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Thread: Receptacles far back from the wall

  1. #1
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Default Receptacles far back from the wall

    Some of my receptacles are a little far back in the wall, such that the faceplate requires longer screws (half inch instead of quarter inch). The receptacles are just flush with the face plate.

    Can I remove the snap off yokes on the receptacle and use them as washers to bring each out a little?

    My receptacles are installed in metal boxes with 1/2 inch mud plates. Strangely the drywall appears to be half inch too.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 11-02-2009 at 01:12 PM.

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    They make spacer for that - even the Box Stores carry them.

    They come in a strip, like this:




    You tear off how many you need, they snap together to make it as thick as you need.

    3-4$

    .
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A second concern is that you may want to get box extenders. These also come in various thicknesses . I know I've bought some at HD. They come with longer screws to hold the device in the box (but they sometimes fall off and you have to dig them out of the bottom of the box!). They're basically a fire/electrically neutral plastic ring in various thicknesses. The box should be even with the wall surface for safety. If you used those, you wouldn't need the spacers mentioned. They're pretty cheap.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Good point.

    If the face of the box / mudring is recessed more than 1/4", you need to extend it.


    I'm getting sloppy on code, on here, lately... tsk, tsk.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  5. #5

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    Can I remove the snap off yokes on the receptacle and use them as washers to bring each out a little?
    No. You want the yoke to sit on the drywall to keep the recep/switches secure. Ideally they are flush. Legally you get 1/4". 1/2" back is not that unusual.

    If the drywall is cut too big for the yokes to sit on, use some nuts as spacers.

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. It looks like the receptacles are about one quarter of an inch back but the drywall has worn on some of them which makes securing the receptacles tricky. I think the plastic extenders will work nicely.

    I think I'll tidy up the drywall with some patches too. I think code only allows a one-eighth inch gap around the box.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 11-02-2009 at 04:44 PM.

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    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
    Good point.

    If the face of the box / mudring is recessed more than 1/4", you need to extend it.


    I'm getting sloppy on code, on here, lately... tsk, tsk.
    I thought it was 1/8" ... no?

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    You're allowed 1/4" recess in noncombustible material - you're allowed 1/8 gap (bravo, Ian) around the hole.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  9. #9
    DIY Member Ford2001's Avatar
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    Cool If the receptacles set back to far?

    You check with your local electrical supply house.

    See if they sell the Arlington, brand box extentions.

    I used, then, they have a lip that extends all the way around the
    outlet openning.

    Home Depot also see box extentions, and they come in different
    thicknes.

    I had have good luck with both products.

    I have also switch to using adjustable boxes, in places were the wall
    thickness in an unknown/unkown.

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    DIY Junior Member Boo's Avatar
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    Be cautious about some of the plastic box extenders. The ones I bought at Home Depot recently have somewhat sharp edges and when you push into the existing box, they have a potential to cut the sheathing on the Romex. I had to file them smoother before inserting.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member Joe Werle's Avatar
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    Default plastic supply lines

    I've used 3/8" plastic supply lines, cut to the length needed to bring the receptacle flush with the surface of the wall. and drywall screws of various lengths seems to work in the plastic boxes. Both readily available.

  12. #12
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Werle View Post
    I've used 3/8" plastic supply lines, cut to the length needed to bring the receptacle flush with the surface of the wall. and drywall screws of various lengths seems to work in the plastic boxes. Both readily available.
    You are treating the symptom and not fixing the probem! While doing this will move the outlet flush with the wall surface, the whole safety reason to do it in the first place is to protect the potentially vulnerable wall covering from possible sparks. Only moving the box or a box extender solve both the symptom and the problem.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Thanks. I did go with the plastic box entenders (on my metal boxes and armored cable) and they seem to work an absolute treat.

    I like the way they add to the box size as well!

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    Thanks. I did go with the plastic box entenders (on my metal boxes and armored cable) and they seem to work an absolute treat.

    I like the way they add to the box size as well!
    Oops - plastic extenders on metal boxes?

    Means now you need to pigtail a ground connection between the receptacle and the metal box.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

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    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
    Oops - plastic extenders on metal boxes?

    Means now you need to pigtail a ground connection between the receptacle and the metal box.
    Wouldn't the receptacle screws serve as the connection between the receptacle and the metal box?

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