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Old 10-23-2013, 11:59 PM   #1
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


Is there a trick to removing a builder installed gang box without making a mess of the surrounding drywall. I was thinking about using my dremel with a cutoff wheel and take it out in pieces, but hoping there's a better way.

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Old 10-24-2013, 12:15 AM   #2
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


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Originally Posted by chuck2112 View Post
Is there a trick to removing a builder installed gang box without making a mess of the surrounding drywall. I was thinking about using my dremel with a cutoff wheel and take it out in pieces, but hoping there's a better way.
Metal or plastic?
How us it secured to the stud?
Most likely it is nails.
Sawzall or oscillating tool with a metal cutting blade.

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Old 10-24-2013, 12:31 AM   #3
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


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Metal or plastic?
How us it secured to the stud?
Most likely it is nails.
Sawzall or oscillating tool with a metal cutting blade.
The box is nailed to the studs and is plastic. There are wires still coming into the box that I want to protect since they'll still be used. So I don't want to use my sawzall.

The project I'm doing is adding a motion detector to the side of my house and tapping into a interior receptacle to power it. I'll run romex down from the exterior light fixture to the interior gang box.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:35 AM   #4
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


You still need to keep that box there. You can place an outdoor box, that fits over that existing box inside, and use that to mount your fixture. But really with the fact that Romex that is already there, and stapled inside the wall to the studs, you are not going to be ripping it out very easy.

Just use one of these over the existing box http://www.lowes.com/pd_69746-53911-...cetInfo=REDDOT
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:46 AM   #5
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
You still need to keep that box there. You can place an outdoor box, that fits over that existing box inside, and use that to mount your fixture. But really with the fact that Romex that is already there, and stapled inside the wall to the studs, you are not going to be ripping it out very easy.

Just use one of these over the existing box http://www.lowes.com/pd_69746-53911-...cetInfo=REDDOT
The interior gang is in my dining room, so aesthetics are important. I need to remove the existing gang because I will need to fish romex up to the light fixture. I think it would be next to impossible to drop the fish through the back of the existing gang, which is why I want to remove it.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:47 AM   #6
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


I really have no idea what Greg is suggesting, but you can either turn off power, label the existing wires (all of them), disconnect all the wires, cut the nails off the box, remove the wires from the box, remove the box, then add your fixture and wiring, then put everything back together as it was.

Or, you can break out one of the unused tabs that holds the cable to the box and fish up to your new fixture. The difficult part about this is the insulation...it makes it much more difficult.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:05 AM   #7
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


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The interior gang is in my dining room, so aesthetics are important. I need to remove the existing gang because I will need to fish romex up to the light fixture. I think it would be next to impossible to drop the fish through the back of the existing gang, which is why I want to remove it.
Unless you have some custom paint job in the dining room, just cut the drywall away where the existing box is, cut lower where you are pulling the wire, if pulling from the basement, and go that route.

Of course pictures are helpful as to what your dealing with outside, and why you need to replace the existing box, just to mount the new fixture.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:08 AM   #8
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
I really have no idea what Greg is suggesting, but you can either turn off power, label the existing wires (all of them), disconnect all the wires, cut the nails off the box, remove the wires from the box, remove the box, then add your fixture and wiring, then put everything back together as it was.

Or, you can break out one of the unused tabs that holds the cable to the box and fish up to your new fixture. The difficult part about this is the insulation...it makes it much more difficult.
Suggesting it, because I am guessing that the OP cannot mount their new fixture to the current box for some unknown reason, and the box I linked is probably the best option for this.

Without having pictures of what the OP is dealing with, and why they need to pull the existing box, all we are going to do on this thread is just pull guesses out of the wind, and never get anywhere.

If they already have wire to the outside box, I really cannot see why they are pulling new wire, unless there is an issue with the existing wiring, or wanting to wire in a three-way switch.

Without pictures and further info, again, all we are going to be doing is pulling guesses out of the wind.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:12 AM   #9
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Unless you have some custom paint job in the dining room, just cut the drywall away where the existing box is, cut lower where you are pulling the wire, if pulling from the basement, and go that route.

Of course pictures are helpful as to what your dealing with outside, and why you need to replace the existing box, just to mount the new fixture.
No custom paint, just knock down texture that's difficult to match. Doable, but not my first choice. That's why I just want to remove/replace the box.

As for mounting the outside fixture, I'm all set with that. There's nothing there now (no gang box or wire), just stucco wall and I'll just add a box similar to the one in the link you gave earlier.

Last edited by chuck2112; 10-24-2013 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:22 AM   #10
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


What is probably easier, and look nicer, is to cut a hole in the stucco and recess the box. That way, you have your access hole and you don't have to take apart the switch box.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:25 AM   #11
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Suggesting it, because I am guessing that the OP cannot mount their new fixture to the current box for some unknown reason, and the box I linked is probably the best option for this.

Without having pictures of what the OP is dealing with, and why they need to pull the existing box, all we are going to do on this thread is just pull guesses out of the wind, and never get anywhere.

If they already have wire to the outside box, I really cannot see why they are pulling new wire, unless there is an issue with the existing wiring, or wanting to wire in a three-way switch.

Without pictures and further info, again, all we are going to be doing is pulling guesses out of the wind.
Greg, sorry for the confusion and without pictures or detail after detail of the project, I know that it can be difficult to get the whole picture.
In this case, my question is only about the interior gang, since nothing (gang/power) currently exists on the wall for the fixture and I'm all set with installing all of that. So I'm only concerned with the interior and was looking for a solution to get the existing gang out without making the hole any larger.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:28 AM   #12
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


I thought I understood what you were doing, but now I'm confused. If nothing exists on the wall where the new fixture is going, why are you removing a "gang box"?

Is this existing "gang box" on a different wall? If yes, how are you going to cross the studs without going into the attic?

To clear things us...what are you calling a "gang box"?
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Last edited by k_buz; 10-24-2013 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:39 AM   #13
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


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I thought I understood what you were doing, but now I'm confused. If nothing exists on the wall where the new fixture is going, why are you removing a "gang box"?
This is why I don't "text" on my phone, it's too easy to confuse someone or send the wrong message.

The side of my home that I'm installing the motion detector does not have any exterior receptacles/gang boxes, etc. So I will drill a hole saw through the stucco, send down romex, and install the gang box and fixture. On the other end of the romex, I will tie into an existing interior receptacle that is in my dining room.

The only other option I was considering is to just drill directly through the interior gang and through the stucco. Then attach an LB and sch 40 up to where I'll install the motion detector, pulling thhn through the conduit. This 2nd option would be easier, but it wouldn't look as good.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:59 AM   #14
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


Cut a hole in the stucco. Then fish up from the receptacle box to the hole. Finally install a round remodel box (or pan box if you hit a stud).
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:46 AM   #15
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Removing a gang box without tearing up surrounding drywall


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
I thought I understood what you were doing, but now I'm confused. If nothing exists on the wall where the new fixture is going, why are you removing a "gang box"?

Is this existing "gang box" on a different wall? If yes, how are you going to cross the studs without going into the attic?

To clear things us...what are you calling a "gang box"?
My bad, gang box for the switch/receptacle. Round J box for the fixture.

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