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Discussion Starter #1
The attached picture is of the junction box where the wires enter my house. It's about 4.75 x 4.75 x 6 inches, and crammed full. The picture doesn't do justice to just how jam-packed it really is, since you can't see past the first "wave" of wires.

So, I'm wondering whether there is any way to enlarge this box without ripping it out (which would be a big job). Or, is it possible to installing a new box without disconnecting all of the wires? At present, it's not practical to extend the box out further from the wall, since there's a water heater in the way. Of course, if moving the water heater is the only option, I could probably manage it. Anyways, I'm just wondering whether there might be a clever solution to this sort of problem. Thanks.
 

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Nope, I think I'be spending some time how to run some of those wires differantly so there not all just coming to there.
Only way to the wires out is to disconnect them.
 

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Looks like the box already has an extension ring on it but you could probably install another one to extend it. I don't see the water heater in the picture so it is not clear how it would be in the way. First thing I would do is take wire count and properly calculate the box fill. I would only recommend this as a temporary fix. As Joecaption said the best way to do it would be to figure out a better way to run the wires.
 

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Looks like the box already has an extension ring on it but you could probably install another one to extend it. I don't see the water heater in the picture so it is not clear how it would be in the way. First thing I would do is take wire count and properly calculate the box fill.
That is an extension ring mounted to a regular box.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would have to say, that box is well past its fill. You wonder why Electricians get paid so well to fix others "fixes".
Thanks for all of the responses.

Yes, it's certainly going to take some hours to fix the mess. I don't know how it got so screwed up, but it wasn't my doing. I've spent lots of time since we moved in (about 5 years ago) fixing electrical problems and this is the last major thing---at least it's the last one I know about. Maybe it's time to stop looking. Anyways, I'll eventually bite the bullet and do it right. Things like this bug me, even if it's been there for 20 years without causing any problems.
 

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So, I'm wondering whether there is any way to enlarge this box without ripping it out (which would be a big job). I'm just wondering whether there might be a clever solution to this sort of problem. Thanks.
Why do you need to enlarge it ???
Do you intend to add further wires to it ?
Or is it purely cosmetic reasons ?
 

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It already has an extension ring on that box.
 
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