New exterior receptacle in old brick wall

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by TJanak, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. TJanak

    TJanak New Member

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    South TX
    Is there a way to flush mount a box in an exterior brick wall for an outlet? I know there are masonry boxes but I honestly don't know how they mount in new construction, much less old work. This will be under a porch roof.

    Thanks
  2. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    Yes. Just cut out a rectangular hole the size and deepness for your electrical box*, then mortar the electrical box into the hole.

    New construction, use a half brick or cut a brick to the size you need. Mortar in the electrical box and wire along with the bricks.

    *As to cutting the rectangular hole, I would draw the outline of the electrical box on the wall. Then using a level, I would draw lines about 1/2 inch further out from the size of the electrical box. This would be so you could "squish" mortar in around the sides of the electrical box to hold it in place.

    Then I would use a "masonry blade" on a circular saw to make the first cuts. This would give you smooth lines on the edges. Carefully and just barely saw into the wall so the cuts do not go beyond the rectangular lines drawn on the wall. These cuts would not go very deep of course.

    Then with masonry drill bits and a hammer drill, I would drill a bunch of holes on the inside of the lines drawn. And I would mark the deepness to drill on the drill bit by holding up the electrical box to the bit, then placing masking tape on the bit so the hole would be about 3/4 inch deeper than the box. This would allow room in the back for a romex clamp, the wire, and mortar. (And drill no deeper than the tape on the bit.)

    Then I would use a straight blade on the hammer drill to chip out the rest of the rectangular hole. Or a cold chisel. The more holes you drill, the easier it will be to chip the pieces out.

    Then drill a hole all the way through for the wire or whatever - run the wire.

    Then install romex clamp. Leave about 8 inches of wire going out the electrical box. Then mortar it into place.

    (Someone else may have a better way to do this, so stay tuned...)

    Circular saw masonry blade...

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The smaller the blade diameter, the deeper you can cut into the brick without going outside the lines for the box. A 4" or 4 1/2" angle grinder with a diamond blade is the quickest way.
  4. alannaimee@charter.net

    alannaimee@charter.net New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    East TN
    Just finished this myself using a masonry bit and cold chisel as Billy Bob suggested. Probably took a bit longer than the other methods described here, but the end result is the same.
  5. TJanak

    TJanak New Member

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    South TX
    Thanks for the suggestions. I need to pick up a masonry box tomorrow and get to work. There is an outlet on the other side of the wall about a foot higher but right in line so running the wire should be easy.
  6. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    If that is in a wet area, you will be plugging in an extension cord which will go into a wet area, or you have animals in the area (dog) which might chew on an electric cord, be sure to install a GFCI outlet. (Protects people/animals from electrocution.)

    (Also dogs which like to "mark their territory" on power strips, extension cords, or anything else electrical.)

    And for wet areas you now need an "in use cover" like this...

    [​IMG]
  7. codeone

    codeone Code Enforcement

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    North Carolina
    This is a box by arlington Ive had excellent sucess chipping out mortar and one brick and installing in the brick.

    Attached Files:

  8. codeone

    codeone Code Enforcement

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Your finished product would look like this

    Attached Files:

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