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receptacle boxes slightly recessed in wall, how to get outlet/faceplate flush

receptacle boxes slightly recessed in wall, how to get outlet/faceplate flush

Old 08-12-08, 12:03 PM
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receptacle boxes slightly recessed in wall, how to get outlet/faceplate flush

in the cases where i used 5/8 drywall, my outlet boxes are a little too recessed, and unfortunately when i put the drywall in i already had the outlets (and the little wings that stick out slightly above and below the boxes) installed. so i just cut the drywall that extra 1/8" bigger than the box to accommodate the wings too. but now when the outlets are screwed all the way into the box, the wings don't hit drywall and the outlet ends up recessed about 1/8 to 1/4 inches into the wall. if you screw the faceplate on, it looks a bit funny because the plugs don't come out flush with the faceplate, and if you screw it in hard to make it flush the faceplate will break...

so, my question is how best to remedy the situation. on several of the boxes, i put little washers behind the screws holding the outlet to the box, so the outlet is now flush with the wall and it seems fine. but it took a lot of washers, and if the inspector asks me to take an outlet out to look inside the box (although they've already done the rough-in inspection, so they probably won't ask) but if they do, 10 little washers will fall out all over the place...seems bad. the other options seems to be taking the whole outlet out and using drywall mud directly above/below the box, so when i screw the outlet back the little wings with press against it and not allow it to go so deep into the box. it seems like more work than i'd like doing though (first taking out every outlet, then working the mud around the box, etc etc). the final choice might be to move the boxes out, but they're already screwed/nailed to the studs and this would also be difficult.

it seems like this would be a common problem for anyone using 5/8 drywall or anybody who didn't set the boxes out from the wall just right. does anyone have a better approach than those i mention? if not, what of the ones i mention do you recommend?

Old 08-12-08, 12:16 PM
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You need to get some box extenders. They are a very common item that you should be able to find at a hardware, big box or supply house. There are two types -- one is a plastic sleeve which fits into the box and has wide ears for grabbing the drywall, the other is a rigid ring which mounts firmly to the box. When you see them in the store, you'll be able to tell which will work best for your situation.

There are several different styles, colors and materials but here is an example:
Old 08-12-08, 04:36 PM
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There is also something else I have used. Don't know what there called but come in strip and you stack as many as needed to move plug/ switch out. I got them in a HD in Calif but guess they are sold else where. They are green plastic an work fairly well.
Old 08-12-08, 08:31 PM
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Yea, these.

Easier than the box extenders I would think. Cheaper too. I always carry a pack of them on my tool belt. They have them at Lowes and Home Depot where I live.

They fold over on themselves and you can make a stack however long you need to get the outlet flush with the wall. Rip off the excess and save what's left for later.
Old 08-12-08, 09:00 PM
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Those green strip they are fine for to raise the receptale or switch to flush with the drywall or other mateals but however per NEC code it pretty picky with it you must have the box to be flush with the finshed wall surface { for combustbale wall type } while the noncombustbale wall like drywall they can be sunked in no more than inches from the wall surface.

Normally I used the box exender and it will meet the code very good without anyissue.

Old 08-13-08, 01:59 AM
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I like the Arlington box extenders. Generally good to go for code.


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