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.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
1 of 2 security light bulbs keep going out, do i need a new light?
I have a security light fixture in my carport that...
Testing a fluorescent bulb
I've got a light box that isn't lighting up when I...
Installing 220/240V. 50/60Hz appliances from Europe
I hope to install a "Domino" modular system...
Electrical Problem.
My mom's house has a problem with the lights temporarily...
Debra Johnson
Please Critique Low-Volt (Home Automation) Plan/Proposal
GW/Houzz Community, As always, I want to thank this...
Andrew K.
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™