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Old 10-13-2009, 10:09 PM   #16
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3 switches in a 4-gang box?


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Having a portion of the box covered with plaster/drywall would violate this code.
Why? In drywall the box can be 6mm behind, so if I put mesh tape over the 4th opening and used compound it would still be 6mm behind. And I'm not burying the box as the other 3 openings would still be there.

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Old 10-13-2009, 10:28 PM   #17
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3 switches in a 4-gang box?


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Why? In drywall the box can be 6mm behind, so if I put mesh tape over the 4th opening and used compound it would still be 6mm behind. And I'm not burying the box as the other 3 openings would still be there.
I'm just telling you what the code says.

IMO, the method you are suggesting is not an approved method. You have a 4 gang box, you need to cover that box with a 4 gang cover that has been approved for the purpose. IMO, a three gang cover combined with some mud and tape is not approved for this purpose (not to mention it is hack workmanship). The inspectors in my area would agree.

Maybe the inspectors in your (or the OP's) area would allow your method, I don't know.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:12 PM   #18
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3 switches in a 4-gang box?


Install a dummy switch and move on.

It may drive the next homeowner nuts but.....oh well
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:26 AM   #19
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3 switches in a 4-gang box?


hook the switch to a large loud buzzer or other noise make and put a little label on below the switch that says:

do not touch!!


gets 'em every time. They just can't resist.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:45 PM   #20
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3 switches in a 4-gang box?


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I'm just telling you what the code says.
Fair enough, but I don't see how the code section you quoted prevents what I said; even pulled out my handbook to see if there were notes to that effect, there aren't. Not disagreeing that it's a hack, and probably wouldn't pass inspection, just trying to understand why.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:48 AM   #21
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3 switches in a 4-gang box?


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Fair enough, but I don't see how the code section you quoted prevents what I said; even pulled out my handbook to see if there were notes to that effect, there aren't. Not disagreeing that it's a hack, and probably wouldn't pass inspection, just trying to understand why.
I would have to hunt for it but I believe there is another code section that prevents what you are suggesting. It does not allow any foreign material in a box.

the section cited may be stretched a bit to not allow filling a box with mud as the amount of exposed mud (or other non-flammable materials) must be less than 1/4 inch. If you fill a section of a box, you would have more than 1/4 inch exposure.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:59 AM   #22
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3 switches in a 4-gang box?


What I'm proposing isn't filling the empty space w/mud, but rather "patching" the space on the wall over the box as if it was a hole in the wall. The box itself would remain open behind the patch (and would be accessible through the other switches). At any rate, I agree, a hack. It must be like ****, we know it when we see it, even if we can't define it. :-)
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:49 AM   #23
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3 switches in a 4-gang box?


Since I have way more important things to do, I'm just gonna put a dummy switch there. I spoke to the inspector and he said that's ok. He said that from a safety perspective, the only other approved way would be to replace the box.

I did ask about taping/mudding over just that part of the box, but he said no. It does seem like a hack anyway. I may yet come up with a use for that switch someday anyway - possibly a 3-way switch to an outdoor light on a yet-to-be-built shed in the back yard.
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:16 PM   #24
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3 switches in a 4-gang box?


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Originally Posted by WaldenL View Post
What I'm proposing isn't filling the empty space w/mud, but rather "patching" the space on the wall over the box as if it was a hole in the wall. The box itself would remain open behind the patch (and would be accessible through the other switches). At any rate, I agree, a hack. It must be like ****, we know it when we see it, even if we can't define it. :-)
you are still going to have mud IN the box and you are not allowed to have foreign materials in the box.

There is no way to prevent it unless you put some sort of blank over the opening and then it would probably be illegal since you cannot cover a cover.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:44 PM   #25
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3 switches in a 4-gang box?


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Not disagreeing that it's a hack, and probably wouldn't pass inspection, just trying to understand why.

The purpose of a jbox is to contain fire. If a portion of it is left open to the drywall paper/patch it will likely burn thru faster than it's two hour rating.

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