Outlet Electrical Box Sheet Rock Busted

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  #1  
Old 06-09-19, 08:43 PM
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Outlet Electrical Box Sheet Rock Busted

I am not sure if this is the right forum so please direct me if I am wrong. I was replacing a wall outlet plate and it was not laying flush. I incorrectly assumed I needed to tighten down the outlet box instead of realizing the plate was not deep enough to lay against the sheet rock. The outcome was the box broke away from the sheet rock. I thought the box was screwed into a stud but it appears to be directly into the sheet rock. What are my options at this point? Relocate the box an inch higher and use a bigger wall plate? That seems like a sloppy way to fix it but not sure how to solidify the sheet rock around it to make a secure fitting. I've attached pictures for reference. Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 06-09-19, 09:06 PM
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That's a pvc old work box, and since the sheet rock around the opening looks to be destroyed, you might want to try a different style of old work box. Maybe one with a clip on it instead.

Something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/ALLIED-MOULDE.../dp/B000HEA9E6
 
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Old 06-09-19, 09:18 PM
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Are you referring to the clips on the outside? How would they hold it into the sheet rock?

Do I have any other options? Surely this has happened to others?
 
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Old 06-09-19, 09:22 PM
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No.

Google "old work electrical box" and look at the images. The pvc ones have 2 little wings that catch the back of the drywall when you tighten the Phillips screws that are in the lower left and upper right corners.

Since your drywall is shot, the box is loose, and a similar box will not work. You need to take your existing box out and replace it with a better one.

So in the link above, you will see a different type of old work box, it has a larger sheet metal clip on the back that will grip the back of the drywall I a different place (on the sides) so it might work better.
 
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Old 06-09-19, 09:45 PM
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That makes sense. I checked nearly all of Home Depot inventory and they don't seem to have the ears on the sides? Is this my only option? Is the expectation to completely repair the wall and then re-cut again? Or find a diff box like you found? What did you search for?
 
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Old 06-09-19, 09:52 PM
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This outlet appears to have a stud a few inches on either side so not sure why they used a sheet rock. Is there a way to fasten the existing on into stud to hold it into place?
 
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Old 06-09-19, 11:50 PM
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That was cut into an existing wall. It's tough to attach to a stud with old work. The hole for the box should have been cut so that the box fit snug. It was probably cut slightly oversized and sheetrock crumbles.

Go out and get a can of spray foam. Spray a shot behind the box...... between the box and the rear wall. Start at the rear wall and above the box. The idea is to build the foam up from the back of the wall to the box. Working carefully you can get a solid buildup from the rear wall to the box and then around the box itself. After it dries it will be a place to spackle to. Be careful when you pull the nozzle out of the wall as the foam sticks to everything and can make a mess.

It may take a few applications to build it up but that stuff dries in minutes so it won't take too long. You can use tape across the top and bottom of the box to hold it in place. I've done this quite a few times and does an excellent job of holding the box in place.
 
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Old 06-10-19, 04:46 AM
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It looks like there is a stud to the right side of the box, will a box like this work? That wall also looks like wood lath instead of drywall.
http://www.aimedia.co/media/images/F101.jpg
Geo
 
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Old 06-10-19, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Pjmax
That was cut into an existing wall. It's tough to attach to a stud with old work. The hole for the box should have been cut so that the box fit snug. It was probably cut slightly oversized and sheetrock crumbles.

Go out and get a can of spray foam. Spray a shot behind the box...... between the box and the rear wall. Start at the rear wall and above the box. The idea is to build the foam up from the back of the wall to the box. Working carefully you can get a solid buildup from the rear wall to the box and then around the box itself. After it dries it will be a place to spackle to. Be careful when you pull the nozzle out of the wall as the foam sticks to everything and can make a mess.

It may take a few applications to build it up but that stuff dries in minutes so it won't take too long. You can use tape across the top and bottom of the box to hold it in place. I've done this quite a few times and does an excellent job of holding the box in place.
Great idea! Spray foam like this? https://www.homedepot.com/p/GREAT-ST...3938/207050533

I would need to remove the outlet and the box first correct? Then slowly build it out. How deep does the box go? At this point, I probably don't need to spackle as the wall outlet will cover the area as long as I can secure the outlet box securely. Use electrical tape to hold it in place?

Would this be a better idea than the suggestion below to screw into the stud to the RIGHT which is about 1" away? My concern there would be that the outlet would pull to the RIGHT near the stud and leave a much larger opening.

Originally Posted by Geochurchi
It looks like there is a stud to the right side of the box, will a box like this work? That wall also looks like wood lath instead of drywall.
http://www.aimedia.co/media/images/F101.jpg
Geo
See above. This would be the 'easiest' I think but not sure if I could do this and be able to keep it in place with the existing cutout.
 
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Old 06-10-19, 07:20 AM
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How deep is that wall? you can get switch boxes that are 3 1/2 deep, screw an appropriate thick block to the back of the box the use Construction adhesive to glue it to the back wall, maybe less of a mess than foam.
Geo
 
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Old 06-10-19, 07:45 AM
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My two solutions to this issue:

1) Use a metal single-gang old-work box. Most metal boxes have two holes on the left and right that you can use to screw to a nearby stud. While they may not be technically installation holes, they work quite well.

2) If you're further away from a stud, I've cut out a larger piece of drywall (12"x12"). Screw to a stud and use 1x3 to align and attach the other edges. Then cut a hole for a new box. Requires more drywall repair and paint, but solves the problem if the outlet is in between studs.
 
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Old 06-10-19, 07:47 AM
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Stud is about 1" to 1.5" away on right side. I'd probably need a piece of filler wood so it could hold the box into the existing space thought.
 
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Old 06-10-19, 07:03 PM
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Yes.... foam like that..............
 
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