Can't get the cover to fit properly onto the GFCI

Old 04-05-15, 11:14 AM
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Can't get the cover to fit properly onto the GFCI

Hey folks, I'm having trouble fitting a screw less cover onto this gfci. It had old wires dating back to the 70's or 80's and I just added a hot and neutral pigtail to them and it took up so much room in the junction box. I have a few others like this that I pigtailed and had the same result as well. Would a drywall plaster and drywall tape around the gfci work? Help me out guys.

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Old 04-05-15, 11:50 AM
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The hole in the drywall is too large and should be repaired, but that is not your problem. It also appears the the box is too far back in the wall. You have a couple of options:

1) Replace the box with a larger one. The the cable is Romex use a plastic remodel box. If it is a steel wiring method you a larger steel box.

2) Use some push in connectors for your splices. Ideal Industries - In-Sure Push-In Wire Connector These will take up less room in your box.

3) If needed you can add some spacers to bring the device flush with the wall.
Old 04-05-15, 12:20 PM
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It will be almost impossible to fix that with plaster without filling the box up and making a real mess.
Wiring from the 70's and 80's should mean you have NM cable and you could use a plastic box which is what I would do. Go with the deepest box available. You could use a Smart box that screws to the stud instead of an old work box with wings. The gap around the box should be no more than 1/8" and setback no more than 1/4".

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Old 04-05-15, 12:29 PM
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You may be able to eliminate the wire nuts, especially if you only have two cables in the box (2 hot/2 neutral wires)
The side terminals are designed to accept two wires each. (not wrapped around terminal, but secured under clamp, one on each side of clamp)

If you have 3 cables, you might want to consider feeding downstream receptacles from the load side of GFCI. This would eliminate all wire nut connections.

It's always a good idea to use pigtails on receptacles. With your particular GFCI make and model, it's unnecessary.
Old 04-05-15, 03:27 PM
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Since the ears have been broken off of the receptacle, I would get a new one. Once the old outlet is removed, block off the wiring and screw holes with a piece of foam board, cut to fit tight. Then fill the gap on top and bottom with a setting compound, like 20 minute easy sand. Once you have done that you can pull the foam plug out and the ears of the new receptacle will now have something to sit on and your outlet will sit flush with the wall like it should.
Old 04-05-15, 10:18 PM
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Thanks for the help guys! I'm going to try the spacers first and see if that works 👍
Old 04-06-15, 03:15 AM
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These plastic box extenders are also good to use. They do not leave a gap between the face of the existing box and the face of the wall. They come in several different depths so you can place several in line with one another to fill the gap so the gfci receptcle will now fit flush to the wall surface. They are inexpensive also.

ReceptXtenders 1-Gang 1/2 in. Electrical Receptacle Box Extension Ring-00004 - The Home Depot
Old 04-06-15, 06:34 AM
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I've tried to use the product mentioned by AFJES, and have had much better luck with the Arlington extenders which can be adjusted to any depth and essentially provide their own plaster ears to mount flush on the wall.

Electrical Box Extender-BE1-2 - The Home Depot

They can be used with both metal and plastic boxes.
Old 04-06-15, 07:52 AM
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The extenders linked to come in different thickness and can be stacked to get the correct depth. The do provide a nice solid mounting for the device.

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