The contractor put new drywall over the old one I had. I now have about
3/4" of drywall. But all the old electrical boxes(metal) are now very
recessed to the point I have to bring out the switches and outlets with
spacers. THe only problem here is that now, the guts of the switchs and
outlets that were before inside the metal boxes now are near the cut
areas of the drywall opening.
Is this a fire hazard? Many switches spark when turned on or off.
What should I use to fire fire proof the Sheetrock around the switch or
outlet? The metal boxes don't come all the way the out to protect around
Should I user silicone? Metal/foil duct tape?
Any help appreciated!!
: The contractor put new drywall over the old one I had.
==> uMM, why? And why didn't he handle the boxes at the same time?
Is that what you wanted him to do?
I now have about
: 3/4" of drywall. But all the old electrical boxes(metal) are
: recessed to the point I have to bring out the switches and
: spacers. THe only problem here is that now, the guts of the
: outlets that were before inside the metal boxes now are near
: areas of the drywall opening.
: Is this a fire hazard? Many switches spark when turned on or
: What should I use to fire fire proof the Sheetrock around the
: outlet? The metal boxes don't come all the way the out to
: the Sheetrock.
: Should I user silicone? Metal/foil duct tape?
==> You really need to add box extenders to bring them out flush if you want the mounting to be reliable. Just pulling, say, the
outlet out farther isn't the best answer by any means, IMO.
I don't think that's to code either, but someone who knows
more than I will be alond shortly, I'm sure.
: Any help appreciated!!
314.20 In Wall or Ceiling.
In walls or ceilings with a surface of concrete, tile, gypsum,
plaster, or other noncombustible material, boxes shall be installed so
that the front edge of the box will not be set back of the finished
surface more than 6 mm (1/4 in.).
: You have to put some add-ons to bring the boxes out
: to the surface. There is no other way.
: And you say your switches SPARK! None should. They
: are bad. Change them first.
No, he's right. ALL mechanical switches will spark. Even
mercury switches. It's not visible as a rule, but unless the
voltage is at the zero point or close, there is a spark
generated. It's the nature of electricity. That's why you don't
want ot turn lights on or off in a room discovered to be full of
"No, he's right. ALL mechanical switches will spark"
Now, technically, you are right. But in practise if the
spark is bad enough to be visible, there's something
very wrong. I just took off two covers here.
One used relatively new switches, one uses switches
that are ver 25 years old. and then I flicked them
off and on about 10 times each. NO visible spark.
As I expected. Think about it. the swicth itself
is enclosed. For the spark to show it would have
to be gigantic. I stand by my earlier suggestion
that the sparking switches are bad. Maybe this could
be an episode of myth-busters?
With sheetrock walls, a miniscule fire hazard, unless a switch or outlet
explodes and showers sparks into the wall cavity. However, most places, it
is a code violation. They sell, very cheaply, plastic box extenders that
don't even require undoing the wiring screws. Just turn off breaker, pull
device from wall (you may have to enlarge the drywall hole a little), work
the extender over the device, and screw it all back together. I had to
install several in the this place when I bought it, due to several
idiot/lazy modifications previous owners made. Takes maybe 10 minutes per
box. Your drywall guy was a twit- he should have installed metal extender
rings as he put up the drywall, or at least explained the situation to you.
If you make an oopsie and make the drywall hole too big, or the flange on
the extender sticks past cover plate, they also make oversize cover plates
now to hide all that.
Sheetrock does not burn. There are millions of outlets and switches
improperly installed like this in the world. However, to be legal
with the code, get extenders. Use metal ones for metal boxes, plastic
for plastic. They are cheap, easy to install. No biggie....
Dont forget to get extra long #6 screws too. (In your case, 3/4"
longer than the original).
From an electrical supply, get switch box sleeve extensions, they'll make up
the space between the box and surface. NEC allows 1/4 inch in non
combustible material. All switches spark when they make and break, while
sometimes you can see the sparking, it should be contained within the switch
The only approved material are the extenders made for the job.
Sheetrock is fire resistant, but you really need the proper extenders.
There would only be a very small risk by not doing it, but do you want to
explain to your family that their home burned down because of a small risk
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.