Help me fix screw up #1

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  #1  
Old 01-12-06, 11:19 AM
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Help me fix screw up #1

Last night I started putting my wall plates back on after painting my dry wall. Well, it looks like I didn't expose some of the outlet boxes enough because when I attach the wall plates they are sunk into the walls.

It was actually a pretty funny "DOH!!" moment.

Obviously I'm not going to tear down the walls to reattach the outlet boxes. Does anyone know of a quick, or even not so quick, fix for this situation? The only thing I can see to do is to unscrew the outlet a bit so it can come out to meet the plate instead of the plate sinking to meet the outlet.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-12-06, 11:39 AM
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All of your outlets have metal tabs on the top and bottom. It's the part that the screw actually goes through. Those metal tabs ought to lay flat on the surface of the drywall so that the outlet or switch sits at the proper level for the cover to sit properly.

If you've screwed the outlets back too tight and bent the tabs back, you may need to unscrew the outlets and bend them straight again before reinstalling them.

If the box is back 1/2" or more, you can get a box extension ring, which will bring your box out more. Another trick is to put a metal or hard plastic sleeve behind the outlet screws so that it acts like a spacer between the box and the back of the outlet.
 
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Old 01-12-06, 11:42 AM
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Makes perfect sense...I should have thought of that.

Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 01-12-06, 07:06 PM
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They[depot has em] also sell little square plastic spacers that you put on the screw before you screw it onto the box add as many as you need to bring it out perfect.you can use the extension ring and the spacers if it is very deep.
 
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Old 01-14-06, 05:11 AM
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If the wall plate is sunk into the wall, the drywall opening is to large as well. You'll need to get oversized plates. (I may have read your post wrong, but is sounded as though the plate was below the surface.)
 
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Old 01-14-06, 09:37 AM
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Why when I read this, I was going to say that all he needed were longer screws? I think they at 10-24's. Now you have me thinking, would adding longer screws been a bad idea? If so, then why? Thanks for the help and I hope I didn't just hijack the thread, but that was going to be my answer.
 
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Old 01-14-06, 09:42 AM
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He will need longer screws and the spacers and maybe the extension ring or else the switch or outlet will have nothing to draw up against. It will be loose. They sell extra long screws for just this purpose.
 
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Old 01-14-06, 09:46 AM
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OK, but even if the tabs are able to snug the drywall once screwed in?
 
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