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Hello All,

I hope everyone is well during this surreal Covid-19 disaster.

This is a dumb question, but here goes: I am about to install a few metal boxes. I don't yet have the attached cover in my possession, but by the looks of the photo, I will remove the screws from the outlet and attach the outlet to the cover and then attach the cover to the metal j-box. Is that all there is to it, or am I missing something?

Thanks Much and Stay Safe,
Russell
 

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The single hole right in the center of the cover is redundant, yes?
It is *now*.

Earlier versions of these plates had the center screw ONLY. So you used the cover plate mounting screw as the only screw holding the recep to the plate. That had to resist insertion forces, while also providing ground through the screw.

The modern approach is to use bolts and nuts at top and bottom. That does a much better job both holding the recep and grounding it. Many of these plates do not have the center hole at all.

Why are they grounding through the plate? Because metal boxes are often used in metal conduit where the metal conduit is the ground path. So the ground path is pipe -> fitting -> box -> hard flush contact with box lid -> top and bottom screws. Even where metal boxes are connected by Romex, you are required to ground to the box's grounding screw, and this way, your work is done :)
 

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Just my opinion, but I have higher confidence that the middle screw will hold best over time, so I always use it in these setups (in addition to the top & bottom too).
The single screw failed to hold quite often. That was why the design changed as well as the code to require the bolted double screws.
 
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You'll have to remove the 4 washer-like tabs (ears?) on the end of the receptacle in order to fit that cover plate. There are score marks made to make the removal easier.

I've had the problem of devices (specifically GFCIs) not fitting even after removing the ends at the tear mark; had to cut off some more. I don't know why that happens.
 

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I've had the problem of devices (specifically GFCIs) not fitting even after removing the ends at the tear mark; had to cut off some more. I don't know why that happens.
For 4" square boxes, GFCIs in domed covers are a problem like that. Use mud rings and cover plates instead.



That applies to all Decora.

This question illustrates the problem. The blue-marked holes are tapped and accept the normal Decora cover plate screws. A mud ring with a little height takes care of the problem.

Another option is to use a 4-11/16" (120mm) square box and a domed cover for that size box. Those have enough room for the wings.

You can saw the screw holes off, but then, you will never be able to use that GFCI in a regular Decora location (because you won't be able to fit the cover plate).
 

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A raised cover for a gfi does not need the tapped mounting holes for the cover. Cut it off and the device fits. It uses the nut and screw on the yoke where the 6-32 mounts to the box. The OP in the link above simply didn't know how to use the correct cover.
 

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My issue with doing that is, then, the device can't ever be reused anywhere else.

Unless you’re that cheap, no one reuses devices especially GFI’s. If I’m changing out devices, I’m putting in new ones and throwing the old ones out.

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I don't think its fair to call it cheap or say no one reuses devices. Especially these days when we are limiting trips out and people are saving $ were they can. If you are some who does multiple jobs it would make sense to reuse SAFE devices where applicable to save on costs.

OR For example in the attached picture our previous home owner hastily installed (upside down) a GFI outlet in the bathroom prior to our purchase that I am planning on replacing with a combination switch/outlet because we don't need 2 outlets and want to install a fan eventually. (Have to look into this still and see if a GFCI outlet/switch combo exist.) But I have other outlets that are not GFI that I want to replace. Why would I throw out this perfectly good outlet just to buy another $10-15 one?


Granted I am only a DIY but am interested in learning more about electrical work and potentially going into the field after some training. So I follows this site and others to make sure I follow code on any projects and then reference NEC if I don't find the answer. But I admit I did not look into this before posting a reply so maybe there is something I haven't learned yet...that's what this site is for right!?!
 
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