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Old 01-27-2009, 02:40 PM   #1
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loose outlet boxes on metal studs


used metal studs for first time in room remodel. fastened outlet boxes with 2 screws through the front tab to the metal stud. I figured the strenght to hold the box would come after the rock is up.

since i'm no expert in sheetrock most of my holes are cut a bit larger than usual and the outlet ears are just barely gripping on the rock. My issue is that i'm shocked how loose the outlet box is connected to the metal stud. i can pull the outlet box out almost a half inch when i pull a plug out.

I should have screwed the box to the stud from the sides as well but its too late. Are there any refits i can do to get my outlet box to be stable? Is there something i can buy to make the outlet ears "bigger" and then i'll just screw the outlet to the rock to make it solid.

this is the last time i use steel studs! thanks.

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Old 01-27-2009, 04:02 PM   #2
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loose outlet boxes on metal studs


Depending on the type of box, you may be able to use a MAdison strap to help secure it.

I would pull the receps and use quick setting mud to provide better backing for the ears on the receps. Also, use Nylon cover plates to help you situation. They wont break when you tighten them down. You can tighten the recep down back in a bit and the cover will pull them back out.

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Old 01-28-2009, 09:25 AM   #3
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loose outlet boxes on metal studs


filling in the gaps with mud is a good idea but i really think that it would just be too brittle and break off on the first yank of a plug. is quick dryinig mud stronger than the regular blue top stuff?
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:06 AM   #4
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loose outlet boxes on metal studs


Go get some madison clips, AKA "Jiffy Clips" AKA "F Clips" AKA "Steam Boats", and use one on the side opposite the stud. The way they work is, you slip the long side up beside the box, then push the whole piece in. Then bend the two arms tight into the box. Tape up your receptacle and reinstall.

The clips come in pairs. The image below shows them together, and you must break them apart. Ones from Home Depot usually come two in a pack.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:42 AM   #5
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loose outlet boxes on metal studs


Usually metal boxes and metal studs translates to metal conduit. EMT. Like it or not, this is where the strength comes from, the conduit.
Some EC's use an extra piece of stud to secure the boxes. But most who use metal use conduit and that eliminates loose boxes.

Did you use 1900 boxes and mud rings? Thats what you should have used IMO.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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loose outlet boxes on metal studs


In Phase you are awesome.. that will definitly work. J.V. its a residential basement project i used metal studs with plastic boxes.. and regular 12 gauge wire.

i chose metal studs for first time because it was a solo project, indoors, the metal is cleaner and easier for one guy to handle. If i was using wood studs i would have put 2 nails in each box from the side, with the metal studs i just screwed the front tab to the front face of the stud, so the result of that was that the "back side" of the box was unattached and that's what is causing the "in-and-out" to happen when i pull a plug out.

(rookie mistakes)..

thanks for the feedback guys!
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:39 AM   #7
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loose outlet boxes on metal studs


I like metal studs too. Never used plastic boxes with them though. How are you protecting the Nm cable as it passes through the studs? Grommets?
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:12 PM   #8
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loose outlet boxes on metal studs


grommets of course, the yellow snap in ones.. impossible to pull the wires through without the grommets.

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