I have several loose outlet boxes that I would like to repair (for
obvious reasons). I would love to hear suggestions on correcting the
By the way, the problem is with the outlet boxes themselves, not the
outlets within the boxes.
I had a friend who had loose boxes. She had a 150 year old house and
apparently it was refit with "modern" wiring about 50 years ago; but they
did a lousy job on the boxes. I fixed them with clips made for that purpose
from HD. If that sounds anything like your problem, the fix is easy and
If they are the original boxes held to the studs by nails, I've had
good luck by; pulling the outlet out of box enough to slip an extended
driver tip past it and tag it down with a 1 5/8 drywall screw. It will
be at a pretty steep angle, but will suck it back just fine. Also a
good practice for ceiling boxes when you want to hang a fan, assuming
there is anything to screw into.
De-energize the circuit at the panel.
Remove the outlet cover and remove the outlet from the box and look
arround in there.
If the box is attached to the studs you can easily beef up the
fastening, if the outlet is in the middle of nowhere and attached with
Madison clips you got a larger chore ahead of you.
You can drive a nail through the side of a box by holding a flat bar
against it and striking it with a hammer, it's clumsy but it works.
On 10 Jan 2007 15:42:44 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I used a screw tip holder in an electric drill, with a magnetic
phillips head tip and a sharp screw that fit tight to the tip even if
it weren't magnetized. At an angle like you say, but it went in
quick. But I only had to do one.
I had to fix some loose boxes in a trailer house. They were not
attached to anything except tint screws into the paneling. I tried
some of those bend over clips sold for that purpose (they look like a
large letter "F"). They sort of helped but when the paneling is the
only thing to hold the box, it gets pretty flimsy (typical trailer
home crap). I noticed there was a lot of air leaking around them too,
so I shot some "Great Stuff" foam in a can around the boxes. Not only
did the foam insulate, but it held the boxes in real tightly.
I've got one that's only held in by the armored cable that's feeding
it. I'm not sure how I'm going to fix it, but my thoughts include
things like removing a porting of the wall tha's over the stud so I can
use one of those nail in types, then patching (repainting the wall
anyway, so that is an option). Or maybe using the above foam suggestion
exept with patching plaster around the bo itself (sort of like
cementing it in type of thing). In my case getting a screw or nail in
at a steep angle isn't goint to work since I don't have enough room to
I have used the various methods of tightening the box: the "F clips," and
the extra screw driven "sideways."
They can and usually do help.
BUT sometime you just gotta bit the bullet and removed the old box
(sometimes a "saws all" help) and install a new ("old work") box. Old work
boxes are attached to the plaster. That doesn't stop you from also driving
a screw in sideways (Belt & Suspenders).
One box I removed was a double box made up by removing the side walls from
two single boxes and connecting them together. The original installer
didn't tighten the screw at the top and used some twisted wire at the
bottom. Combine that with the nails into the stud working loose and you
have a wiggling mess!
| > I have several loose outlet boxes that I would like to repair (for
| > obvious reasons). I would love to hear suggestions on correcting the
| > problem.
| > By the way, the problem is with the outlet boxes themselves, not the
| > outlets within the boxes.
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