4 Gang Old Work Box

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Old 03-07-10, 10:05 AM
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4 Gang Old Work Box

Hello all, would like to seek your advice on an electrical box. I recently did some improvements in the bathroom. I added a light/fan above our shower and have it wired to a wall that I had a 3gang switch at, well by me adding this switch, I now have a 4 gang box necessity. I went down to home depot and bought a 4 gang old work box and after I destroyed the old one that was nailed in, and removed it from the wall, I then tried to get the 4 gang old work box in but the wall is not deep enough for it to go in. So I figured I needed a shallow box of the same thing, well I headed back to home depot then to lowes, and nobody has such a thing. My local hardware store guy told me to take 4 of the single metal gang boxes and connect em together which make a 4 gang work box, and then he gave me these thin metal retaining strips to keep the box from falling out. I got home and wired it all up, it's shallow enough no problem but those little thin strips that you bend over the wall opening don't do a very good job of sucking the box up to the drywall like the ears on your old work box versions so in essence I can't get the metal work box to suck up close enough to the drywall so it sinks back in the wall some, those thin strips have sliced a little in the drywall as well and you put the faceplate on and there is a nice little gap because the faceplate can't reach the screw holes to some of the gang recepticles. Hope this is making sense? Bottom line is do they make the plastic old work box 4 gang that is for shallow walls? I know they make it for standard walls. Those ears that screw down really sink up to the inside of the drywall so you have a nice tight wall plate fit but this trick the hardware store guy told me is left me working yes but looking very unsightly, any ideas, I sure could use it, thanks....
 
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Old 03-07-10, 10:43 AM
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4 gang box

Home Depot does sell 4 gang boxes, and I think they sell 4 gang switch rings ( plaster rings ), the 3 gang boxes are steel and not plastic, but they are only 1 3/4 deep, but the switch ring is an additional 5/8" deep.

the reason they make boxes in 4 gang deep is to allow for wire fill and device fill, since most of the time a 4 gang box will have 4 switches, ans sometime those are dimmers which need the extra box volume.

the box will either be a RACO or Thomas and Bettes box
 
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Old 03-07-10, 10:49 AM
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I'm having a little trouble following you but I'll see if I can help.

When you gang 4 metal boxes together you want to set the ears (the things that screw down) so they are just a little past the screw hole for the switch. After you get the box in the wall and the wires in the box, you take the flat metal straps and slip them in the sides between the box and the drywall. The long leg of the F should be down and two horizontal pieces should be sticking out of the wall facing you. Pushing on the edge of the box, bend the two horizontal around so they are now in the inside of the box. Do the same thing on the other side and the box should be tight.
 
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Old 03-07-10, 02:08 PM
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Thanks for your replys fellas, I had more or less ganged the 4 boxes together, then bent the metal F ears over inside the box to hold it the wall cut out but here is the picture of the results.



My problem is with 4 circuits going in here that much wiring makes the box very stiff and it doesn't really want to move or give much, as you can see by the green lines it is sitting low and to the left. The yellow line shows the tab I had bent over but it's showing it a little loose now. It was tight when I had first put it in but trying to finagle the box over to the right some and up a little so it was centered more is causing the thin F strips to slice into the drywall behind and causing even more looseness in the box.

What I was desperately wanting to buy though was
this http://www.smarthome.com/25414/Four-...-Inches/p.aspx
Those fold out ears do a great job of sucking the box down tight against the drywall while I center the box and tighten down the ears. The problem with this exact box is it
s too deep for my wall. But yet this box http://underbid.com/product/689-1375....html?ref=base

is a shallow box 55 cuin not the deep 68cu in. But I can't hammer the nails into the stud since there is drywall up, so they make the box shallow for new work, do they not make the box shallow for "old work"?
Thanks

I could leave the box like that but when you put the cover on there is a small gap on the right that shows the opening and it all comes down to the box not having the ears that fold out that would allow me to since that box down tighter to the wall than what I'm capable of doing with the fold out F strips
 

Last edited by ohredwood; 03-07-10 at 02:12 PM. Reason: picture didnt come out
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Old 03-07-10, 03:08 PM
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With the box removed on the bottom inside the wall screw a 1X3 so it protrudes above the back edge of the Sheetrock by about 3/16". You would fasten it with glue and a couple of drywall screws about 1-1/2" below the opening. A little spackle over the screws and you wont see them. Do the same on the left side to force the box over. You will aso need a piece glued inside at the top not extending byond the edge just so the Madison clips are level.

 
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Old 03-07-10, 03:32 PM
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Yeah, you did cut the hole a little bigger than you should have. You should be able to tap the box so it will be more centered in the hole. I have never had an F strap full through the drywall but I mostly install them on 5/8" rock. You can also trim the top and bottom a little and then bend the part you put in the wall 90 degrees to the F so you have a flat part against the wall.

There is a plastic remodel box that you attach to a stud with screws from the inside of the box but I can't remember the name of them. Hopefully somebody will be by with the info. While your waiting you could hit a supply house a see what boxes they carry. They might have a better selection.
 
