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Old 05-10-2008, 09:07 PM   #1
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Need help removing new work switch box


I need to remove a switch box which holds 2 switches and replace it with one which can hold 3 switches.--I plan to install recessed lighting and need to install another switch and would like to install the new switch right against the current two switches to keep them all centralized. Therefore, is there a reasonable way to remove the current box, without having to really cut up the drywall and having to do some subsequent drywall repair afterwards? The current box is one which was installed by the builder about 15 yrs ago and is likely the "new work" type (nailed on to the adjacent stud).
I would prefer to not install the new switch via a single box away from the other two, as I would like to keep all 3 switches together.
Any suggestions? Thanks.

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Old 05-10-2008, 09:19 PM   #2
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Need help removing new work switch box


Easiest way would be to replace one of the switches with a duplex switch (two switches that occupy the space of one).

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Old 05-11-2008, 12:39 AM   #3
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Need help removing new work switch box


A sawzall or handheld hacksaw blade holder can be CAREFULLY used to cut the nails of the existing box. Cut between the box and the stud. Then just cut out a little more drywall and you're good to go.
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:41 PM   #4
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Need help removing new work switch box


Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
Easiest way would be to replace one of the switches with a duplex switch (two switches that occupy the space of one).
I agree with Househelper's approach. Unless you're looking to install some super esoteric fancy-shmancy switch, you can find a 2-switch device on a single yoke. Used to be that all they offered were the older style snap-type but now you can find more modern paddle types as well.

Also, for ceiling fan installation, they now make combination light and fan controls in a single-gang device. They look sharp and it makes sense to group both functions together (at least in my opinion).
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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Need help removing new work switch box


Check to see if you have room for the bigger box, if you do cut the hole bigger. Pry the nails out using access from the bigger hole.

Use on of these as the replacement.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:48 PM   #6
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Need help removing new work switch box


Quote:
Easiest way would be to replace one of the switches with a duplex switch (two switches that occupy the space of one).
I would disagree.

A. It takes only a few minutes to remove a nail on box.

B. You have tons of room to reach into the wall cavity to pull your new wire.

C. You end up with a box big enough for full sized dimmers.

It's win/win/win

1. Turn off power
2. Make sure there is space for a 3G box by probing with a long skinny screwdriver.
3. Disconnect wiring in box (make note of switch legs/configurations) If plastic, ue needle nose pliers to pull the built in clams back so the cables will pull out easily.
4. Place your 3G box over the existing 2G and mark it
5. Use a drywall saw to carefully cut just above and below the existing box and extend to the 3G width.
6. You may be able to grab the nail heads with your dikes via the larger opening and work it out. If not, use a screwdriver on the stud side of the box to pry it loose. The nails may be installed at an up/down angle (blue box) so the top and bottom ones tend to pinch it in. Once both are a little bit loose, pry out one at a time. Worst case, you can cut the nails with a sawsall but it is really easy to slip and hack the drywall.

Crap....I coulda done it by now
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:57 PM   #7
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I would disagree.
Yeah, I live in conduit land and forget that many people more fortunate than I can use NM-b. I was thinking of a steel box with raceways which is not as straightforward. Then again, I'm not affraid of drywall patching either.

Jimmy
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:17 PM   #8
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Need help removing new work switch box


Jim Port where did you find that box?? Who makes it?
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:49 PM   #9
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Need help removing new work switch box


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Originally Posted by wire_twister View Post
Jim Port where did you find that box?? Who makes it?
That looks like an Arlington industries "Smart Box''


http://www.aifittings.com/
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:35 AM   #10
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Need help removing new work switch box


That is the Arlington One box, Smart box makes another similar one.

You can right click on an image to see its properties to see where they came from.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:02 AM   #11
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Need help removing new work switch box


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJimmy View Post
Yeah, I live in conduit land and forget that many people more fortunate than I can use NM-b. I was thinking of a steel box with raceways which is not as straightforward. Then again, I'm not affraid of drywall patching either.

Jimmy


Yeah...a little bit tougher with conduit huh?



Quote:
You can right click on an image to see its properties to see where they came from
Or you can pull the nails out and run drywall screws thru a standard box.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:28 PM   #12
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Need help removing new work switch box


One thing I would suggest is to take a couple digital photos of the wiring BEFORE you disconnect anything.

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