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Old 04-28-2008, 01:13 PM   #1
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"sunk-in" receptacles


Hi all. Looking for some direction here.

Putting the final touches on a finished basement. Went to put the outlet covers on today and there is a little gap from the front of the outlet to the cover. Looks as if the receptacles themselves are sunk in a little too deep (maybe 1/8 of an inch).

Any suggestions on how to correct this without having to tear down walls and readjust the boxes?

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Old 04-28-2008, 01:19 PM   #2
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"sunk-in" receptacles


Longer screws on the receptacles, switches, and cover plates will take care of most circumstances.

If the box is mounted too deep in plywood or another combustible material, a plastic box extension (spark ring) would be necessitated. You can't have combustible materials exposed to the inside of the box. They're very inexpensive and are available from most electrical supply stores (My local Lowes and Home Depot don't have them). Allied Moulded is one manufacturer that comes to mind.

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Old 04-28-2008, 01:39 PM   #3
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"sunk-in" receptacles


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Longer screws on the receptacles, switches, and cover plates will take care of most circumstances.

If the box is mounted too deep in plywood or another combustible material, a plastic box extension (spark ring) would be necessitated. You can't have combustible materials exposed to the inside of the box. They're very inexpensive and are available from most electrical supply stores (My local Lowes and Home Depot don't have them). Allied Moulded is one manufacturer that comes to mind.


Thank you for the reply.

Forgive my ignorance but I can't see how longer screws would work. If the receptacle in not firm against the box itself, wouldn't the outlet move?
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:00 PM   #4
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"sunk-in" receptacles


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Originally Posted by JHill View Post
Thank you for the reply.

Forgive my ignorance but I can't see how longer screws would work. If the receptacle in not firm against the box itself, wouldn't the outlet move?
Oulets have drywall ears that should hit the dry wall. But a good solid solution would be to use washers on the back side of the outlet on the screw to even it out.
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:04 PM   #5
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"sunk-in" receptacles


The longer screws will be needed to pull the outlet out of the box some more. I like to have my outlets tight against the wall and I generally lean toward getting unbreakable covers and cranking them down.
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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"sunk-in" receptacles


You need to use a box extender. If the recep is set back, then chances are the box is set back too, and there can be no more than 1/4" of exposed sheetrock.

Also, if you just put in longer screws, then the outlet cover will break (if it is hard plastic) when you push a plug into it, or flex slot (if it is a nylon unbreakable cover).
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Old 04-28-2008, 05:43 PM   #7
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"sunk-in" receptacles


Thanks for all the great tips!!

I went over to an electrical supplier in town and they directed me so the "spacers" that go behind the receptacles to bring them forward. I had no idea that these things even existed.

Thanks again everyone...... another problem solved thanks to these boards!

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