sockets are coming out of the walls


Old 02-25-05, 03:48 PM
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sockets are coming out of the walls

The wall sockets in our home were not installed properly and now are pulling out of the walls. How do I go about anchoring them so they are sturdy? Do I have to move them or tear apart the drywall? Is there a way to fix them without tearing up the whole house? I am sure that they all need to be repaired. Builder is bankrupt....big surprise? Thanks for all and any helpful advice.
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Old 02-25-05, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You need to be more specific. Are the receptacles "pulling out" of the junction boxes or are the boxes "pulling out" of the walls?
Old 02-25-05, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
If the boxes are pulling out of the wall, visit your home center and ask to see the "Madison clips". They are thin pieces of metal with one long strip with two side pieces coming out (like a deformed Greek letter pi). If the receptacles are pulling out of the boxes because the threads are stripped, use slightly larger screws.

While you're at the home center, look at the "old work" boxes, as that can be used to solve either problem.
Old 02-25-05, 06:12 PM
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There is nothing to screw in to. They have all broken off.
Old 02-26-05, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 188

Start by doing this.

Determine a receptacle to inspect and turn the circuit breaker off. Take the receptacle cover plate off (if there is one). Get a flash light and do a close inspection of the receptacle unit and as far as you can see into the wall cavity behind it. There should be a little box the receptacle fits into and there should be wires in it that are attached to the receptacle. This little box (could be metal or plastic) should be secured firmly within the wall. The receptacle is designed to be fastened to this box by means of "captive screws" located on the top and bottom on the front of the unit.

Look closely at these screws and try to determine if they are just loose, are they truly broken, did they just unscrew out of the box etc. If they are just loose or completely out, take a small screwdriver and screw them in so they are snug. Do they appear stripped or do they snug up? If they are truly broken we can work another angle. If the box holes are stripped you can try a larger screw as John indicated. If the box itself is loose you may be able to use Madison straps if the box has plaster ears. But first verify there IS a box (metal or plastic).

Post back if necessary and we'll take the next step.
Old 02-26-05, 06:07 AM
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Loose Socket

I will go along with the others and add that if you have a problem with the sheetrock being gone where the yoke of the outlet is suppose to sit agianst the wall, they do make plastic inserts that will keep the outlet from " FALLING BACK into the wall. If your entire box is falling in the wall, you will need to replace it with a remodel box like those suggested to you before. You might have to go to a 2 gang box just to get " GOOD DRYWALL " for anchoring. " Just add another outlet or get a 2 gang cover with one slot blanked off.

Old 02-26-05, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 2,041
It sounds like he has plastic boxes and the screw sockets are stripped. This can be fixed by filling the hole with JB weld then drilling a small pilot for a sheet metal screw.
Old 02-26-05, 09:47 AM
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the boxes are solid in the wall. The portion that accepts the screws is half gone. broken away. will the jb filler bond well enough to hold? Is there any kind of cap that could be used? searching for straws trying to make this a painless fix. Thanks to all
Old 02-26-05, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Try the JB weld, since it is relatively painless. If it works, great! If not, go check out the "old work" boxes I recommended. That solution is not painless, but it's not very painful either.

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