09:57AM | 02/27/05
Member Since: 02/26/05
2 lifetime posts
Is there a way to replace an electrical box without ripping the wall open?One of the screws that holds the outlet to the box broke off so I need to put a new box in,However I don't want to tear the wall apart to replace it. Any suggestions?


11:57AM | 02/27/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
Is your broken "outlet screw" attached to the box itself or a bevel that is then attached to the box?

If its the later, then you can trim around the box, remove the bevel and replace it, then patch the wall to no less than 3mm (about 1/8 inch) of the box. If its the former, then, unless you have all power off and can tap it out, you'd have to replace the box.

I wonder why the "web-xperts" haven't chimed in on your post! maybe they got scared because you said electrical box and not outlet box or switch box, and thought you meant the fuse or circuit breaker box, and never read your post! :)


01:29PM | 02/27/05
Member Since: 02/26/05
2 lifetime posts
It is not the bevel. The box itself is plastic and hence the threaded portion is all part of the molded plastic box. So I 'm trying to get the old box out then I will have to find a new box that you can slide into the existing hole.

Tom O

02:47PM | 02/27/05
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts

I suppose you're not lucky enough to be able to drill into the remains of the screw & use an easy out(if they're made that small)?

De-energize the circuit.

To replace the box, you can use either a hacksaw blade or a Sawzall (recip saw) with a metal cutting blade. Determine which side the stud is on & gently pry the box away from the stud to the point whrere you can slide the saw blade between the box & stud. Next step is to cut the two nails holding the box. Do not try to pull the box out of the hole, push it back & slide it off the cables & allow it to drop down the wall.

Purchase a metal old work box and a pair of "battleships" (also known as box hangers). Pull the cables out of the wall, pry out the appropriate # of knockouts, slide the box onto the cables, tighten the internal clamp. Slide the box into the hole (you may have to make the hole slightly taller & wider). Slip in the box hangers & fold them over to secure the box.

Attach one equipment ground to the box using a 10-32 screw and splice it to the remaining grounds. Make up your connections, install the receptacle & cover. Restore power to the circuit. Done, pour a cold one.

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