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Old 11-17-2015, 11:50 PM   #1
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fixing a 3 gang box/not flush


Looking for some advice on how to correct a couple 3 gang boxes containing outlets and a light switch. Previous homeowners installed them (most likely during a remodel) Did a half ___ job on it and the result is the outlets and light switches have a slight angle to them along with the box itself seeming to recess into the wall more on the far end of the box. Nothing faces flat to the wall.
I have seen options for fixing 2 gang boxes with a mud ring type bracket, but don't quite know what the best option for a 3 gang box is.
Can anyone offer some advice?
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:40 AM   #2
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Is the box below the surface of the wall?
If it is below then that should not be a problem if it is not too far in. The devices have plaster ears that would keep them flush with the wall. But there needs to be drywall/plaster there for the device ears to rest on, and it shouldn't be tightened too tight also.
If the box is farther out than the surface of the box then your devices are going to stick out no matter what. The only thing you can do us un-mount the box and reattach it deeper into the wall.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:42 AM   #3
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What type of material is the box made of? How far is it recessed on the side away from the stud?
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 11-18-2015, 03:44 AM   #4
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Photos , please .

God bless
Wyr
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:56 PM   #5
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Took 2 pics at lunch. Hopefully they show up. Mobile interface doesn't show.
Anyway, box seems more recessed into the drywall cavity than above so something like a mud ring would shore it up flush with the wall.
Not sure if it's terribly obvious in the pics but each outlet or light switch is askew in some angle due to the box being back far enough to not allow them to be seated securely.
If have to take the covers of again to confirm what the boxes are, metal or plastic.

So the 2 gang mud ring seems perfect in that it's a simple flat outline that would brace against the drywall edge but still allow screws into the box. Wouldn't the same design apply for a 3 gang?

Maybe I'm just not seeing the right hardware needed to do this.
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:11 PM   #6
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apparently the mobile client doesn't like to upload pics. Hopefully they post this time.
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:13 PM   #7
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I think the screws are just too tight! What's it look like under the cover? Do the device ears touch the wall?
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:18 PM   #8
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they are tight. trying to remember, think I tightened them down since things wiggled around so much. having a slightly bowed cover and more secure outlets seemed favorable over loose outlets and gap around the cover.

I'll pop them off now and take another pic.
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:34 PM   #9
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alright, so metal box. when looking at the picture, the GFI outlet area of the box actually extends forward/past the drywall. Not by a huge amount but with the left side doing the opposite/being recessed it certain makes things stick out in odd angles.
The green adjustment tabs are what I used initially to get these outlets in place. Believe me, without those the covers wouldn't even fit on.

I would be completely in favor of taking my oscillating tool, cutting this box apart and the nails and just putting a drywall mounted setup in there. Far easier with a plastic box but to me this is an eye sore so some effort is worthwhile.
Although I would love to rip into this area and redo (remove) the tile, nail a new box to the stud, that's not a project I want to take on now!

I didn't take a picture of the other 3 gang box, but as the details are coming back to me I would say that setup is pretty much the same. One side is recessed and the stud side is extending past the drywall.
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:37 PM   #10
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So the box is protruding from the wall on one side? If it is then it needs to be remounted...

If you want to replace the box you can get a box that screws into the stud from the inside.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Madison-E...SB3G/203340275
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:42 PM   #11
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oh very nice. Was actually just getting to that area of HD's website when your reply came in.
There is one caveat though... nothing in this house seems to have an actual proper angle to it. I've cut into enough walls here to see that half of the framing isn't decently square.
So the thing I'm concern about is if a new box goes in that relies on the stud to be perpendicular with the drywall, that 2x4's angle may result in the same result the current box has of jutting out on one end.

Not trying to make this hard, I swear!
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:45 PM   #12
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You probably would want to remove the old box first, then see what is going on in there and if you can use the screw-on box, otherwise, use the Carlon blue box.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon-3-...355R/100211759

(tip: when using carlon blue cut-in boxes, always pre-thread the anchors by holding them and screwing the screws in and back out. It will make it a LOT easier to screw when you have the box in the wall and will prevent the screws from popping out of position. Carlon cut-in boxes suck so if you don't prethread then you are going to have a tough time.)
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:50 PM   #13
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right on! I had already found that as an old work box option a few minutes ago!

now for the hard part. What would be the best approach to removing the old metal box? I have removed old plastic boxes with my jobmax tool, but I haven't had to mess with metal boxes yet. Carbide tipped blades would probably do it, but I wasn't sure if there is a quicker/more effective method or removing these.
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:52 PM   #14
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You can try to slide a reciprocating saw or something similar between the stud and the box or box's mounting bracket, and you may be able to cut the nails/screws securing the bracket.

This is if the box has a mounting bracket and is attached to the side of a stud. It may be mounted differently.

BTW, that is how you remove plastic boxes. You slide a reciprocating saw between the box and the stud and cut the two nails.

Last edited by poiihy; 11-18-2015 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:55 PM   #15
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ah ok. That was the same approach I took with a oscillating tool and a square head carbide tipped blade.
Looks like I have a project to plan out.

thanks for the help!
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