View Full Version : electric outlet

07-28-2009, 11:19 AM
my electric guy put in all these boxes before the sheetrock. Sheetrock guys come and do it only I see the many boxes have varying degrees of depth issues and many are crooked. this is an old house and I know everything can't be straight but the boxes where one side is recessed deeper than the other is disturbing.I can't find extenders that aren't too deep. Do they make a plate that just sits flat against the drywall without touching the box (except by the attaching screws) that can trim these boxes so the outlet can be braced against it prior to putting on the plate? any links would also be appreciated.

07-28-2009, 12:02 PM
Yeah, it's sloppy but happens all the time. If you can't find a box extension small enough to help, then the problem must not be that bad. What you do is put the device (outlet, switch, whatever) in the box in such a way as to make up the difference. The devices don't have to but up against the lip of the box, so long as they are properly grounded and the screw terminals are inside the box. Screw the device screws into the box until the face of the device is just about flush with the drywall. Then put on your plate. If the device sticks out too much, take the plate off and adjust it. If the device is too far in, take the plate off and adjust it, making sure that the terminal screws don't extend past the edge of the box. If there is such a big distance that the screws that come with the device are too short, buy longer screws. And the plates never touch the box. if they did, the plate wouldn't sit against thew wall properly. There has to be some little distance so the plate can sit flat against the wall.

Of course, if the whole thing is unacceptable you could make the electrician come back and redo the job. but he'll have to break out the sheetrock and then you'll have to have the sheetrock guys come back, and it'll be a mess. Just try to adjust it yourself.

07-28-2009, 12:24 PM
Depending on how the sheetrock is cut around the boxes, if you do not remove the "mouse ears" or tabs on the ends, they will often press against the surface and secure the outlets.

07-28-2009, 01:12 PM
well the drywall guy wasn't so good either and the electrical guy told me I needed to mud up ( which crumbles easily and looks crappy too)around the boxes. most are ok but some are twisted so that the plug ins still twist front to back too. so I thought a flat plate against the drywall would be stronger ,look better and give the "ears" something more solid to rest against.

07-28-2009, 01:30 PM
I think these http://www.arlcatalog.com/Miscellaneous/Box%20Extenders.htm are what you are looking for. They work pretty slick.

07-28-2009, 02:00 PM
since the box is twisted (one side is right or close and the other recessed), these are hard to accommodate.thanks for the link though.

07-28-2009, 05:22 PM
I always use the boxes that can be extended or recessed by adjustment screws. Makes for easier & cleaner installs.

Speedy Petey
07-28-2009, 06:13 PM
I always use the boxes that can be extended or recessed by adjustment screws. Makes for easier & cleaner installs.That can get pretty expensive. I use them sometimes in kitchens and baths when the wall treatment is not known.
Other than that is just set my boxes right and am done with it.

07-28-2009, 06:30 PM
If the device is in crooked (left side higher than right side or vice versa) the electrician didn't fold his wires in correctly and it puts more stress on one side of the device than the other. Make him fix it.

07-28-2009, 07:14 PM
Note this box extension from arlington. a simple solution. This extender sits inside the walls of the box and will extend from almost zero to about 1.5". Cat # be-1

07-29-2009, 11:40 AM
Hey- codeone and mattbee24- thanks for the tip on the extender boxes- I thought these would be like other x boxes I've seen and there would be a minimum depth but these Arlington x boxes are optional flush and the variation in the depth from side to side is no problem. And I would complain but it was a long time ago and I feel I should have noticed before the sheetrock went up.