I have some electrical boxes for outlets and switches that were not
installed flush with the wall. Therefore the covers do not lay flat,
and there are gaps between the plate and the wall.
Short of having the boxes replaced and installed correctly, is there
an easier fix? Maybe switch plates with deeper lips that would flush
against the wall? I have yet to fund these.
Well, it ain't exactly an approved method, but I have had luck with
using a BFH on them, if the box was side-nailed into the stud. (Nails
will be visible inside box.) Turn off power, remove device, hold a block
of hardwood over box to ensure even impact, and whack it solidly a time
or two. This will not work on modern plastic boxes with the angled ears,
or the style that has a riveted tab over front of stud. If there is any
slop in the hole, a rap on the front will push the box back to the far
edge of the hole.
Don't get ridiculous with the hammer- if it doesn't move with a couple
raps, it isn't going to.
They do sell oversize plates, and a different style of plate (like the
round-cornered metal ones) may be slightly deeper. If the boxes are
really sticking out, a grinder may be only answer, short of drywall work
or a kludge like adding a decorative plate under the cover plate.
Different methods depending upon the type of box. Plastic bang on boxes can
easily be ground flush as Speedy suggested, or a screw through the side of
the box into the adjacent stud will also work. Steel bracket bang on boxes
can often be bent back into the wall, especially "1900" boxes, and bang on
gem boxes can be screwed to the stud through a small hole within the box
Mulberry makes deep wall plates for this problem. They have a 9/16" version
and a 3/8" version. You will most likely have to order these through an
electrical supply company. I've never seen these as a stock item. Go to a
supply company and ask to see their Mulberry Catalog Section "A".
A one gang toggle 3/8" white is Mulberry #86821. A one gang duplex
receptacle 3/8" white is #86822.
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.