Outlet recessed too much

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I have an outlet that is recessed too much to be able to attach a faceplate.
Any ideas on how to fix it ?
I know I would have to shut off the breaker before doing the repair.
Have a great weekend.
Andy
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On Fri, 4 Mar 2016 20:51:08 -0800 (PST), Andy

Common problem. Someone put the box too far back, or added a layer of sheetrock, or ceramic tiles, or something else to make the wall thicker.
The fix is simple. Remove the 2 screws that hold the outlet to the box. Put some spacers on the screws between the outlet and the box. Small nuts work fine, stack several of them as needed. You may have to buy longer screws. They are a common hardware store item. You can also buy plastic, or metal spacers at most hardware stores, that will fit around a screw.
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The "correct" way is to add an extender to the box, effectively bringing the box out to the front of the wall.
However, if the difference is 1/4" or less, I just use small nuts or washers as you mentioned to bring the outlet flush with the wall.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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On 3/5/2016 12:10 AM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

aisle of Home Depot. Plastic folding things. Agree, longer screws may be needed. I did that a week or two ago, for a relative.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On Sat, 5 Mar 2016 07:55:11 -0500, Stormin Mormon

cause issues when the next poor sucker has to change the device.
Like Mike Holmes says - "Make it Right"
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On 3/5/2016 10:40 AM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

OP hasn't indicated how far off he is. Code allows up to 1/4" recess behind the surface of the wall. The spacers are less than that. They're also *wide* and support the entire yoke -- not just a small "washer" effectively sitting under the screwhead
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On Fri, 04 Mar 2016 23:10:43 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

using a box. DO THE RIGHT THING. Get a certified "box extender" and install it. Anywhere from $0.87 to $2.00 depending which you buy and where. The box extender "telescopes" into the box - totally adjustable - or yopu can buy a "box shim" which is better than nuts but may not pass inspection in some areas.
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, or ceramic tiles, or something else to make the wall thicker. | > | >The fix is simple. Remove the 2 screws that hold the outlet to the box. | >Put some spacers on the screws between the outlet and the box. Small | >nuts work fine, stack several of them as needed. You may have to buy | >longer screws. They are a common hardware store item. You can also buy | >plastic, or metal spacers at most hardware stores, that will fit around | >a screw. | This solution is totally against code and defeats the purpose of | using a box.
Not in MA. I asked an electrician who I work with about that awhile back because I frequently run into that situation. His answer was that extenders are only needed if the wall material is combustible. (Generally that would mean wood.)
It may be different in Canada. You use a different electircal code.
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On Sat, 5 Mar 2016 12:48:35 -0500, "Mayayana"

On steel studs you could make a case.
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| Wgat about the lumber stud the box is fastened to??? | On steel studs you could make a case.
Usually the box is extending 1/2" past the stud. A typical situation I run into is someone who wants me to tile a kitchen backsplash. With concrete board and tile I'm coming out about 1/2", but that's 1/2" beyond the drywall. The material that a spark could actually hit is mortar and tile.
|ttcc| dddd| wwwwwwwwww |___ |____ |_______________________ | | RRR | electrical box | RRR | |
t=tile. c=concrete board. d=drywall. w=wood. R=receptacle.
That's legal. To reach the wood, a spark would have to travel 1/2"+ backward, assuming there's even a gap between the drywall and box. But I also tape the receptacle, so don't worry. :)
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On Fri, 4 Mar 2016 20:51:08 -0800 (PST), Andy

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On 3/4/2016 9:51 PM, Andy wrote:

How far is too far? A box is supposed to be recessed no more than 1/4" from the face of the wall surface.

*If* it's just a wee bit off, you can try: <http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ideal-Spacers-5-Pack-772453/202937113> Note that the photo is confusing.
To use as shims, each of the "strips" is really FOUR shims. Imagine cutting each into four equal sized pieces -- each would have a funny "three-lobed" hole/slot through it!
If you look carefully, there are two tits protruding from one side and two mating recesses on the other. I.e., you FOLD the piece in half so the two tits mate with the two recesses. You then end up with something twice as thick -- with a SLOT in the center (you'll have to visualize it being folded to see how the 1st and 3rd of the "lobes" end up stacked on top of each other with the middle lobe forming a pathway to that void).
You can loosen the mounting screws (top and bottom) for your duplex outlet/receptacle. Then, slide one of these onto the portion of the screw that is exposed BEHIND the outlets yoke. Then, tighten.

