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Thread: "old work" washing machine outlet box?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member rrue's Avatar
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    Default "old work" washing machine outlet box?

    Hello All,

    I'm installing a washer hookup into the unfinished back side of an existing wall (bare studs on the back, painted drywall on the front). All the boxes I see at the Big Box Store(and online) are set up to go on to the front of bare studs, before the drywall. I guess I could try to pry the drywall out a little and sneak the four plastic ears into place, then press the box onto them. Then I'd have to screw through finished drywall to hold them to the studs (and try to hit those little holes blind as the plastic looks like it would splinter if I missed the hole) and have some spackling and painting to do. This feels like a hack.

    Is there some other kind of outlet box that can go in from the rear? Some trick for using or modifying the one I have?

    Seattle

  2. #2
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    Cut the drywall opening big enough to get the ears in, the cover will hide it.

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    DIY Member psjr56's Avatar
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    I get old work boxes from a electrical supply store (retail/wholesale) and they sell boxes with screws inside of them so all you need to do is cut the hole next to the stud. I always hated using the ears but the do work. Here's another type (see attached pic ) you might be able to find at the big box store which work well too. They make this type in single, double & triples. I also attached a pic of the type of box I use.
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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default box

    There are boxes with four snap in straps to secure them. You can slide them between the stud and sheetrock, then insert the box from the backside, sliding it onto the straps as you push it through the wall opening.

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    DIY Member psjr56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    There are boxes with four snap in straps to secure them. You can slide them between the stud and sheetrock, then insert the box from the backside, sliding it onto the straps as you push it through the wall opening.
    Here's what they look like. Very pricey, < $1.00
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    DIY Junior Member rrue's Avatar
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    The box I bought first is the kind with the plastic snap in ears, but the plastic is a little thick to slide between the drywall and the stud. I could pry out the gypsum a little but worry about cracking it. Maybe if I ground an edge on the end of the ear, too.

    The ears are much longer than the snap on cover is wide but that might work if I cut the ears shorter. I could scap some 2x4 onto the studs on one or both sides so the shorter ears still screw to wood.

    I'll post here when I figure it out, maybe with a pic.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Cut the drywall opening big enough to get the ears in, the cover will hide it.
    That works, or you can just mount the box next to a stud and screw it in.
    Either way, the waste line and the supply lines will help hold it in place too.

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psjr56 View Post
    Here's what they look like. Very pricey, < $1.00

    I have not seen those in any big box stores and not for many years.... I worked as an electrician right out of high scool in 1966 for a few years.....We called them Madison Holders ......Boxes were metal back then, no plastic yet....

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member rrue's Avatar
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    Default It's done.

    Didn't take any pictures but I ended up going with plan A. The ears are plastic and about 1/8" thick so I ground a knife edge on the ends, wiggled a putty knife between the stud and the drywall to open it up a little, and was able to slip the ears in from the back. Pushed the box onto the ears from the back. Drilled pilot holes from the front side through the ears and countersunk the screws into the drywall. Spackled the four screws.

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default ears

    Once the ears were in place, they were not going anywhere, even without the screws.

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