kimvac: Elec. light box extends too far

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  #1  
Old 06-15-12, 05:13 PM
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kimvac: Elec. light box extends too far

I have a concrete block wall around my house that is wired for several outdoor wall-mounted light fixtures. The round electrical boxes for the lights were installed on the outside of the wall, so that the outer rim of the box is sticking out about 1-1/2" too far to be level with the stucco finish. Most light fixtures are made to sit flush on the box rim and with the surrounding stucco for a good seal. What can I do to make the fixtures sit flush on the already stuccoed wall?
_perplexed
 
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  #2  
Old 06-15-12, 05:40 PM
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Welcome to the forums! You could surgically find the ears on this mount and remove the screws and remove the box, replacing it with a pancake box with a narrower profile, then seal around the edge with silicone. Not too sure why such a large box was put in a place like that.
 
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Old 06-15-12, 05:47 PM
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That is a surface mount box and was not the proper box to be installed for your usage. You have too many cable to install a pancake box.

What is behind the stucco? Plywood, foam etc.
 
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Old 06-15-12, 05:53 PM
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Just to be clear...is this the actual wall of the house...or a block fence?

I don't think I'd want to be punching big holes in the block either way unless it was an area that was completely filled with mortar after the hole was made.. It's different with a stick built home with a stucco exterior.
 
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Old 06-16-12, 07:40 AM
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Yes, this is a block fence. the block behind the box is filled with concrete.
the box is screwed onto the raw face of the block, then the stucco was applied.
I have come up with the following idea, thanks to my ingenious wife:

create an artificial vertical "column" on the exterior of the wall by attaching a 2x10 to the wall with cutout for the box, bringing the surface of the 2x10 even with the rim of the box. Run the 2x10 from the ground to the top of the wall. cover the 2x10 with screen and stucco it.
 
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Old 06-16-12, 07:46 AM
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That sounds like a pretty reasonable fix that will add a nice detail at the same time.

Make sure you treat the cut ends of the PT wood with some of that green copper stuff. Don't want it rotting out on you...though thats not as big a problem for us AZ types is it? I just always do it out of habit.
 
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Old 06-16-12, 09:18 AM
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If you are good with wood working you could make a 12" round escutcheon of two layer of marine grade 3/4" plywood. Make the bottom layer 12" and run an ogee router bit around the edge . Make the top piece a bit small and again decorate the edge with an ogee bit.

To hide the screws you could screw the bottom piece on and glue the top piece.
 
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Old 06-16-12, 01:51 PM
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good approach and probably easier than my wife's suggested fix...
only thing is that we want to hang sconces on the boxes which are 7-1/2 w by 9-1/2 tall, so I assume the same process as noted could be used, just with a different shape to the plywood base.
 
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Old 06-16-12, 02:02 PM
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Yes, pick a shape and size to fit your need and a combined thickens to match the exposed portion of the box. If you cover in stucco allow for the depth of the stucco.

If you do stucco over you may be able to use rigid foam board instead of plywood.
 
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Old 06-16-12, 05:15 PM
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If you wanted to hang sconce fixtures, why did you rough-in surface boxes?
 
  #11  
Old 06-17-12, 08:10 AM
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for some regrettable reason, I thought the stucco would be a lot thicker and cover up to the rim of the box.......
 
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Old 06-17-12, 12:28 PM
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thanks for the suggestion to use rigid foam board for the artificial column or escutcheon...this seems to be the very best way to go, allowing for some shaping as needed. I assume the stucco would adhere directly to the foam board without any wire....and I also assume one would use general construction adhesive to attach the foam board to the already existing stucco on the wall... thanks for the great insights all
 
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Old 06-20-12, 09:57 PM
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I think the ingenious wife definitely deserves an "atta-boy." A short column on the wall at all of the sconce locations will look better, more like structural pilasters, than some round add-ons. And of course, it will save you some work, as she will be building them too, right?
 
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Old 06-20-12, 10:44 PM
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The simple easy way is to remove the existing box and replace with a 1/2" deep pancake box.

