Too Tight in the Box (Junction)

Old 05-20-12, 09:58 AM
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Too Tight in the Box (Junction)

Hey Guys

I'm wiring up a circuit for a row of wall outlets. They are a row of 6 junction boxes around the perimeter of my basement, to be arc faulted. The Panel is at the middle point of the run of outlets, and I want to tie in to energize the circuit in the middle of the run.

That said, I will have 3 ends of 12/2 in the box (blue new construction), with an outlet.

From my understanding that too many wires to fit into a standard single outlet 22CI box. That said, its my understanding that I will need to use a bigger box for the connections. I can use a 2 gang, but then how do I go about finishing/cutting the drywall so that the hole will only service half the box?

On another note, whats the best way to cut out the drywall around a plastic box? Will a rotary tool still work as in a steel box?


Old 05-20-12, 10:59 AM
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You could either use a higher volume and deeper single gang box or use a 4" square (1900) box with 1-gang plaster frame. The best way to cut the drywall around a box is a matter of opinion. On a small job, I'd probably lay out the openings on the drywall and cut with a sharp utility knife.
Old 05-20-12, 03:14 PM
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Box Fill

3 black = 3
3 white = 3
All grounds = 1
Receptacle = 2
Total fills = 9 x 2,25 = 20.25 cu. in. box

A 22 cu in box should be fine.

Pros, have I missed anything in my calculations?
Old 05-20-12, 07:25 PM
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Will a rotary tool still work as in a steel box?
Definitely. You need to be a bit careful, an overzealous rotary tool can actually cut through a plastic box, but typically, it's pretty simple. As with steel boxes, you need to ensure the depth setting is correct and the wires are pushed to the back of the box!
Old 05-21-12, 07:08 PM
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Wirepullers calculations are correct.

You can also get plastic boxes with plastic mudrings.

A drywall jab saw works well. Or as mentioned, Rotozip with a drywall bit.
Old 05-23-12, 04:36 AM
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I think hands down the best way to cut a box hole in drywall is a drywall saw. Less chance for screwing up and a lot less dust!

Something like this:
6 in. Fixed Jab Saw-48-22-0304 at The Home Depot
Old 05-23-12, 07:00 AM
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I also tend to reach for my drywall saw when I need to make or enlarge an opening - maybe after scoring the line with a drywall knife if minimizing tearout is an issue.

A couple of years ago, I was doing a renovation that included adding some receptacles in a very finished metal-framed wall. First hole we started we hit a stud about half-way acress. Of course! Starting a new hole wasn't an option and touching this wall with a reciprocating saw wasn't an option either. I was pretty well stymied, but my helper had a solution. He pulled his new QUIK-LOK Job Saw out, bummed a (company-provided) metal-cutting blade off me, finished cutting the opening and installed the box. Done deal.

I bought my saw on the way home that evening, and it's the only drywall saw I want. I can change the blade to be any 1/2 in. tang universal reciprocating saw blade. That means a regular drywall blade, a rough-cut demo blade, a smooth blade for cutting plastics or, in a case like this, one of my favorite shorty blades, thereby reducing the chances of collateral damage. It'll do anything my recip saw can do, only with the control of a hand saw.

One thing I like about it, although I haven't used it yet, is that the butt of the handle is recessed and threaded to accept a standard extension pole, allowing you to extend your reach with it! The saw is a bit pricey, and I've only seen them at supply houses, but, hey, it's the last drywall saw you'll ever have to buy.

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