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Old 01-03-2011, 09:44 PM   #16
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New wiring in an old (1948) home


Just to follow up... I measured tonight and the boxes are 3 x 2 x 2.5 = 15 cu in. at best. They are clearly 2.5 in. deep but 3 x 2 might be a little generous. Looks like I will be doing some cutting and patching.

Thanks for the earlier help, folks.

RST

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Old 01-04-2011, 12:02 AM   #17
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New wiring in an old (1948) home


If you replace the old boxes with the plastic blue boxes, the clamps won't be an issue in the box fill calculations.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:35 AM   #18
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New wiring in an old (1948) home


On that subject... I have some walls where the studs are installed such that a low profile box would be appropriate. I ended up pursuing other options, but I looked at a shallow old work box... The wire tabs looked like they would break off, and in the bottom of the box it indicated that the wire must be secured within 8" of the box to be NEC compliant...

(Carlon B108R-UPC)

What is this crazy talk? If you're using an old work box, especially low profile, isn't it kinda implied that securing the cable inside the wall is a bit impractical?
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:23 PM   #19
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New wiring in an old (1948) home


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Originally Posted by WillK View Post
On that subject... I have some walls where the studs are installed such that a low profile box would be appropriate. I ended up pursuing other options, but I looked at a shallow old work box... The wire tabs looked like they would break off, and in the bottom of the box it indicated that the wire must be secured within 8" of the box to be NEC compliant...

(Carlon B108R-UPC)

What is this crazy talk? If you're using an old work box, especially low profile, isn't it kinda implied that securing the cable inside the wall is a bit impractical?
I have received multiple responses on here to suggest that if you are fishing the cable through the walls you don't have to staple it.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:27 PM   #20
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New wiring in an old (1948) home


Quote:
Originally Posted by RST View Post
Just to follow up... I measured tonight and the boxes are 3 x 2 x 2.5 = 15 cu in. at best. They are clearly 2.5 in. deep but 3 x 2 might be a little generous. Looks like I will be doing some cutting and patching.

Thanks for the earlier help, folks.

RST
I am having this problem as well. The boxes I have are 12 sq inches and in some cases I have too 12-2 romex going in which is overfilled. I am going to have to pull those boxes and replace them with something bigger. Problem is that the bigger boxes are too deep for the wall. I have a thread here:

Counting wires in a box?

That will give you a couple of ideas. I think I am going to go with the 4 X 4 X 1 1/2 inch box with a plaster/mud ring for my switches and outlets when I need more than 1 12-2 romex in the box. Unfortunately the finish surface on my wall is 1 inch thick plaster and it is hard to find the plaster rings that have a 1 inch offset. RACO makes them but Lowes, HD, and Ace don't carry them. Grainger has them but they charge an arm and a leg.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:33 PM   #21
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New wiring in an old (1948) home


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Originally Posted by jerseyguy1996 View Post
I have received multiple responses on here to suggest that if you are fishing the cable through the walls you don't have to staple it.
Yeah... I've read that, but I believe that is based on the fact that the cable is secured where it enters the box. I think I've read somewhere, maybe Mike Holt's forums, that if the plastic tab breaks off then the cable isn't secured and it's non-compliant.

This particular box doesn't seem to have tabs that will hold the cable in place, they look like they will break off rather than flex. The wording is molded into the plastic, and it's not present on other boxes.

I'm sure that there are only very limitted uses for these boxes, and it just struck me as odd that in that limitted range of where you'd need this little box, technically you'd only be able to use it if you already had a wire stapled in place and you couldn't use it with a new wire that isn't secured to a stud unless you had access to drill a hole in the stud... and how often do you do that, yet need an old work box??
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:17 PM   #22
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New wiring in an old (1948) home


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Originally Posted by jerseyguy1996 View Post
I am having this problem as well. The boxes I have are 12 sq inches and in some cases I have too 12-2 romex going in which is overfilled. I am going to have to pull those boxes and replace them with something bigger. Problem is that the bigger boxes are too deep for the wall. I have a thread here:

Counting wires in a box?

That will give you a couple of ideas. I think I am going to go with the 4 X 4 X 1 1/2 inch box with a plaster/mud ring for my switches and outlets when I need more than 1 12-2 romex in the box. Unfortunately the finish surface on my wall is 1 inch thick plaster and it is hard to find the plaster rings that have a 1 inch offset. RACO makes them but Lowes, HD, and Ace don't carry them. Grainger has them but they charge an arm and a leg.
Thanks for sending me back there. It gave me some good ideas. I read the thread before but stopped reading when I got too busy around the holidays. My preexisting boxes closely resemble the switch boxes you posted on your thread.

I will probably see how easy it is to remove them and then formulate a plan. I hate the idea of putting junction boxes all over the crawlspace but it might be easier than cutting and patching. I have to add new receptacles (the existing ones are too far apart), so I maybe can use the boxes for them as junction boxes. Thankfully I don't have the depth issues that you do.

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Old 01-04-2011, 05:36 PM   #23
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New wiring in an old (1948) home


Some plastic boxes have a tab covering the hole that is not a clamp, you snap the tab off to use the hole. Others have a finger molded next to the hole that acts as a clamp. Either way you are not required to staple the wire if you fished the wire through the wall. You are not required to cut more holes in the wall to wield a stapler in.

All the clamps count as one conductor.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:23 PM   #24
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I figured out a "plan B" in case cutting out the old boxes turns out to be a huge pain. I'll mount a junction box in the crawlspace under the middle of each room. Power will enter the junction box and then leave from there to the new receptacle boxes that I have to add to each room to meet spacing requirements. Then I'll run wires from the new receptacle boxes to the old ones. So each new box will be "middle of the run" and each old box will be "end of run." And I would only need 5 junction boxes, one per room. Hopefully though I can just cut out the old boxes without too much fuss and not have to use this plan.

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Old 01-04-2011, 09:49 PM   #25
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New wiring in an old (1948) home


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Originally Posted by RST View Post
I figured out a "plan B" in case cutting out the old boxes turns out to be a huge pain. I'll mount a junction box in the crawlspace under the middle of each room. Power will enter the junction box and then leave from there to the new receptacle boxes that I have to add to each room to meet spacing requirements. Then I'll run wires from the new receptacle boxes to the old ones. So each new box will be "middle of the run" and each old box will be "end of run." And I would only need 5 junction boxes, one per room. Hopefully though I can just cut out the old boxes without too much fuss and not have to use this plan.

RST
If they are plaster walls with the boxes sealed into the plaster then I have found that there is really no pretty way to get the boxes out. I just took a demolition blade on my reciprocating saw and cut the boxes out. Cut through plaster, the metal brackets, and the plaster ears all in one shot. Once I had the box out I found that it was easiest to patch the wall completely with drywall and joint compound and then cut a new hole for my new box.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:14 PM   #26
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New wiring in an old (1948) home


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Originally Posted by jerseyguy1996 View Post
If they are plaster walls with the boxes sealed into the plaster then I have found that there is really no pretty way to get the boxes out. I just took a demolition blade on my reciprocating saw and cut the boxes out. Cut through plaster, the metal brackets, and the plaster ears all in one shot. Once I had the box out I found that it was easiest to patch the wall completely with drywall and joint compound and then cut a new hole for my new box.
I am not sure what to expect - the walls are an early form of drywall with layers of plaster on top. They are actually easy to cut into when adding new boxes. But the plaster is textured in appearance and any patchwork - if needed - will be difficult to hide. Luckily, the one box I have to replace for sure is located behind furniture -- so it won't be visible after I am done.

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