Looking for 2-gang switch box extension ring or ideas

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Old 03-18-14, 09:58 PM
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Looking for 2-gang switch box extension ring or ideas

Here's what I found in the kitchen today:



If it's hard to tell from my bad photo, those are two ganged gem boxes in plaster and lath, then someone rocked over it with 1/2". Since the switches were then too far off the box, they just turned them sideways. Hey, at least they used the "proper" screws to secure the switches to sheet rock.

So I'm looking for a 2-gang switch box extension ring which is only 1/2" deep. Something like this, but for 2 gang:



Do they make them? Even for the single gang ones I don't see how they connect. The side holes in my gem boxes (is that how the rings attach?) are filled with plaster and I don't think I can get my Klein tap tool in straight enough. The worst part is I'm going to have box fill issues and since the ring is adjustable I can't legally use the extra capacity (not marked).

I'd rather yank out the entire box and put a 3-gang in. But is there an old work box that would work? Stud is too far away for a smart box. Old work boxes are hard enough to use on plaster and lath, but adding a 1/2" of sheet rock on top of it, that makes it impossible. Unless they make some boxes with _very_ long screws on the wings? The hole in the wall is already too big vertically to use gem boxes again after I get them out, and the nearest stud to the left is behind door trim so replacing the sheet rock and starting over would be rather involved.

Any ideas?
 

Last edited by Airstair; 03-18-14 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 03-19-14, 11:49 AM
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The ring shown can be ganged next to another to make a 2 gang. The screws get replaced with longer 6-32 screws. You could also use an Arlington BE-2 ring.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 05:00 PM
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So if I use two of the metal ones, does that mean I end up with a big separator right down the middle of my box? It seems that might make wire routing a bit more difficult/dangerous, wires pulled against a sharp metal edge. Or am I supposed to bend the rings apart, and that's why they come split on the side?

After taking a look at these, I can see that I was confused because these aren't intended to directly attach to anything. They just use the device screws and kinda sit there just for fire purposes (?). I was hoping they worked like 4square 1-1/2" extenders, where you could screw right to them. But with these, they still depend on the wall opening being just the right size. I think I'll have to jam some thin strips of sheet rock or wood at the top and bottom of the box to give the ears of the extender something to rest on.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 05:58 PM
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They do make two gang extension rings in plastic. I believe I have seen them at the big orange store, otherwise an electrical supplier will have them.
Example:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]28571[/ATTACH]

Your other issue is your switches will not mount well to the sheetrock. You need to get some spacers like this: Ideal Wiring Device Spacers (25-Pack)-172451 at The Home Depot and some longer 6-32 screws.

Note to carpenters: This is why just adding a layer of rock is a bad idea!
 
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Old 03-19-14, 06:35 PM
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Your other issue is your switches will not mount well to the sheetrock.
I wasn't going to mount the switches against the sheet rock, just use some sheet rock or wood behind the extension ring to keep it from falling into the wall against the plaster. And drill some holes in the middle of the strips so the 6-32 screws can pass through. Even though the ears on that plastic one look nice and large, I still think the hole in my wall is too big vertically. This all would have worked out fine if the mad rocker had cut the hole shorter.

I've never seen those Ideal spacers before. From the picture I'm not at all certain how to use them but I'm sure I can find some videos on that somewhere.

I'm still curious about the proper way to gang those metal rings just for learning's sake. Bend them open, cut the middle part, or leave as-is and have the separator running down the middle of the box?
 
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Old 03-19-14, 06:45 PM
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I have not used the metal ones as I don't really like the idea of metal that tight around a device. I would be pretty sure that you would not want a divider in the middle.

The green spacers kind of fold like an accordion and then you slip the a screw through the hole. They are very slick and make for a good solid mount. You would install the spacers, then the extender, then the device with the screws.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 06:48 PM
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You would install the spacers, then the extender, then the device with the screws.
Got it. That sounds like it would work. I'll take your word on the solidness of it and will pick some up. Thanks!
 
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