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Old 01-15-2009, 07:45 PM   #1
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


Hi there.

I am trying to mount 3 switches together in gangable switch boxes. I've never worked with these, so I figured I'd ask the question (dumb as it might sound). I have figured out (in my hand) that I can 'gang' the 3 switch boxes but they are not tightly fit as in, I cannot screw them together to make them strong and tight. I want to make sure that I can mount them okay.

I have access to behind the wall, as this is going to be installed behind panelling in our basement. Currently, there is a single switch box nailed to a vertical stud, but this is not gangable, and I am going to take this out and replace it, along with adding 2 boxes for additional switches I need to setup.

Can anyone make a suggestion?

Thanks very much.

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Old 01-15-2009, 07:48 PM   #2
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


Can you use a triple gang nail on? Are you taking the sides out of the boxes?

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Old 01-15-2009, 08:07 PM   #3
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


Either cut out the old box and install a 3-gang box, or don't mess with it at all.

If you don't feel comfortable ripping out the existing box, just add another box next to it.
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:26 PM   #4
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


I guess I might not have explained well. I went to the hardware store, and asked if I can 'gang' 2 or more switches together. They explained to me that I could put these boxes together, mount them and put the electrical switches inside.

I am comfortable with the electrical connections with no question, but the little brackets on each square box that I have, by no means secure it so that I can nail it to a stud without it falling down.

For a single electical box, I would use a 2-3" nail and mount it to a stud. For this, I would need a 9" nail and I don't know if those exist (unless you are referring to the rock band!).

Anyways, I've attached some pics of the 3 boxes together. Should I drill holes in it and use screws to mount these?

Thanks.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:31 PM   #5
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


Those appear to be metal gangables used in Canada based on what I see for the ground screws. Maybe your in Canada?

You use the two holes in the side of the box to nail it to a stud. Remove the side plate then nail the box and then assemble the others to it. There are screws that you remove to take off a side then reinstall to attach the next box. I can't tell if you have done that in your images.

Your boxes are also earless which will make them a little wobbly once you set them in the wall.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:34 PM   #6
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


Those are commonly referred to as old work boxes. What you need to do is loosen the screws that hold the sides together, lose (1) side on 2 of the boxes, both sides of the middle box, then tighten the screws back up. However, one of those boxes will need to be a nail-on type to attach it to the wooden stud.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:15 AM   #7
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


Magnettica pretty much hit right on the target with the describing how to do that and here also a trick too when you mount it up get a peice of shim or thin wood between the box and stud so that way it will go in straght instead of being kinda tilted backward to the wall.

Some case if the box is still kinda wobby you can put in a dummy ( or ghost ) stud on the other side of the box just right before you put in the drywall or paneling that will really support the box even better.

Merci,Marc
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:28 AM   #8
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


If it was me. I'd take those three metal boxes back to the store and
buy a three gang plastic nail-on box. They are much easier to work with.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:58 AM   #9
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


Quote:
Originally Posted by rhall31 View Post
If it was me. I'd take those three metal boxes back to the store and
buy a three gang plastic nail-on box. They are much easier to work with.
I second that! Plus no need to connect a ground wire to the box.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:07 PM   #10
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


I also like the plastic triple-gang boxes. They're much lighter than the metal ones, so won't require additional support after attaching to the stud.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:32 PM   #11
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


I went through your replies, and indeed, I could take apart the 3 boxes and join them together.

Instead of venturing back to the store, I decided to stick to it, and use the metal boxes. It worked too! It is a bit loose, but to give it greater support, I'm going to put a piece of wood in between the boxes and the next stud and nail/screw things in there.

Thanks for your advice!!
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:43 PM   #12
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Mounting 3 gangable switch boxes


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Originally Posted by mcvane View Post
I went through your replies, and indeed, I could take apart the 3 boxes and join them together.

Instead of venturing back to the store, I decided to stick to it, and use the metal boxes. It worked too! It is a bit loose, but to give it greater support, I'm going to put a piece of wood in between the boxes and the next stud and nail/screw things in there.

Thanks for your advice!!
Although using screws on the inside of the box to support the box is a code violation, your bigger problem will be fitting the dimmer into the box because the screw will be in your way. All you need to do is get 1 nail-on box and attach it to the 2 other boxes. Not as easy as you thought, huh.

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