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Old 11-25-2008, 11:20 AM   #1
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KO plugs are dangerous!


Hi all;
I just finished installing another receptacle in my basement. It's a surface mount, connected to a GFCI circuit.
Before I started the project, I looked at my inventory and found that I had a metal box suitable for the receptacle. The only problem was that the box had 5 of the KO's open. I only needed one.

Instead of going and buying a new box, I thought I would save the Earth and recycle the old one. I went to my local HD and bought the necessary 1/2" KO plugs.

The receptacle is located on a support post, which is encased in a wood frame and paneled over to make it look nice. The basement is finished.
I used a piece of PVC conduit and a threaded adapter to run the Romex into the box, to protect it from anything that could damage the cable coming down the post.

Everything was fine, except that while I was preparing the wires to attach to the receptacle, I saw the rather sharp edges of the KO plugs sticking right into the box and realized that the wires could be impaled by these, resulting in a short.

First thing I tried was to bend the tangs of the KO plugs down, but that only made them sharper.
I finally decided to remove the one at the bottom of the box, since that's where the wires were most likely to contact, and instead placed several pieces of electrical tape on the inside to cover the hole, and also on the outside of the box, wrapping around to the sides of the box for a secure closure.

I don't know, nor do I care whether using tape instead of the KO box is code, it is certainly safer in this installation than the KO plug would have been.
The other 3 KO plugs remain in place, and are fine.
My receptacle is taped up, and now everything's cool.

I have to admit that I am anal when it comes to such things. I should have just bought a plastic box, especially since I was running a plastic conduit into that box.
If not plastic, I should at least have bought a new metal box and punched out only the one KO.
I probably spent more on the pack of KO plugs than I would have on the box!
But I have this mission to save the Earth from all the garbage people throw away, thus recycling old but usable electrical boxes.

During the process of this installation, I also impaled my finger on the sharp KO plug, after I had made it sharper by trying to bend the tangs. It wasn't a serious cut, and I have had my tetanus shot, so I'm OK<g>

For my next project, I am using a new box!! I'll throw the old box into the recycle bin where I believe they do collect stuff like that, melt it down, and make new boxes!! Just a bit of illogical thinking on my part.

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Old 11-25-2008, 11:23 AM   #2
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KO plugs are dangerous!


They aren't always that sharp, sounds like you got some cheap stuff.

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Old 11-25-2008, 12:19 PM   #3
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KO plugs are dangerous!


You could also have placed the plugs inside the box with the tangs sticking out if they wouldn't be subject to damage. I agree, should have just used a new box and recycled the old one.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:45 PM   #4
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You could also have placed the plugs inside the box with the tangs sticking out if they wouldn't be subject to damage. I agree, should have just used a new box and recycled the old one.
I should be hitting myself over the head for not thinking of that one.
I don't suppose that's how the plugs are intended to be used, but would serve the purpose and be much safer that way.

I think I may start using plastic boxes. Can't go wrong with those.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:46 PM   #5
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KO plugs are dangerous!


The whole idea of recycling that box is pathetic to me. What was the carbon footprint of your drive to Lowes? The plugs? Your time and effort? (time is expelling CO2 and effort is eating food). Geez...even this post is a "waste" of energy!!

***Inflammatory statement removed...TheKCtermite*** I'm all for protecting the environment and conserving energy but, there is a limit! (which I think you realize now)

nice try though...
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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KO plugs are dangerous!


I thought of suggesting you install the plugs facing the other way, but then I thought "Nah he must not be able to or he would have".... heh

I think those plugs are mostly used in big boxes, like load centers... not the little boxes.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:44 PM   #7
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KO plugs are dangerous!


A pack of plugs probably cost as much as a new box!
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:00 PM   #8
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KO plugs are dangerous!


Ah don't be too hard on him, we've all done that before. Try to save a few bucks or avoid throwing something away and wind up spending way more in the end. :P
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:19 PM   #9
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KO plugs are dangerous!


I wasn't even trying to save a few bucks. I pretty much knew after I had purchased the plugs that I had spent twice as much as the cost of a new box.
The issue was that i have a lot of these things hanging out in a box, and just didn't feel like throwing them out. It wasn't even that I saved a trip to HD, in fact I went there to purchase the plugs, and a PVC fitting.
Saving the Earth was really meant to be taken on the lite side, hey HandyPete, c'mon. I know you do this for a living, and maybe you had a rough day. Gimme a break here. When I posted, I was really poking fun at myself, and thought someone might get a laugh out of it. Not to take it like it's a disgrace to the community or something.

Sometimes, we all do things that we look back on and laugh, or shake our heads at. This is one for me.
Next time I guess I'll post it on my own website, or my blog. Then you don't have to read if you don't want to. Then again, you don't have to read these threads if you don't want to.

That's one thing I can't understand. Why do we (I included) sometimes get defensive (or offensive in some cases) over someone's boneheaded post, when all we really have to do is ignore it?

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:49 PM   #10
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KO plugs are dangerous!


Buy plastic KO fillers if you think the metal ones are too sharp.

Last edited by chris75; 11-25-2008 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:57 PM   #11
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KO plugs are dangerous!


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But plastic KO fillers if you think the metal ones are too sharp.
That is what I would do next time, but I think I've made up my mind not to use the old boxes anymore, unless they have KO's punched matching my needs.
My whole thinking process was silly, if not stupid<g>

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