Light switch box recessed

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-16-17, 10:32 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Light switch box recessed

Location: Massachusetts, USA. House built in 1937.

My wife wants me to replace a light switch with a dimmer switch. The fixture is an overhead lamp, standard line voltage. 9 xenon bulbs at 40W each. (Many months ago an electrician extended the electrical line from a wall, where some lights were (which he took out) to the overhead position.)

I bought a single pole 600 W dimmer from HD. Switched the power off and started taking out the old switch. I then realized that the "profile" of the old switch is thinner than the profile of the dimmer. (Profile, meaning how wide the metal mounting plate is.) I also saw that the electrical box for the switch is about 3/8" to 1/2" recessed behind plaster. Inside the box I saw a wire bundle that didn't go anywhere, and a neutral and a hot for the switch. The old switch was grounded to the box. I used a simple continuity tester to verify that there's continuity between the (metal) box and ground.

So...I could mount the new switch. I searched online, and it sounds like 3/8" to 1/2" is too deep. I figure that, nominally, things should be OK, insofar as the new dimmer would be grounded through the mounting screws to the box. Since I'm not an expert, though, I didn't want to just go ahead and do that without getting feedback.

There were some posts in various places talking about a box "extender". Sounds like it mounts from inside the old box. I'm not sure that's a good solution here because the old box has interior dimensions of a little more than 1.75" by a little more than 2.75", and it's already kind of cramped. So I'm at a loss about what to do.

I can't tell what the box is mounted onto. There's wood trim nearby, but the only stuff actually touching the box, as far as I can tell, is plaster.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-16-17, 11:43 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Likes Received: 13
various places talking about a box "extender". Sounds like it mounts from inside the old box. I'm not sure that's a good solution here because the old box has interior dimensions of a little more than 1.75"
The extender takes up no significant room and would in effect give you a deeper box.
 
Attached Images  
  #3  
Old 09-16-17, 11:51 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 50,693
Likes Received: 115
They also make the extenders in plastic.
I have cut the plastic ones if they stick too far into the box.
 
Attached Images  
  #4  
Old 09-16-17, 05:42 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,805
Likes Received: 6
The plastic one shown is an Arlington BE-1 .
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes