Code changes ?- curious

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Old 09-13-19, 05:06 PM
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Code changes ?- curious

I'm curious if it was ever considered acceptable to mount switch/receptacle boxes recessed into walls as opposed to flush with drywall/tile/etc?

I live in an old house and notice when I take the faceplates off that many of the boxes are not flush with the walls. It makes me wonder if this was just do to shoddy workmanship or was it "ok" by the code of yesteryear?
 
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Old 09-13-19, 07:34 PM
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No.... the boxes were always supposed to be flush with the finished wall.
It seems that in a lot of instances the wall finish was changed after the boxes were installed.

In a tiled area..... the box is supposed to be left proud of the wall to allow for the tile and mortar bed. Rarely is this ever seen.
 
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Old 09-13-19, 08:06 PM
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Code requires boxes to be flush with combustible wall material and no more than 1/8" set back of non-combustible material.

This requirement has been around for a long time but it seems to be enforced more nowadays.
 
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Old 09-14-19, 04:21 AM
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Many old houses were lathe and plaster. Then, instead of repairing the plaster, I've often seen a layer of sheetrock installed on top. This causes the electrical boxes to be recessed.
 
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Old 09-14-19, 10:21 AM
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My house is lathe and plaster, almost 100 years old & whenever you attempt what should be an easy repair is almost always "complicated" by issues like boxes being ridiculously recessed, etc

Thanks for all the replies
 
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Old 09-14-19, 11:18 AM
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Add box extensions. Available in many sizes, styles, plastic and metal..

https://www.google.com/search?q=elec...JsJBgUn4YZsPM:
 
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Old 09-14-19, 02:14 PM
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Can you put more then one box extension on if the box is really recessed?
How deep are the largest box extenders?
Can you use a plastic extender on a metal box?
 
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Old 09-14-19, 02:23 PM
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I prefer the plastic box extenders as it reduces the shorts between it and the receptacle screws.
Most extenders are approx 1" which is good for most applications.
 
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Old 09-14-19, 04:25 PM
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So there are no issues adding a plastic box extenders to a metal box?

If the box is recessed more then 1" can another box extender be added?
 
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Old 09-14-19, 07:28 PM
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Arlington has 1.5. At least.
 
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Old 09-18-19, 09:45 AM
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I'm curious if it was ever considered acceptable to mount switch/receptacle boxes recessed into walls as opposed to flush with drywall/tile/etc?
Ever?? I cannot speak to codes in the early 20th century, but I have seen a few houses built in that time frame with knob & tube wiring that didn't even have boxes. The connections were open within the wall behind the wiring devices and the devices were screwed to the wood plaster lath. That being said, I also know that boxes were available and used in the middle 1920s, I know because I own one of those old homes.
 
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Old 09-18-19, 10:40 AM
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Ever?? I cannot speak to codes in the early 20th century
After a quick review of the 1897 (first) edition of the NEC, there doesn't seem to be any mention of boxes other than main disconnects.

I'd agree with Joe, it seems to me that boxes started being used in the 1920's, some with knob and tube wiring, and with the transition to cloth-covered NM cabling. I'd say installers started following the setback requirements within the past ~20-25 years. Not sure if it was a specific code change, or just more focus on actually following code as best practice.
 
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