reducing multi-gang wall box to single-gang

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Old 05-03-16, 10:23 AM
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reducing multi-gang wall box to single-gang

Hello,

I need to reduce a 4-gang wall box to single-gang to make room for something I'll be hanging on the wall. There are currently four single light switches but I can "decommission" two of them (they are three way switches that we never use) and re-consolidate the remaining two into a single pole dual switch.

I don't want to use a 4-gang wall plate with three blanks - the whole point is to make room on the wall by going down to a single-gang wall plate. Is putting a drywall patch over 3/4 of the existing 4-gang plate safe & to code? Or do I need to take out the old box and put in a single gang box?

I'm worried a single gang box will be too crowded for four switches worth of wires (I plan to put wire nuts and tape over the two sets of wires I won't use anymore but they'll still need to be accessible / in the box).

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-03-16, 12:40 PM
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I plan to put wire nuts and tape over the two sets of wires I won't use anymore
Assuming cable the cables should be fully disconnected at both ends and shoved into the wall. (Tape is not used with correctly installed wire nut.) Remove the 4-gang box. patch the wall, and install a single gang old work box.
 
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Old 05-03-16, 01:50 PM
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Assuming cable the cables should be fully disconnected at both ends and shoved into the wall.
I would prefer to keep the unused cables connected on the far end and accessible in the box in case I want to reconnect them in the future. I understand if there is a wire nut on unused ends and they are contained within the box it is safe. Is that ok?

Is something similar to what I described ok, though, or is taking out the old and putting in a new box the only option? I was considering trimming a blank 3 gang wall plate so it can screw in flush to the edges of the old box to cover the right-most three spots I wouldn't use. Then, use a metal plate type drywall patch over that. The whole box would still be accessible from the remaining single gang opening (I understand code requires access to the box without destroying finish), is single gang access on the left side, as proposed above, good enough?

Here is a rough mockup of what I'm talking about: http://imgur.com/3xADWeQ

Essentially a really wide homemade version of this or this.

Thanks!
 

Last edited by jdrunbik; 05-03-16 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 05-03-16, 03:03 PM
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What are you hanging on the wall?
 
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Old 05-03-16, 04:02 PM
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What are you hanging on the wall?
Bigger TV. The switches/box are nowhere near the mounting points on the wall, they are at the far edge. The current TV looks fine and fits in the space but the edge of the new bigger one would overlap with the wide, 4 gang set of switches so I'd like to consolidate to single gang so there is no overlap between switches and TV edge.
 
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Old 05-03-16, 05:01 PM
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Sound like you just need to use a cover plate with blanks. You could paint the the blank section to match the wall.
 
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Old 05-03-16, 09:22 PM
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Sound like you just need to use a cover plate with blanks. You could paint the the blank section to match the wall.
Can you tell me why? I appreciate your continued responses but it helps me learn if I know your reasoning.
 
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Old 05-03-16, 09:41 PM
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It is questionable if covering part of the box with Sheetrock or other materials would be code but using a cover plate would definitely meet code. Painting the cover plate to match the wall would help it blend in. (I really don't see the plate being covered partly a problem but you do so I was trying to come up with a solution to make it more acceptable and be code compliant.)
 
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Old 05-03-16, 09:55 PM
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Thank you! I appreciate it.
 
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Old 05-05-16, 01:20 PM
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Obscuring part of the box with drywall is not code compliant. Ray has covered your options.
 
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