Mod Note: This would create a code violation for box fill.

Oh I know the "code" people will chime in about too many wires, but what the "code" don't agknowlege is the fact that the fixture cu. in. capacity exceeds the box. The whole pancake box wire capacity is just plain stupid.

In your opinion, see post below.

How many professional electricians actually put wires in the box and not let them float behind a fixture or Fan canopy ?

i mean are you guys seriously advising to frame out the column deeper and re stucco? LMAO

On top of that we are talking about an non conbustible concrete wall. Or replace boxes with pancakes and ignore these fools.

Those fools as you call them have insurance, licences etc that is put at risk by knowingly violating the codes. It would also be unfair to the customer to perform less than code compliant work when they are paying for it to be done correctly.

All notes in blue by Mod, and are not by the OP.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 06-21-12 at 07:25 AM. Reason: language and added note in blue
  #15  
Old 06-21-12, 05:18 AM
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Rich,

The people here work very hard to give only code compliant answers, not just ones where we agree with the codes and ignore the rest.

The code does acknowledge the additional capacity of the canopy as long as it is marked so you know how much it adds.

Pancake boxes do have their usages, but require careful planning to be used within the box capacity. Multiple cable into a pancake box is not one of them.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 07:05 AM
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Kimvac, please post you questions on stucco in Outdoor Lumber, Exterior Paneling and Exterior Sidings - DoItYourself.com Community Forums. While I have seen foam board used for architectural details in stucco I am not familiar with the techniques. You might also Google for info.

Mods, is there a better forum then I have posted for stucco?
 
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Old 06-21-12, 09:22 AM
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The simple easy way is to remove the existing box and replace with a 1/2" deep pancake box.
That might be true if the OP wanted to stay with the original design of sconces on a plain, flat wall, and if the exterior-rated round boxes already mounted could be easily removed, and if the pancake boxes would be flush with the existing finished stucco. But it ignores the question of box fill.

PCBoss is right on two points:
The people here work very hard to give only code compliant answers, not just ones where we agree with the codes and ignore the rest [and] The code does acknowledge the additional capacity of the canopy as long as it is marked so you know how much it adds.
Given that, we can see two 2-conductor cables pulled into the existing box. Giving the calculation the benefit of the doubt, let's assume that the cable is 14-2/G and that the new pancake box will be a 4" box. That's four 14AWG current-carrying conductors plus two ground wires, plus the hanger bar and mounting studs. That comes up to 10"[SUP]3[/SUP], minimum. A 4" pancake box has a capacity of 6.28"[SUP]3[/SUP], so the fixture housing will have to be rated, and marked, for at least 3.72"[SUP]3[/SUP] of capacity. It may be, but we don't know that; there's been no discussion of a fixture here.

That said, I hear your question:
How many professional electricians actually put wires in the box and not let them float behind a fixture or Fan canopy?
Let me ask you a question: How many service calls have you done to repair an exterior fixture that has failed and discovered that one of the causes was conductor and/or connection failure caused by moisture getting into the canopy/wall box assembly? While the question of the actual box may be moot, if the capacity of the canopy is known, careful installation with a bead of silicone all around (and a weep gap at the bottom, IMO) is critical. While not a lot of installers seem to do this, some do.

The whole pancake box wire capacity is just plain stupid... i mean are you guys seriously advising to frame out the column deeper and re stucco? LMAO
I think we've answered these points, in collaboration with the OP. But regarding the way you said it, could you please re-read Electrical Forum Rules and Policies - especially the last paragraph? Thanks.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 04:51 PM
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You guys are so lenient. I would have deep sixed the post at first sight with a PM to the offender. I don't need to be called a fool on our forum.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 07:04 PM
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You guys are so lenient. I would have deep sixed the post at first sight with a PM to the offender. I don't need to be called a fool on our forum.
Thank you for this reminder, Larry. I think I missed that it was directed at you, and I'm deeply regretting that because I remember, clearly, how you stepped in when a member did that to me sometime back.
 
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