Spouse complained of a loose outlet. It turns out that holes in the box for
mounting the outlet are broken out. The box is a gray plastic one and the
6-32 screws do not have anything to bite into as the wall that forms the
hole is broken.
I am not sure if there is enough material left to try to use an 8-32 screw
instead without breaking off more of the wall that forms the screw hole.
I sure don't want to have to remove the box and replace it, The box is side
mounted to a stud and it is in a finished wall.
Any suggestions for a "quick fix"? are there any epoxies that can be used
fill the space so I can retap the hole?
I have JB weld and a stick of the so called plumber's epoxy, but I am not
sure that they would stand up to drilling and retapping and have enough
strenghth to hold the screws without pulling out.
The original screws were 6-32. While I was trying to see what might work, i
tried plain old 8-32s.
Worked like charm. They drove in without any trouble and bit in well enough
that the outlet seated and the job is done.
But thanx for the thought John, I hadn't consdered dry wall screws.
BTDT, and if it works, great. But if this is a high-use outlet, I'd go
through the pain of switching the box. Kill the circuit, remove the
outlet. and either cut the nails with a sawzall, or if it is a typical
cheap box, just pry it off the stud, and drop it in the wall. (Oh, yeah,
push the romex back out through the holes first, after you mark what
went to what with tape tags.) Then replace with an old-work box, or even
a no-ear box screwed into the stud through the inside of the box, if you
think you can juggle it. (an assistant holding the edge of the box with
needle-nose vice grips helps.) If you have vanilla cover plates, and no
other cover plates are close enough to make it obvious, they sell
oversize plates to cover any scuffs or notches you make in the side of
the existing hole. And if the outlet got used enough to hog out the
mounting holes, as long as you have it all apart, I'd spend the $2.50 to
put a fresh outlet in there, because the spring tabs inside are likely
I'm not a big fan of plastic boxes.
You can always get one of those sheet metal gizmos the cable guys use
to mount cable outlets in drywall and crimp IT into the hole to hold
the outlet. Might use some epoxy to make sure IT doesn't move, but it
WILL hold the screws.
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