Q. I want to lower receptacle outlets from 4 feet off the floor to 18 inches. I plan to make a splice at the existing receptacle and extend the new wire down through the stud cavity. Can the junction box be inside the wall or does code require that you have access to it by using the existing outlet box as a junction box with a solid cover plate?

A.Master electrician Rex Cauldwell responds: You’ll have to use the exposed cover plate. By code, you must leave access to any splice anywhere. (The only exception is an irreversible crimp on a service entrance cable — a special case requiring an expensive crimping tool.) Splices in attics and crawlspaces are considered accessible as long as there is a hatchway into the space. Even these splices must also be in a box and behind a cover plate.