2 gang metal old work solutions (next to stud)


Old 03-23-15, 08:26 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: USA
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2 gang metal old work solutions (next to stud)

Hi y'all. As I mentioned in a few earlier posts, I was doing a basement rewire while the lower stud wall was open. Above this basement room is a dining room that has only one outlet. This is inconvenient as there are no outlets near the windows (holiday decorations, etc.)

I should mention I am an EE, so I like to over-engineer things. I'm a fan of AC/MC style cable over NM (keeps the rodents away) and not a fan of using wallboard to support electrical outlet boxes.

I had planned on using Arlington's metal One-Box (F101S) which screws right to the stud. I managed to cut out a hole for the box next to the stud. In the process of trying to drill down I had a few incidents with the flex bit (4 easily fixed holes through the clapboard and a stuck bit). I ended up widening the hole to two-gang width and used a flex shaft, a spade bit and extension, and finally a right angle drill to get a hole into the basement wallspace.

I suppose going NM may be an option (two gang Madison MSB2G or Arlington One-Box F102) but I wanted to see what other options there are.

1.) The walls are 3/4" thick (3/8" plaster on 3/8" rock lath) so old work clips and straps may not work well
2.) I'm up against a stud on one side
3.) I have no plaster patching skills.
4.) My Arlington box is not gangable, and the resulting hole is too tall for ganged 3x2 switch boxes

I have a 2-gang device box with device tabs (Raco 683SP), but I realize that the screw holes in the side line up with the plaster, not the stud. Mounting "deep" and using box extenders is an option.

I have some old work four squares with plaster ears and old work clips meant for another project, but they'd need a device ring to mount outlets.


Edited to add:
I should add, I'd be OK with using a 4-square with plaster ears (to hold it in place) and drilling additional holes in the side for stud screws and then using a flat device ring (just realized that they exist). The concern is whether adding screws and screw holes violates the listing.

Last edited by EEsparks; 03-23-15 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 03-23-15, 09:28 AM
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There is always the option of a new work box and madison clips.

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Old 03-23-15, 09:38 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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Madison clips are an option (I may have to double them up to deal with the wall thickness), but since the stud is right there, I'd prefer an option that lets me use it.

Hmm maybe I can bolt a Madison strap to the stud and then fold it in. Use a traditional Madison strap on the other side.

Maybe the right answer is use plaster ears and Madison straps to hold a 4-square in place and send a couple of screws though the holes in the back into the clapboard.
Old 03-23-15, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
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You can purchase (Long Eared) Madison bars which would work fine for that app.
Just curious why did you drill down from up top instead of from the the basement up?
Old 03-23-15, 10:23 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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The ceiling in that part of the basement is finished, but the lower stud bays are accessible (mold remediation). Also, the stone foundation walls are about a foot thick putting the rim joist about a foot in, so drilling down and hoping the fish drops into the wall space (which it did) is easier than trying to reach in and drill up.

While I got the fish down, I am having trouble pulling it back up with wire attached. Not sure why, there's enough tape out that it hasn't reached the sill plate hole yet. I may send the fish back down to the basement and hook on my other fish, pull that one up and send wire down instead.

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