convert double- to single-gang


Old 05-19-05, 11:14 AM
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convert double- to single-gang

I know I'm going against convention, to want to convert a double-gang reptacle to a single-gang one, but I'm a free spirit...

Kitchen remodel, existing location had a single gang/light switch combo. Its relationship to the height of a backsplash didn't matter, as the wall behind the countertop was tiled, top to bottom. The electrician came and rewired the light switch to a different location, so now the existing receptacle is double gang.

We are putting in new cabinets and new counters (goodbye ugly tile, yippee!) and want to go with a 4" backsplash. But (you guessed it) the top of the backsplash, if 4" (which is what we want), will cover about 1/4" of the bottom of the receptacle. The option I'm considering is to change it to a single gang and have it on its side (holes left to right vs. up and down). It would clear the backspash completely, and I'd still have power in that location.

I'm a committed diyer, very handy, have installed GFIs and remote-controlled switches, etc., and have a healthy respect for electricity! But I have traced and tested all my circuits, and so know which fuses control all the power in the kitchen. There are lots of pretty wires in there, (ha ha) properly wirenutted together... and I know it's not the termination of the circuit.

Does this option I outlined above make sense? Can I do it myself? The electrician has to come back once all is in place, to make all receptacles hot and functional; however, the hole where the double gang is currently will have to be patched before the countertop goes in, so I can't wait. But if I can safely do this myself, I'd like to avoid the extra cost of having the electrician come twice.

Any input is welcome (which is why we're all here, right?!)
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Old 05-19-05, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
This may not be easy to do, and may not be able to be done without rewiring.

There would have to be enough slack in the existing wires so that the unsheathed portion of the wire remains completely in the box once you have raised the box by the distance you want it raised. You will probably also have to use a metal box, so that you can install a clamp on the side.

If you do have to rewires, I would suggest placing the receptacle in the normal vertical orientation.
Old 05-19-05, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 510
Can you tell which the direction from which the cables are entering the current double-gang box? If the are entering from the top you probably will have little problem installing a new box higher on the wall. If they enter from the bottom you could have big problems.
Old 05-19-05, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,530
What replacing the existing box with a 4" square steel box and a single gang mud ring installed horizontally?
Old 05-19-05, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,662
If the wires come in from the top you can probably raise the entire double box assy up enough to clear the tile. Don't forget to allow for the cover plate as well. It extends past the box.
There might even be enough to move it if the wires come from below.

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