mounted to studs or joists. Before a drywall is applied, they may also be set between two studs. On another hand, an old-work box is a remodeling box that is installed after the drywall has been set.
Outdoor boxes; they are manufactured as metal and nonmetallic units. Gaskets, watertight covers, and sealed seams are often used with these to ensure full protection of the electrical wirings inside of it.
Electrical wiring to appliances also come in different shapes and sizes. The most common shape is the standard rectangular one that houses a single electrical switch or electrical outlet. The square box is for two devices that can be a pairing of a switch and an outlet or two switches. The octagonal or round box is used to contain light fixtures or safety devices such as alarm. For heavy fixtures such as ceiling fans, the ceiling receptical is used.
They are either made of materials that are metallic (steel, cast iron, aluminum) or nonmetallic (PVC, plastic). Metal boxes are used for electrical applications in exposed indoors. Further, this is often recommended by local building codes for their durability. Nonmetallic ones are inexpensive and easier to install if it is for new or old work situations.