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Old 03-07-10, 06:08 PM
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I always pull the legs of the old work strap with a pair of needle nose pliers while pushing back against the box. This asures the box does not project from the drywall. I also slightly bend the long leg of the tab off to the side to grab more drywall. Unlike TI I install the long leg up.
 
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Old 03-08-10, 07:47 AM
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Here is the box I was thinking of. Oddly it was from another post by PCBoss. Not sure if it is any shallower though.

ONE-BOX™ Non-Metallic Outlet Boxes
 
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Old 03-08-10, 08:32 AM
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What is the depth of the wall? The box in the link from the OP is 3 5/8" deep. A standard 2x4 wall would be 4" deep with drywall.
 
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Old 03-08-10, 11:02 AM
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Thanks for your replys and great feedback guys.
That one box non metallic box, I like that idea a lot, BUT, pcboss just mentioned what size the wall is. So, I just measured it, the hollow space (drywall to drywall) is 3.5ish, maybe 3.6in space in the wall. The original old work remodel box I bought I just measured that, and it's 3.5in deep, which is why I had difficult time tying to wire it and stuff it back in the hole, it's too big. The original new work box that was in the wall obviously before drywall was a 2.5inch deep nail in box, and I just looked at that link for the one box non metallic box that is screwed in and I see it is 3.5inches deep also, which would be too deep.
The hole is a tad wide, you are correct, I bought the old work, remodel box for 4gang, and since I had a 3 gang originally, I obviously had to cut the width a little wider to accomodate this new "remodel 4 gang box", and I'm a pretty cautious person because you remove too much you can't go back, kind of like a bad hair cut. So I made 3 different slices width wise with my drywall saw before the new "remodel 4 gang box would fit in there, and it was snug, not loose. What I screwed up on was not realizing the depth was diffferent on this box compared to original box, so after realizing my new "remodel 4 gang box" wouldn't fit depth wise, I then tried my hardware store guys approach with ganging 4 single gang boxes together to make a 4 gang work box that now depth wise works but when you gang 4 single metal boxes together the width is not the same as what the plastic remodel box I had cut the hole for so now the metal box is not snug. Live and learn, I never run into this before and did not know. But it's think salvageable, I'm gonna attempt I think in putting in the 1x3 on the left and bottom to give the metal box a ledge to lean on and I think idea will work, and center everything up. If not, I can only think of one other thing and that's to cut a bigger square out so I can actually hammer in a new construction box which will work but obviously requires more work, drywall wise.
My original question still confuses me though, they make a 4 gang box that is shallow, 2.5inches deep but it's new construction, so you have to nail it in, why, do they only make a 4 gang deep box for remodel, I understand that deep allows more room for wiring stuffed in there, but the wiring isn't gonna change if you have a 4 gang box from new construction to remodel construction. Does that quesiton make sense?
Russ
 
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Old 03-08-10, 11:09 AM
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If you mount a wood strip above and below the hole you can use flat head wood screws thru the tabs into the wood and skip the old work clips.

Metal boxes can be bought in different depths.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 11:37 AM
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I absolutely agree with this poster that this is a problem. I'm trying to do the same thing adding a bathroom fan to an existing 2 gang metal box with a depth of 2.5 inches and can't find a three gang old work (remodel) box with a depth of only 2.5 inches anywhere. I can't believe that they don't make a product like this? Why is there not a shallow 3 gang or 4 gang old work box avaiable on the market?

Does anyone know if I could use a new work plastic/fiberglass box which does come in 3 gang with a 2.5" depth... and just remove the nails, cut off the extra material and mount this box to the stud by drilling screws through the inside of the box. The screws would basicall be where the yellow arrows are in this persons previously posted picture. Would that be against code?

Because otherwise I have to do what was mentioned here and gang three boxes together and mount it using madison straps which I have no idea how to use even after reading all these posts and seeing the pic!
 
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Old 04-02-10, 02:14 PM
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Im not sure I see what the big deal is here. If these boxes fit go with them. You may have to adjust the battleships or add another on each side (one up, and one down.) Also you can buy a larger cover for that 4 gang setup in white or ivory. If the Old work box doe not fit, it does not fit. They are not designed for new construction hence the fold out wings that tighten down behind the drywall designed for a cut of in finished drywall. Nail ons are used in new construction because you nail them on before the drywall goes up.. Also a deep box is not just for storing extra wire... Some devices like dimmers are a lot bigger than say a single pole or 3 way switch and need more room. If you cant find a bigger cover you are going to have to mud the drywall and fix it! The ruff in you cut way to much in height.. You should of traced out those metal boxes with a pencil and then cut it.

The ears of the switches are hanging on by a thread... A little trick if you are having trouble with the switches pushing into the drywall is to take some wire (a piece of 14 works great) and twist it into a little coil (use the end of a screwdriver) and place it onto the mounting screws (from the switch thats pushing in) in between the ears on the switch and the box. It will fill that gap and want allow it to push in any further. This works great for receptacles that push in also due to bad cuts. Hope this helps, good luck. Beer 4U2
 
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