Switches on Both Sides of Wall

nuckphotoFebruary 17, 2011

For the wall sconces I'm installing, I want to place the switch by a doorway, but on the opposite side of that wall is a switch for the light in that room. Of course, the placement for the new switch will not work out (as is) due to the other switch's box being in the way. I really want to put the new switch there because it will look right (same height and distance from doorway as all the other switches.)

Is the some sort of work around?

Thank you.

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Ron Natalie

Well you can't put two boxes in one place so one or the other will have to move. Frankly a 3" horizontal offset isn't going to make any practical difference.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:19AM
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nuckphoto

Yeah, after staring at it long enough, that's what I'm thinking.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 12:04PM
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kurto

It's possible to put two 1.5" deep boxes back-to-back, and connect them with a chase nipple. You can't do this in a fire-rated wall, and you might have trouble with box-fill requirements. It's a lot easier just to offset the boxes.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:18PM
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brickeyee

If you REALLY want them back to back use 4x4 square boxes with plaster rings.

You can get them shallow enough (1.25 inch) to easily fit back to back in a 2x4 wall, and they are large enough to avoid box fill issues.

I find back to back switches that are offset simply annoying.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 3:04PM
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nuckphoto

"If you REALLY want them back to back use 4x4 square boxes with plaster rings. You can get them shallow enough (1.25 inch) to easily fit back to back in a 2x4 wall, and they are large enough to avoid box fill issues."

That's an idea, but googling double gang switch plates w/ one hole in center is turning up next to nada. That would also require re-doing the other switch which is ok if I can get the back to back.

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 4:55PM
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brickeyee

"That's an idea, but googling double gang switch plates w/ one hole in center is turning up next to nada. "

If you use a single wide plaster ring you will have a single wide switch plate.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 7:36PM
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nuckphoto

"If you use a single wide plaster ring you will have a single wide switch plate."

Ok, but what hides the rest of the ring? This is an "old work" project and I would have to cut the wallboard to accommodate the 4" box. From what I've seen (see link), the ring covers the whole 4" box with a cutout in the center for a single switch. A single wide switch plate would only cover the center of the ring. What am I missing?

Thank you.

Here is a link that might be useful: plaster ring

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 6:23PM
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brickeyee

"Ok, but what hides the rest of the ring? This is an "old work" project and I would have to cut the wallboard to accommodate the 4" box. From what I've seen (see link), the ring covers the whole 4" box with a cutout in the center for a single switch. A single wide switch plate would only cover the center of the ring. What am I missing? "

Do you want the switches back to back or not?

You have to cut a large enough hole for the box, fasten it in place, install the plaster ring, and then repair the drywall.

If you use a RotoZip to cut the hole you can make it large enough on one side to work both sides of the wall.

You can then cut an exact plaster ring size hole in the other wall leaving minimal repair work.

The piece you cut out from the first side can then be trimmed to act as the patch in that wall.

A coule of 1x wood strips at each eside of the hole for support (screw through the wall about 1/2 inch friom the edgw of the hole to hold the wood in place) then screw the patch tpo the wood strips.

You should have a very neat 1/8 inch gap all the way around the patch.

Some EasySand mixed as thick as peanut butter (smooth) will fill the gaps with no tape or feathering.

I use EasySand20 (sets in about 20 minutes, but 40 is more like it) so I can complete the patch in a few hours.
Let it dry overnight and it is ready to prime and paint.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 9:24AM
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fa_f3_20

Double-sided junction box:

Here is a link that might be useful: Look here

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 12:05PM
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brickeyee

"Double-sided junction box"

It is a deeper 4x4 box with plaster rings.

Probably not worth the trouble (or cost) to actually use.

Then only advantage is if both switches have the same feed and easier to mount.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 1:36PM
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nuckphoto

I like the idea of the double-sided j-box, but as brickeyee stated "Probably not worth the trouble (or cost) to actually use." so I'll give the 4" box a try.

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:49AM
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