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Nails Through Switch and Outlet Boxes

Posted by CommandaManda (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 21, 11 at 19:10

I've got a little nightmare on my hands. Nearly every box in a beach house extension appears to have been slapped up with two giant galvanized nails right through the inside of the boxes. I have tried cutting the nails and removing them. This took me all day and broke nearly all my Dremmel wheels.

I still have to figure out how to secure the boxes without damaging large portions of the wall (demoing the sheetrock).

This house has stood for 50 years without an electrical incident, and anything I rewire I have matched exactly and grounded carefully.

If I choose to leave the nails in place and make sure that no wires are exposed or touching the nails, is there anything else I can do, short of a total wall demolition in order to remove the boxes?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Nails Through Switch and Outlet Boxes

Those boxes are metallic? It is virtually certain that the manufacturer of the boxes intended them to be mounted with nails. Some even included the nails which were "captured" to the boxes. Some have the nail passing through the interior of the box- by design. Non-metallic boxes do not have nails in the interior of the box in order to insure that no conductive material other than the "wires" exits the box. The one thing you do not tell us is why you have decided that these nails must be removed.


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RE: Nails Through Switch and Outlet Boxes

If you really want to remove the nails, use a pair of side cutters to grip the side of the nail that goes into the stud and pry it out. I'm sure you know this, but turn the power off before doing this.


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RE: Nails Through Switch and Outlet Boxes

I notice that CommandaManda registered the same day as the post. I responded as if the original post was serious and authentic. But that person has not added to the dialog nor answered my question. And has not told us how the boxes are being supported after removal of the nails. How much could one know about residential wiring and still not know about nailing boxes to the studs?


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RE: Nails Through Switch and Outlet Boxes

I've seen phonies and fakes in forums.

Once the forum is inhabited by helpful people with knowledge to share, it attracts them. Go figure.


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RE: Nails Through Switch and Outlet Boxes

It is a little bit of an odd post, but I'm giving him/her the benefit of the doubt. There is another post in this forum by this same person which also shows a similar lack of electrical knowledge, so I'm going to presume these are honest posts by a newbie who is just looking for help. Many people post on the first day they register, so that is not necessarily an indicator of a phony post.


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