Tips for fixing "crooked"/recessed outlets?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by ironspider, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. ironspider

    ironspider Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Michigan
    Greetings all,

    So my wife and I are working on our basement and the drywall has been put up. The drywall was put up by the classic "friend of a friend" type deal and, while it's up and generally great, there are some "issues" around the blue electrical boxes that were nailed to the framing pre-drywall that I am now installing receptacles into that I'd love some solid tips on!

    Okay, so in some places the drywall cutout is a bit too big so that the tabs on the receptacles/switches won't catch it when screwed down. Do they make like "tab extenders" or something that go higher? I mean maybe that's not even applicable since then it wouldn't be covered by the faceplate? Anywho, I need a solid tip as to how to possible get those tabs to catch? (I assume i can just use longer machine screws to get the receptacle into the blue box threads.

    More disconcerting for me is the fact that some boxes (after the brutalizing they suffered during drywall installation) aren't "straight" anymore. They're not "parallel" to the face of the drywall. So like the left edge of the blue boxis flush with the face of the drywall but the RIGHT edge of the box is back 1/4" - 3/4" from the right edge of the hole in the drywall. So, as you can imagine, when I screw in a receptacle, the receptacle is slanted in the opening with the left side being out beyond the faceplate and looking correct but the RIGHt side of the receptacle not our as far past the faceplate!

    Any thoughts/tips/solutions/suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!!
  2. bsperr

    bsperr Member

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Athens, GA
    Ideal makes a little tab that fits under the yoke of receptacles to bring them out from a recessed junction boxes, but you also might want to try a box extender, like this one from Arlington. It might be large enough to bridge the gap between the junction box and the wall and give you a nice flush surface to attach your receptacle.
  3. ironspider

    ironspider Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks bsperr,

    I think my real issue is going to be with the "crooked" boxes situation. The suggestions you make, coupled with some other good tips I found on the net, has be past the depth issue--but even if I can conquer the depth issue, it won't matter if teh boxes are crooked because the thread path for the boxes is at an angle :(

    I guess that's what I *really* need help with.

    -j
  4. Jim Port

    Jim Port Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Maryland
    The gap around the box needs to be repaired so that the gap is no greater than 1/8". This is an electrical code requirement.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,359
    Location:
    New England
    Box extenders should solve the depth issue. The recepticles do have a limited amount of slop in the mounting holes to try to straighten them out some. If the boxes are bent, maybe cutting the drywall a little will let them spring back. Normally, if the stud is straight, the box will be as well. That means the hole will be larger, but you can patch that. The setting drywall mud you mix from a powder and some tape, and you'd never know they messed up the size and placement of the hole.
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