Too many wires in a one-gang box. Would a mudp ring work?

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Old 01-27-10, 05:33 PM
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Too many wires in a one-gang box. Would a mudp ring work?

I have a switch box with 7 14 AWG wires coming in/out (14/3 for switches and 2 14/2 for ceiling fan and outlets). There are two clamps in the box and one switch. By my calculations (and I'm more than willing to be wrong), it's 14 cu. in. for the wires, 2 for the grounds, 2 for the switch, and 4 for the wire clamps (I'm not sure about this part of the calculation. That means i need a 24 cu. in. box. 1.75" W x 2.75" H x 2.25" D = 10.8 cu in. I feel I am stuck with a 2 gang box to safely accommodate these wires.

Would a mud ring be appropriate for this to make it still look like a single switch or do I have to have a faceplate with a switch and a blank? If a mud ring is appropriate (and forgive my newbie-ness), how do I make it flush with the wall?
 
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Old 01-27-10, 07:00 PM
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The plaster ring/mud ring won't be able to sit flush with the wall unless you move the box. Your other options would be installing a double box, set it back 1/2" and use a centrally located plaster ring with one opening....OR....after installing the double box flush with the sheetrock, use a cover plate with one switch opening and the other side blank. You basically answered your own questions.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 07:56 PM
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Thanks. I guess my question now is did I do the calculations correctly? After cutting a new hole and feeling around the existing box, it is attached to a stud. Two of the wires feeding the box are also stapled to that stud. I've tried to start to hack the box off, but it's very slow and I'd prefer not to do it at all. The box is gangable so with two it'd be approx. These boxes are angled in the back and are not perfectly square so it may not be an exact 20 cu. in. total.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 08:10 PM
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The device (switch) counts as 2 wire fills so that counts as 4 cu in. Your total was correct though.

7 #14 = 14 cu in
1 for grounds = 2 cu in
2 clamps = 4 cu in
2 for device = 4 cu in

Total 24 cu in

If the wall is open, pull out the box and install a plastic or metal 4" x 4" box (deeper the better) and then get a single gang mudring with the depth that matches your wall covering. IE: if your using 1/2" drywall, use a 1/2" mudring.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 08:39 PM
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Oops...all clamps together count for only one allowance, or 2 cu in for this application. Total would be 22, but I know you knew that
 
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Old 01-28-10, 08:51 AM
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Thanks Willis. Senior moment.
 
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Old 01-28-10, 12:34 PM
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You can increase the cubic-inch volume of the "outlet" by implacing a Wire Mold "extension box" on the existing flush outlet-box, this presuming that the appearance of a suface box is acceptable ,and "practicality" trumps "aesthetics"

As to the Wire Mold box, you have a choice in the depth of the box.
 
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