Old work boxes - hole too big

perelJuly 7, 2008

I'm putting a bunch of old work boxes into plaster. Being plaster, the holes sometimes end up a bit larger than intended. How should I patch these holes so the 'ears' on the old work boxes can grab on correctly? Generally this isn't very much, just 1/4 to 2 inches too big. If it was a bigger patch, I'd know what to do, but usually for a patch that small I'd just put a blowout patch in and that doesn't seem like it would provide enough strength for holding a box up.

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For the first hole, make one smaller than needed. Enlarging it a bit is easy. But for your problem, depending on how the box is mounted, use pieces of 1/4" plywood about 1 1/2" wide and 4" to 5" long. Coat with glue one side. For walls with smooth backside, white glue is OK, for walls with rough backside, use construction adhesive. Insert the plywood through the hole with the adhesive against the wall surface and clamp in place at the exact desired location. I use small C-clamps. The whole thing requires some dexterity. Unclamp next day. Patch exposed wall surface as necessary. Then install electrical box.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 7:45AM
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If you are dropping in a single-gang box, could you enlarge the hole to fit a double-gang box and put a single gang mud-ring on it?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 12:50PM
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