Is it ok to use those blue plastic boxes found at Home Depot to
install a light switch using romex 12/3 in drywall. I asked 2
employees and they said yes but they say yes to anything. It was in
the electrical section next to the metal boxes and some grey ones but
they were out of grey which they had displayed with the switch. I was
just wondering if the blue was the same as the grey because I know
they use blue for low voltage.
Yes. many of the low voltage boxes are blue plastic but most of them
also have no back! Question, if HD folks "say yes to anything" why
did you bother to ask?
If the drywall is already in place, I hope you got the "old work" box
or got some Madison straps.
On 18 Nov 2003 12:05:04 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Noel) wrote:
I assumed that the plastic is sufficiently fire resistant to handle anything
the wiring could throw at it.
Now, I have no actual knowledge of that, but I hope I am right; since I
happen to like plastic boxes.
Anyone with an authoritative opinion?
Those blue boxes are extremely durable, borderline indestructable. Put a
propane torch on one once and see what I mean.
I wouldn't worry about it anyway. The wooden framing the box is attached to
is certainly not fire retardant.
Also it may be a better insulator for air infiltration.
I used couple when I need more outlets out at my cabin.
Was easier to work with than metal box. There is even one with
butteryfly screws so it can be mounted where there is no stud but
If this were an outdoor outlet (i.e. in a carport or something), I would
say no. The blue boxes are not weathertight.
However, since you mentioned you were installing the switch in drywall, I'm
assuming your switch will be mounted indoors.
I'm guessing the drywall is already in place, and you'll be cutting a hole
in the drywall to install the box? If that's true, you'll need the "old
work" or "remodel" type of box. The box slips into the hole in your wall,
then a couple of little arms flip out on the back side as you tighten the
mounting screws. This basically "clamps" the box to the drywall, and is
actually quite sturdy. In fact, I have often used the "old work" boxes to
do certain new work as well.
The blue boxes are less expensive than metal boxes and are actually very
sturdy. More importantly, they are non-conductive, much like most power
tools these days that are "double-insulated". If a wire should happen to
come loose at some point in the future, the box itself will not conduct
I haven't tried it personally, but I've also heard that the boxes are
fairly fire resistant, within reason of course.
I'd say it's really a matter of opinion (and possibly local codes) which
box you use. I prefer the blue plastic boxes myself, but occasionally use
metal boxes as well in some situations.
Thanks for the answers.
The blue box has wings that flip up to attach to drywall for 'old
work'. I'm installing in a remodeled kitchen. I have used the metal
outlet 'old work' with the tie straps but found this plastic easier
because the wing is attached. The plastic box was the same price as
metal (99 cents) but you don't have to buy the tie straps seperate.
I ask the home depot employees hoping they're not just restocking the
isle. Some have been in the business and know their stuff then
interrogate you to make sure you know what you're getting into while
others just look at you and nod their head.
I had what seemed like an 18 yr old ask me if I needed help and I knew
right away he was going to waste my time so I thought I'd see if I was
right. I asked him for 4 inch piping for a french drain and he looked
around and pointed to what seemed like piping and said - 'that's all
we have', of course it wasn't.
Anyway, the blue box seems fine.
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.