Turning a 3 gang box "portrait"?

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Old 12-21-13, 07:22 AM
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Turning a 3 gang box "portrait"?

I have a warp around kitchen counter and one side of it faces the living room and it is where many family members like to lay down their keys, cell phones, tablets, kindle, mail...etc. and charge their devices.

I have a two gang box there right above the back splash. One light switch and one duplex receptacle.

I saw those new USB receptacles and wanted to add one in.

Ideally I remove the old 2 gang box and cut a wider hole and put in a 3 gang box. But it is near an outside corner of a wall, and where the 2G box is now, there is a stud to it's left and a double stud to it's right, not enough width unless I notch out the wood stud.

I could also cut a new 1 gang or 2 gang hole above the current box.

But what I am thinking is to get a 3 gang metal box and turn it 90 degrees so it's portrait instead of landscape. Is there any reason why I shouldn't do that? All the receptacles would be sideways but I am not seeing why this is an issue. It is only a cosmetic preference or is there some functional, practical reason why this is not desirable?
 
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Old 12-21-13, 07:51 AM
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Other than it might look odd, there is no code restriction saying you can't do it.
 
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Old 12-21-13, 08:28 AM
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I want the light switch to be on the top. Then the USB receptacle, then the regular receptacle.

The current 2 gang box is fairly congested, due to the GFCI receptacle and a big rocker switch.

If I open up a 1 gang box on top of it, and move the light switch up there, the existing 2 gang box can house the GFCI and the new USB combo receptacle. But I thought a 1G plate a few inches on top of a 2G plate looks "odd", a 3G oriented portrait looks cleaner, in comparison.

One question on those USB receptacles...they don't seem to come as USB only, there is always another standard receptacle next to it. I can't seem to find a receptacle that is USB only. In fact most of them require a special wall plate because the USB is off to one side. I can only find one Leviton decora style.
 
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Old 12-21-13, 08:34 AM
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One question on those USB receptacles...they don't seem to come as USB only, there is always another standard receptacle next to it. I can't seem to find a receptacle that is USB only. In fact most of them require a special wall plate because the USB is off to one side.
Here's one you may not have seen yet. It has 4 USB ports and takes a standard plate.

USB4P-W > Decora<sup></sup> Combination Devices > Combination Devices > Electrical Wiring Devices > Products from Leviton Electrical and Electronic Products
 
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Old 12-21-13, 09:06 AM
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CasualJoe you are right I never saw this one. Very cool 4 ports!
 
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Old 12-21-13, 09:56 AM
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If you are using a metal box turned on its side, make plans for attachment to framing. This may entail cutting out part of the sheetrock so you can fit the 3 gang box in securely. You don't want it wobbling.
 
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Old 12-21-13, 10:10 AM
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Chandler, I plan to attach it to the framing, as I said earlier it is sandwiched between two studs so I can attach to studs on both sides. I am using metal box because I have metal conduit coming down from above, it's all metal conduits and metal boxes here.
 
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Old 12-21-13, 02:49 PM
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I plan to attach it to the framing, as I said earlier it is sandwiched between two studs so I can attach to studs on both sides. I am using metal box because I have metal conduit coming down from above, it's all metal conduits and metal boxes here.
Most metal old work boxes are 3" tall ans 2" wide. Ganging 3 of them together and turning it 90[SUP]o[/SUP] will give you a box that is 6" tall and 3" wide.

Originally Posted by Chandler
If you are using a metal box turned on its side, make plans for attachment to framing.
You may need to add up to 1", total, of blocking to make the space narrow enough to secure your new box. You need to also make sure the new box has an opening for a connector on one end (now the top) that will line up with your existing pipe.

One quick tip: If you decide to use gangable metal boxes, those usually come with an L-shaped bracket screwed onto each end that has a pair of holes in it to use for screwing the box to the framing. If you loosen the screws holding the brackets and turn them around, you can often set them so that they will hold the box flush to the face of the Sheetrock or plaster when it's secured.
 
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Old 12-26-13, 07:11 PM
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Nashkat1, existing metal box is 4"x4" a two gang box. Only two conduits coming from the top.

I am not planning on using gangable boxes. I am going to use a single three gang box turned sideways. The hole alignment is not an issue. I have some play, whoever ran the conduits didn't strap them down tight. The 3 gang box turned sideways will be 4" wide. The studs are 4" apart at this spot because it's the end of the wall and this spacing is what it came out to be.
 
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