Junction/Electrical Box issue and help!!

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Addison

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Hi All! Back again for some input/guidance.

So i ran into a slight dilemma this weekend when i removed a kitchen ceiling fan, and added 2 lights over our island. The ceiling fan was controlled by two 3way switches; the fan was in a terrible spot above the gas stove, and was useless. I wanted to use the existing wiring from the ceiling fan to tie in the new island lights so that the switches would still work the same as with the fan. In the image, the red arrows show where the 3way switches are located.

I went up in the attic after taking down the ceiling fan, only to realize the electrical box for the ceiling fan was in a spot that was inaccessible. My home is a 2 story ranch, and as you can see in the photo, the electrical box was just on the other side of the 1st story ceiling joist, and 2nd story floor joist. The floor joists are (i believe) 2x10" and there are 2 of them sistered together. The gap between joists was very very small.

I could just barely fit my hand through the gap, and not enough to do anything as my hand was all that could fit. The Source power and 1 of the 3way switches both come into the box from the inaccessible side, and because the wiring is stapled to the joists, i could not move the electrical to an accessible location in the attic. Instead i tied the island lights into that box from below (inside the kitchen) and was able to feed the romex through that joist GAP. I then put a blank cover on that electrical box.

My issue is that i know junction boxes are to be accessible by code. However, apparently when they built the addition prior to me owning the home, they did not consider this event. My wife wants the ceiling fan hole plastered and dry-walled over (the circled blue in the image is the old ceiling fan electrical box hole). In that event, i would not be able to work on that junction box in the future unless i were to cut the ceiling drywall in the future.

I was able to put a small piece of wood from the attic side over the hole (figured it would be easier to patch the ceiling and also give the junction box something to sit on) and i was able to move as much insulation away from the junction box that my crow bar would reach.

My wife is adamant that a blank box cover will not go there.

I guess my question is, is it safe to plaster/drywall that hole? And just know i need to cut the ceiling in the future if i need access to that box? There is no other way to work on that box from inside the attic: one would have to cut the ceiling anyways and work on it from below in the kitchen.

Or as an alternative, would anyone support me putting a battery powered smoke detector there and just attaching the smoke detector mounting plate to that junction box?
 

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Addison

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@Stuff i would do that myself; but my wife wont allow for a blank cover by any means lol. Thats why i am thinking it may be best to just put up a smoke detector there.
 

Stuff

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Forgiveness is more easily obtained than permission. A painted, screw-less cover blends in.
 

Meli

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I live in a home built by Jack of NO trade seems you do as well. I went through something similar. Ranch with an addition that had no attic access on the addition side with plenty of wires much like yours. At first I just cut the wires & created a new junction to work off. Eventually I cut into the framing & boxed an entrance to the addition in the attic, that helped.

I prefer to stay in code, that is why I would kill the box, [re-route the line] then cover it all up.
 

Steve7878

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I would not put a smoke detector there. Unless you leave the battery out. To close to stove and will have nuisance alarms.
 

Addison

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@Meli rerouting the electrical i dont believe would work well in this situation. there is absolutely no easy way to do it as the source coming in is burried completely between the addition. with it stapled along the run, and i am sure that the wiring was pulled just long enough for that location, i dont see any easy way at all to do this.

@Steve7878 you are definitely right that it is close to the stove. that was one of my concerns as well. They do make some that have nuisance testing to deter certain types of cooking; similarly to situations like this. However, that was also my concern.
 
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