Electrical box pulled out of plaster and lath wall


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Old 04-26-19, 05:21 PM
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Electrical box pulled out of plaster and lath wall

We have a tenant that just moved out. We discovered that they completely pulled out a plastic electrical box - cover, receptacle, box and all from the wall. It is an old house, with plaster and lath walls. It even took some of the plaster around it, along with it. I tried to see if I could replace the box with a metal, replacement type box, using Madison straps to hold it in place, but the lath is splintering when I try to use them.
Anyone have any ideas how I can repair the gaping hole and re-install the box and receptical? Unfortunately, I can't move it over to a stud, and remount it. First, the hole is dead center between the studs, and I don't have enough slack to move it. Second, the walls are wallpapered, and that would mean leaving a blank spot in the wallpaper.
I tried some spackle, but there is too much of a repair for it to be effective.
Can anyone give me a suggestion?
Thanks
 
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Old 04-26-19, 05:35 PM
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I have had similar problems in older houses.
I've used spray foam behind the box to fill the void and lock the box in place. I spray it directly thru the back of the box slightly upwards using the long tube. You need a buildup from the wall behind to the back of the box. The plaster and lath are pretty strong and it's not likely you'll blow the wall out with the foam. .
 
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Old 04-26-19, 06:17 PM
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Can you move the box up or down to a good spot and then patch the old hole?
 
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Old 04-27-19, 08:28 AM
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I'm trying not to move the box, since I don't have any more of the wallpaper. This would leave an ugly white patch where the box used to be. That is why I am trying to preserve the current hole. The wall is already getting fairly messed up, but I think I can cover most of it with an oversized wall plate.
 
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Old 04-27-19, 01:34 PM
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I ultimately solved my problem.
I purchased a 2-gang plastic old construction (with the flip out wing clamps) box, and enlarged the hole sideways. This allowed me to cut into some good section of plaster and lath in order to set the box into. I simply added a 2nd receptical and put on a duplex box cover. Now there is only a minimal amount of patching to do, and it looks a lot better than it was.
 
 

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