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|I have an outlet that is recessed too much to be able to attach a faceplate. |
There are parts of the answer in several posts here. You can buy some 6/32 screws that are longer than normal and just space the outlet out further, if necessary.
If it's in just a bit too far you can just back out the existing screws. They're normally about 3/4", so there's some play there.
You can also add an extender, if necessary.
Ideally the tabs will sit on the wall surface so that you can tighten down the screws. It sounds like you either have no tabs or the opening is too big. If the opening is too big you might be able to build it up with some plaster or durabond, but that's not critical. The plate screw will prevent the outlet from pushing in once it's finished, if you don't use an extender and you can't easily rebuild the opening.
Where I live, the code requires an extender only if the wall material is flammable. (Tile, no. Wood panelling, yes.) The idea is that it's possible for a spark to happen. (It used to be a big problem with aluminum wiring.) And if a spark does happen it shouldn't be able to hit something flammable. But more to the point is that the contacts should be wrapped with electrical tape. I rarely see electricians do that, but if they're wrapped then there's no risk of sparking or of kids getting their fingers zapped. Also, if it were already wrapped, you wouldn't need to shut off the breaker. You probably won't need to anyway, if you're careful, but that's up to you.
What I'm saying is that the code *might* require an extender in your case, if you want to go by the letter of the law, but if it were me I'd just make sure to wrap the contacts with electrical tape, then back out the screws as needed.
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On Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 8:45:15 AM UTC-5, Mayayana wrote:

The contacts? You mean the screws that hold the wires to the outlet?
I have never ever seen this done, and can't picture a way to do it other than wrapping tape round and round the whole outlet, which would look incredibly sloppy.
Unless I'm picturing this wrong?
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| The contacts? You mean the screws that hold the wires to the outlet? | Yes.
| I have never ever seen this done, and can't picture a way to do it other than wrapping tape round and round the whole outlet, which would look incredibly sloppy. |
Wrapping around once or twice, yes. It is *slightly* sloppy if you then need to change the outlet, but that doesn't happen very often. In the meantime, the exposed screws and wire and covered with insulation.
I don't know if taping is actually required by code. It's surprisingly difficult to find full code docs. There's something called the National Electrical Code, which is maintained by an organization that apparently makes a lot of money selling access to it. As a result, despite having the full MA building code docs, there's just one page in there, basically saying that it's in accord with the NEC. And the NEC is a privately owned standard. So while it's required that these things be publicly available, somehow they're not. (I ran into a similar situation with the MA plumbing code, but did eventually find a copy.)
I used to have a very old book that said wire nuts should always be taped, but I don't generally see electricians do it. It seems crazy to me. Taping is easy, quick, and cheap. In some cases with newer receptacles the hardware is so big that it has to be carefully centered to avoid touching the side of the box. In other cases there's enough room for a person to touch the contact if the plate is off. I consider that a safety risk. So why not tape it? A plastic plate held on with a short screw is not protection against curious children.
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On Sat, 5 Mar 2016 12:00:27 -0500, "Mayayana"

MOST DEFINITELY NOT required by code - and most inspectors I know would very likely fail you for "poor workmanship" if he found them taped. If you are not cofident enough of your work to KNOW it won't short to the box you shouldn't be touching anything electrical

It is no longer required by code, or even recommended.

Why tape a wire nut? To hold it on? If the wire nut is not mechanically secure enough to stay on by itself, it is not electrically secure enough to do it's job - tape or no tape.

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| Why tape a wire nut? To hold it on?
No. To cover exposed wires. It generally shouldn't be necessary, but space in boxes can be very tight. So why not? It's not as though it might cause a problem.
For years it was thought that aluminum wire was fine, until it wasn't. It could spark rather dramatically due to corrosion and started a lot of house fires. Those fires could have been prevented with a little tape. Tape just ensures that no bare wire is exposed, for touching or for sparking. I can't imagine why anyone would feel strongly *against* it.
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On Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 1:48:31 PM UTC-5, Mayayana wrote:

What exposed wires? If the wire nut is put on properly, there are no exposed wires. If it's not, putting tape on it isn't the solution.
It generally

A waste of time, an extra step that really doesn't add anything?
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On Sat, 5 Mar 2016 13:47:39 -0500, "Mayayana"

There should never be ANY exposed wire in a properly installed wire nut. If tape is required, it is not properly installed, and if it is taped any competent inspector is going to assume it is NOT properly installed.

Aluminum wire is still perfectly safe IF PROPERLY INSTALLED.

No they could not. Tape does not make the connection electrically solid. Any fires caused by aluminum wire and/or poor workmanship installing it were not from the wire coming off and contacting ground and would NOT be prevented by taping the connection.

Because it can conseal bad workmanship but cannot correct it or mitigate damage resulting from said poor workmanship.
It's a HACK.
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| Aluminum wire is still perfectly safe IF PROPERLY INSTALLED. | Maybe in Canada. In the US it's been banned since, I think, the 70s, except for specific uses like stove "pigtail" connectors. It caused a lot of fires. It's not allowed for general use in house wiring because it corrodes and then arcs. It doesn't matter if it's installed properly. That's why it's banned. The corrosion is the problem, not the installation. Though of course if you want to use it in your house, I'd use tape over receptacle terminals if I were you. :)
| > Those fires | >could have been prevented with a little tape. | | No they could not. Tape does not make the connection electrically | solid. Any fires caused by aluminum wire and/or poor workmanship | installing it were not from the wire coming off and contacting ground | and would NOT be prevented by taping the connection.
I've seen them in action -- outlets where there's arcing because of extreme corrosion. Your missing the point repeatedly because you're stuck on the notion you cooked up that I'm advocating connecting wires with tape. If you'd just read what people write instead of competing all the time it would make the discussion clearer and more brief.
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