Metal 2 gang box to plastic 3 gang??

angalaluNovember 25, 2012

My house was built in 1926, hence, the switch boxes are all metal with conduit. There is an existing box, which houses a double switch and a single pole switch that operates 2 sconce light fixtures. My hope was to convert this metal beast to a 3 gang box and add a three way switch and another sconce light fixture, making the existing single pole double switch into a dimmer three way switch. does this make sense? anywho, I opened up the box and I am unsure where to start. I have some elementary wiring knowledge and many books, but none explain how to deal with expanding and existing metal box. I am thinking that because of the attached conduit, unless I intend to replace that with romex, it should be left in place. Is it ok to add an 'old work' single gang, plastic box next to the metal box? If so how would I knockout and mosy the wires over to the new plastic box? Someone with more knowledge, please advice. Even if its to say don't be a fool and pay an electrician a few hundred bucks. Thanks!

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bus_driver

What is the wall construction? Plaster over wood lath? How much patching would you be willing to do?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:50PM
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hendricus

The first question is where are you located and are plastic boxes and Romex allowed. That's actually two questions.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 10:49PM
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angalalu

bus driver: yes, indeed, it's plaster over wood lath. we just paid to have the wall with metal box in question smooth coated... so, as minimal as possible so I don't have to kick myself in the butt. However, adding the three way switch and new light fixture will improve lighting and functionality of the house, so I will consider :)

hendricus: yes, plastic boxes and Romex are allowed. I'm in Southern California.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:36AM
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bus_driver

In some instances such as yours, where the wall was an exterior wall and the outside finish permitted it, the outside clapboards were removed to access the wall cavity from the outside.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 7:56AM
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brickeyee

You can also check into different switches (not regular toggle switches) that might not require any box change.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 11:02AM
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