Does anyone make a 2-gang shallow old-work box?

perelFebruary 12, 2008

My exterior walls are masonry with furring strips - regular boxes won't fit. I need the less-than-1.5"-deep "shallow" boxes, and yes - I am aware of the box fill limitations this imposes.

For single-gang devices, Carlon has a nifty one-gang shallow old work box that has a side piece that slips into the wall, providing full box volume with a shallow profile and single-gang hole in the wall. Just wish it was part of their "Super Blue" line instead of being the flimsy blue plastic..

The only 2-gang shallow boxes I've been able to find are new work, and I can't find ANY 3+ gang shallow boxes. Does someone make a gangable metal shallow box I could use for this?

For that matter, is a 4-gang old work box even a good idea? Or do I really need to open the whole wall up at that point?

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bus_driver

What is limiting the depth available? Any possibility of drilling/chiseling out space for a deeper box? Add a Wiremold box on the surface? If the wall surface where the box will be located or the surface behind it is a short/small wall space, could furring strips be added and covered by new drywall to create some wall depth? Typically, by thinking about a problem for two or three days, a solution becomes apparent.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 8:01PM
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arichard21

"could furring strips be added and covered by new drywall to create some wall depth?"

I actually had to do this in a bedroom in my house where they built the interior walls with the 2x4 on their side, and 2" is NOT enough room for a standard box. In hindsight, I should have built the wall out with 2x2 or 2x4, but I was in a pinch and built it out by adding 2 more furring strips on top of the 1 already there making my final thickness 4 1/4 giving me plenty of room. I probably could have gone with only 2 total, but i went with 3 just to be safe.

Perel, In a perfect world you should frame it in with 2x4. If not, then add 1 or 2 more furring strips.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:41AM
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pete_p_ny

Funny, I had the same issue, in trying to maximize my basement space, I used 2x4s on their side, I got so frustrated with the electric box issues, I just ripped them back out, and installed a conventional wall. And in the end, you do not notice the lost space anyways, and I have a better wall in the end.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 12:40PM
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perel

Either reframing the wall or adding more furring strips would require tearing down all the plaster and putting up new drywall. That's not happening. To clarify - this isn't one wall in particular, this is how the *entire house* is constructed. ALL exterior walls are, exterior to interior, face brick, concrete block, furring strip, gypsum lath, plaster, more plaster, paint.

BTW - finally found one! Turns out Raco makes a gangable 1.5" deep metal single device box. However, the only way to meet box fill requirements is to have additional gangs unused (blank faceplate) just to get enough cubic inches, so it looks like I'll be better off relocating these devices to an interior wall.

The Carlon B117RSW is *genius*. It's the only way I *can* meet the box fill requirements for the required receptacles in these exterior walls..

Here is a link that might be useful: RACO 400 box

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 12:23AM
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arichard21

I have always been a fan of carlon stuff. They make an adjustable box that has a screw in it to adjust the depth of the box. AWESOME! Pricey, but great.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 7:33AM
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bus_driver

Nothing in any code prohibits boxes from protruding from the wall. To cover an extra 1/4" of depth, a jumbo wall plate can be cut to fit around the box to cover that much space and then a regular plate is used to complete the "sandwich". The box also could be recessed into the concrete block, as I suggested in my first post.

Here is a link that might be useful: P&S

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 8:31AM
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perel

Followup. It turns out that this is REALLY common.. the solution is a 2-gang box and a single-gang mud ring. Once I found that out installation was easy.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 12:10PM
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fotostat

Could you clarify your solution please, I'm not following.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 7:06PM
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brickeyee

Use a 1.25 inch deep 4 and 11/16 square box with a plaster ring.

There is also nothing stopping you from cutting into the concrete block top get clearance for the boxes.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:45PM
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fotostat

I'm not following how a single gang mud ring is helping him get a 2 gang opening.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 4:01PM
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fotostat

Let me clarify what I am curious about. Perel needs to find a way to get a 2 gang opening in a shallow box with enough room so he doesn't go over the box fill. The solution that he found was to use a 2 gang box and single gang mud ring. I'm not following how that works...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 4:04PM
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perel

Ah. I see the confusion; my bad. The Carlon single-gang old work boxes ended up being too deep too, so I just made these boxes single gang instead of double. That's where the 2-gang box / 1-gang mud ring came from.

I suppose if that location had ended up needing 2 gangs on the wall, I could have just used a larger box underneath and a 2-gang mud ring.. same principle. Still, in the end I decided that was more trouble than it was worth.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 5:31PM
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Askgary

Easy solution. Take 2 of the Carlon shallow depth old-work boxes. One will be your "right" and one will be your "left." Where the 2 boxes will meet, drill out 1" holes. The conductors from one side will be fed through the hole. When you install the duplex outlets, use the adjusting slot to move them toward the middle so your cover plate will fit properly.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:01AM
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brickeyee

"I'm not following how a single gang mud ring is helping him get a 2 gang opening."

The use a 2 gang mud ring.

You may have to go to an electrical wholesaler.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:25AM
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petey_racer

Brick, you got caught up in the "dig up an ancient thread" syndrome. Askgary replied to this thread as if it were posted yesterday.

Askgary, no matter how hard you try that will not work. You'll never get the two devices close enough to use a two gang plate. Besides, the way you describe is quite non-code-compliant. You'd have to do more to make it complaint, and even then it would still be nearly impossible to get a plate to fit and would still be hackery.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:31AM
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