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DIYGST 02-23-2009 12:32 PM

replacing box in wall with new construction type
I want to knock out a single gang light switch box and replace with double gang, but I want to install the new construction type that nails in at an angle, is it possible to do?

There are no built-in clamps on the new construction boxes and you should staple any new wires to the studs? but not enough access to do so?

RippySkippy 02-23-2009 01:25 PM

Of course you can install that'll just need a much larger hole! Why don't you want to use the remodel box? I've used many and have had great results.

Don't worry about stapling the wires in the stud cavity...they run wild. New construction requires stapling to keep the wire from getting caught between the drywall and stud when hanging drywall.

Scuba_Dave 02-23-2009 01:30 PM

Can a new box with nails be screwed into a stud instead?
Are there any boxes that uses screws?
Is it not allowed by code to use screws?

DIYGST 02-23-2009 01:34 PM

I am going to tile over the wall and worry about the remodelling boxes introducing flexes when operated on, although, since this is just for light switches, unlike receptacles that have good plug retention.

I may just use remodelling box and predrill 2 of holes on the stud side and use a use 2 short screws to anchor it some more, just incase.

Thurman 02-23-2009 01:37 PM

I've done this many times. My way-Cut the power to this circuit FIRST. Remove the switch, then using one of those hacksaw handles that leave part of the blade extended, cut the nails of the old box without damaging the sheetrock, then you can remove the old box through the hole. Then I cut out the extra needed for the new two-gang box, I use the remodel type with the ears that tighten up on the back of the sheetrock and I secure it in place just snugly. Then I use two sheetrock screws placed into the side of the box that is against the stud and screw it down tight, if there's not a stud then there were no nails to start with. IF this is illegal, then I was taught by an older, established, maybe not sane, Licensed Electrician on how to do this. Thanks, David

DIYGST 02-23-2009 01:50 PM

Thurman you have more patience than I.
I was taught to just use blunt object and an hammer to knock the heck out of the plastic boxes. Sometimes the nails comes loose with it, the rest of the times it shatters and fall inside the wall.

RippySkippy 02-23-2009 01:59 PM

If you're going to tile over the hole...whack it out, support the outlet box like you want and piece the drywall back in. You might consider the adjustable boxes...but I think you're over thinking the long as the drywall is in good shape and you don't crush it with the screw clamps, you'll be fine...

220/221 02-23-2009 03:19 PM

Most boxes come out easily.....unless it has a bracket in front of the stud :( 99% of the time I can change a 1G to 2G with no patching. Just get between the box and the stud with a screwdriver and pry it loose.

Just screw thru the new box to the stud.

I rarely use the old work boxes. It's a much more secre installation when it's attached to the stud, plus there is more room in the new construction boxes.

Jim Port 02-23-2009 08:10 PM

If you cut the bigger hole first you can pry the nails out using a pair of dykes as a lever.

Here is a picture of a pre-made box with the screws thru the side.

Arlington and Smart Box make versions.

chris75 02-23-2009 08:15 PM

Installing screws through the side of a box is a violation, the box pictured above is legal. Either use an old work box and set the depth to the new wall depth, or get yourself a 2gang box as pictured above.

220/221 02-23-2009 10:06 PM

Technical foul. Here's the same box. Just run some screws in. The conductors are not going to come in contact with them.

DIYGST 02-23-2009 10:23 PM

What about metal boxes?

chris75 02-23-2009 10:40 PM


Originally Posted by DIYGST (Post 235728)
What about metal boxes?

What about them?

chris75 02-23-2009 10:41 PM


Originally Posted by 220/221 (Post 235715)
Technical foul. Here's the same box. Just run some screws in. The conductors are not going to come in contact with them.

Says who? Why should I believe you? :) And your picture actually meets code, BTW. :)

(1) Nails and Screws. Nails and screws, where used as a fastening means, shall be attatched by using brackets on the outside of the enclosure, or shall pass through the interior within 1/4" of the back or ends of the enclosure.

DIYGST 02-23-2009 11:01 PM

You can shoot screws from the inside on a metal box right?

I don't think the code violation is just a matter of something making contact with the screw you add, but with the modification to a box that wasn't made for screws?

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