Sheet rock over electrical junction boxes

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Old 03-09-11, 06:48 PM
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Sheet rock over electrical junction boxes

I had a sheet rock installer come and take a look and give an estimate for the work.

He said I have wires coming out of the boxes and existing switches will make it hard for him to install the sheet rock. I told them my plan is to mount the appropriate depth mud rings on each box, then tuck the wires or switch into the box, the cover the opening with masking tape.

He said this would not work, as his standard procedure is to have the box completely open with no mud ring. He measures the height of the box from the floor, then write it on the floor and strike a mark. When he installs the sheet rock he will then mark where the center is, insert a "rotozip" into it, then cut across until he meets the inside of the metal box, then he zips around the inside of the box to do the cutout.

I said this will probably end up tearing and cutting my wires inside, he said this is how it's done and "should be OK, you can always repair your wires later"...

I don't know if this should be in electrical or wall/ceiling section. But wouldn't most people have wires in the boxes come sheet rock time?
 
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Old 03-09-11, 06:55 PM
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Standard procedure is to install the mudrings an then cut out holes in the drywall BEFORE it is put up.
 
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Old 03-09-11, 07:00 PM
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I think you may have misunderstood him a bit. The standard procedure is to push the wires into the box. and have your mudring installed. The rocker will then use the rorozip to cut the rock out running his bit on the outside of the mudring after hanging the sheet with just a few screws.

If this guy can't do this without cutting or skinning the wires then you need to find another rocker.
 
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Old 03-09-11, 07:38 PM
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If the rocker tried that on a job I had control of he would only be doing one box before he got thrown off the job.
 
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Old 03-10-11, 08:12 AM
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Wires

Make sure the wires are pushed all the way to the back of the box.
 
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Old 03-10-11, 10:15 AM
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I agree, find a different rocker -- this is sheetrock 101 to cutout boxes with wires already pulled. You should have the mudrings installed, wires tucked back, I like to stuff in a wad of newspaper and stick a piece of masking tape over the box to keep the mud, dust and paint out. You can also get a product called "construction blanks" to cover the boxes. The rocker should loosely hang the panel up to the wall, punch the rotozip through near the edge of a box, and run the bit around the OUTSIDE of the box or mudring.
 
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Old 03-10-11, 07:37 PM
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It could be just a miscommunication. As others have said, it's important to push the wires all the way to the back of the box since the rotozip will be plunged into the box a good 1/2" (and possibly more). You want to disconnect any devices (switches/receptacles) and just cap off your wires or ensure they can't be energized. It sounds like he may have been concerned with the devices being pushed into the boxes which would likely be difficult to rotozip around.
 
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Old 03-11-11, 08:34 AM
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If I can push the devices and wires into the box and hold them in place with mud rings, then block off the holes with masking tape, the only way for him to do it will be rotozip around the outside. I don't want him to rotozip the inside, the mud rings will be in the way anyways, which is the intent.

I think it is NOT a miscommunication. I think he was trying to tell me the way he needs to do mine (instead of what he said to be "typical" - rotozip around the inside of an empty box) will cost me more $. He is trying to justify a higher price with this.
 
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Old 03-11-11, 08:44 AM
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I doubt that you will be able to put the devices behind the mud ring. Running around the mud ring should be no more labor than a regular box.
 
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Old 03-11-11, 09:50 AM
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Cutting for Boxes

then he zips around the inside of the box to do the cutout.
Think about this. If the above statement is true, the rock will not fit around the outside of the box; it will hit the edge of the box. He has to cut around the outside of the box so the rock will clear the box and rest against the studs.
 
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Old 03-11-11, 12:00 PM
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Sometimes the rock hanger will roto inside just to find the box edge. Then, jump to run around the outside perimeter. If you start on the outside and miss wide, that's a repair. You want to start near the projected center of the blind box and work to the edge, with a single straight cut. Does this make sense?
 
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Old 03-11-11, 12:13 PM
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Cutting Hole for Boxes

Sometimes the rock hanger will roto inside just to find the box edge. Then, jump to run around the outside perimeter. If you start on the outside and miss wide, that's a repair. You want to start near the projected center of the blind box and work to the edge, with a single straight cut. Does this make sense?
Yes, this makes sense. This is the way I did it the few times I tried it. After I developed a feel for the tool, it worked really well. As I recall, counter-clockwise worked best. I will say I have experienced damaged wire insulation from this method because the wires were not pushing to the back of the box. The electrician has the last chance to avoid damage by pushing the wires back.
 
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Old 03-11-11, 02:04 PM
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Not to hijack the thread, I hope, but what is a "mud ring".
(I can guess from the context, and I might know it by a different name, and I did "searc")
Thanks, and again sorry for the semi hijack.
 
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Old 03-11-11, 02:21 PM
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A mud ring is also known as a plaster ring. It adapts a junction box so that it projects out to the finished face of the wall.

Here is one for a fixture.

Plaster Ring Ceiling Fixture, 4 In, 1 Gang - Electrical Box Cover Accessories - Electrical Boxes - Electrical : Grainger Industrial Supply
 
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Old 03-11-11, 02:22 PM
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This is a mudring.
 
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Old 03-12-11, 04:24 PM
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One more question.

I have four boxes that have holes for seven pipes above and below. However, a mud ring of 5 devices is used on them. I will only have five switches, but the box is quite a bit wider. In this case, should the sheet rock be cut differently? If he cut to the outside of the box, the 5 gang switch plate will be too narrow, right?
 
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Old 03-12-11, 04:38 PM
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If he cuts to the inside of the box, you won't be able to get the mud ring on. If he cuts to the outside of the box, you will have to repair the wall nearly 1/2" all the around the mudring extension. If he does it right, and the wires are tucked, run the rotozip inside the mudring, then jump to the tapered outside of the mudring and have at it. Your wires won't even come into play that way.
 
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Old 03-12-11, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post

This is a mudring.
Thanks pcboss and Justin.
I have seen them, but never used them, and obviously didn't know the name!
Thanks again,
Mike
 
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