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Old 03-03-2010, 04:10 PM   #1
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Is this a "No, No"


Is it against code to screw a plastic box to a stud from the inside of the box?

Sorry if this is a stupid question.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:19 PM   #2
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It depends...

Sometime we get called upon inspection because you can't get the screws flush with the walls of the box leaving an edge that can damage conductors.

Use this style of boxes which come with screws inside.

http://www.licensedelectrician.com/Store/SmartBox.htm
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopowers View Post
Is it against code to screw a plastic box to a stud from the inside of the box?

Sorry if this is a stupid question.
Stupid? No.

Is it against code? Maybe. I don't know all the details regarding code, but a generality is that the code usually requires any device to be installed according to manufacturers instructions.

Again, I'm not sure about what code says, but here's my logically thinking on the situation:
If you place a metal screw inside a plastic box, the screw has the potential to become energized (should something go wrong inside the box). Now if the screw is embedded in a 2x4, that's not going to be a problem... until someone nails or screws something else into that same wall (perhaps from the other side) and makes contact with the screwn.

So if you have need for a box to be installed with screws, why not just use a metal box (they usually have mounting holes in the back of them). The only thing special about metal boxes is that you have to ground it and put a clamp or bushing on the knockout where the wire comes into the box.

By using a metal box, the screw can never become energized (assuming it remains in contact with the metal box) because if it did, the grounding of the box would trip a breaker.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:16 PM   #4
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actually, and especially since you asked about that 3 in a single gang switch and now this, how about something like this:



and if this is exposed, something like this:



or if you are going to put up sheetrock, something like this:



that box is only 1 1/2" deep. They also make a 2 1/8" deep box as well if you need the extra space. I didn't calculate the wire fill so I don't know offhand which you would need. I always use the deeper boxes unless there is no space for the extra depth just 'cuz I like extra room for my nuts...

wire nuts that is
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
I always use the deeper boxes unless there is no space for the extra depth just 'cuz I like extra room for my nuts...

wire nuts that is

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
I know how you guys are so I felt I had to clarify.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:54 PM   #7
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sometimes you only have enough room for a 1098 box between the studs,usually next to a doorway in my experiance but you cant swing a hammer in there .so yes sometimes ive run screws from inside box without problems from inspectors
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plummen View Post
sometimes you only have enough room for a 1098 box between the studs,usually next to a doorway in my experiance but you cant swing a hammer in there .so yes sometimes ive run screws from inside box without problems from inspectors
not telling you what to do but just as a suggetion:

a lot of folks have no idea what you are referring to with a 1098 box. In fact, since that is not the typical nomenclature used in my area, I have to look it up to find out what it is. I have found pics or descriptions help the DIY'ers better.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:04 PM   #9
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yeah ive been using the fiberglass 1098 single gangboxes for so many years im just used saying it without thinking about it,sorry guys!
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:08 PM   #10
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This is what i was referring to for those of you that arent familiar with it,1098N fiberglass single gang nail on box.they also make a 1096N which isnt as deep but i just use the 1098 for most stuff so i dont have to stock as many parts on my vans
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:08 PM   #11
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This inspector wouldn't get too excited about it proved the box isn't cracked from the screws, the screws don't protrude into the box and it is generally neatly done.

Technically, you could be turned down for not installing the box according to its intended and listed installation method. If it were in a fire assembly (duplex firewall, apartment firewall, rated floor/ceiling assembly, etc) I'd turn it down every time.

There are some really good options available on the market now. Allied molded and other manufacturers have some nifty boxes that have screws that mount on the interior of the nonmetallic box.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
actually, and especially since you asked about that 3 in a single gang switch and now this, how about something like this:



and if this is exposed, something like this:



or if you are going to put up sheetrock, something like this:



that box is only 1 1/2" deep. They also make a 2 1/8" deep box as well if you need the extra space. I didn't calculate the wire fill so I don't know offhand which you would need. I always use the deeper boxes unless there is no space for the extra depth just 'cuz I like extra room for my nuts...

wire nuts that is

Just to clarify- The two topics I started are unrelated. I asked this question because I noticed that the 2 gang plastic box installed in my garage is screwed to an adjacent stud with a couple drywall screws from the inside. The box is a 'new work' box but was installed after the garage was sheetrocked so whomever installed had to screw it from the inside.

When I noticed this today, I thought I would ask if screwing the box to the stud from the inside was against NEC.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plummen View Post
sometimes you only have enough room for a 1098 box between the studs,usually next to a doorway in my experiance but you cant swing a hammer in there .so yes sometimes ive run screws from inside box without problems from inspectors
Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopowers View Post
Just to clarify- The two topics I started are unrelated. I asked this question because I noticed that the 2 gang plastic box installed in my garage is screwed to an adjacent stud with a couple drywall screws from the inside. The box is a 'new work' box but was installed after the garage was sheetrocked so whomever installed had to screw it from the inside.

When I noticed this today, I thought I would ask if screwing the box to the stud from the inside was against NEC.
Ah, I put 2 and 2 together and got 6. I thought you were dealing with the switch issue.

I have never been dinged for installing a box in the manner you describe. The threads cannot be exposed (for they are sharp and could conceivably cut the wire it the wire pressed against them)
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:32 PM   #15
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It might also make sense to use a washer so you don't crack the box with the head of the screw.
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