...To surface mount boxes?
There I am, overstuffed cheapo surface mount box. Need to open a
knock-out. Give it the gentlest of taps and half the box snaps off.
Is it just me being clumsy, or are cheap surface mount boxes far too
brittle and work out being false economy when you're breaking 1 out of
Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
uk.d-i-y FAQ: http://www.diyfaq.org.uk /
Happens to me too. :-(
Also, who designed those round plastic elec junction boxes?
What a load of crap. You can't get more than a couple of wires in without
taking out the screw which is a pig to get back in, if it doesn't fall on
the floor and get lost..
Do electricians really use them?
Chocky connectors in plastic boxes would be miles better...
I am in fact using thee smaller ones extensively.
There are a few tricks I have learnt. Firstly, at least they don't break
when chipping out teh wire passage holes.
Secondly, remove ALL the screws first, and put them to one side.
Thirdly, spend time cutting and stripping wires and planning internal
layout, especially if you don't want to screw them down till they are
wired. Its always a toss up as to whoich is going to be the biger pain
Then make sure all wires are carefull laid across the slots, and
reinsiert screws. If a hint of coss thread - remove and start agin, or
you smash the stupud brass inserts. How I get the screws in is to ut the
screw in teh driver end, and hold it there with a fingertip. Then just
screw it backwards till it slips into the thread start, then forwards.
The secret is knowing its going to be irritating, and just doing it the
slow way to start with, which then ends up faster than crawling around
looking for the grub screw. Always remove and store spare grub screws
from unused terminals as well....
This is *exactly* how I lay out a junction box. Saves a lot of hassle,
though it does seem to take ages. Did two lighting boxes today, circuit,
switch, lamp. One had circuit out as well, the other had two lamps. Took
45+ minutes from unpacking the boxes to screwing the lids on.
But I do use 20A boxes generally as even with all this preparation, 5A
can be a squeeze. Only if space is very tight do I use 5A - most
recently above an unfitted false ceiling where there was just a couple
of inches height to play with and the box had to be mounted vertically
on one of the battens.
Martin Angove: http://www.tridwr.demon.co.uk /
Don't fight technology, live with it: http://www.livtech.co.uk /
I cut the "outside" part and drill through the "inside" part, if you see
what I mean ;)
Still manage to break them sometimes.
I got some from somewhere a while back though were more like nylon, in
that there were quite soft - probably substandard and dangerous...I
decided against using those ;)
On Sat, 06 Dec 2003 14:03:13 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Simon
I use a variety of gentle taps on the knock-out to open it up.
I usually try a pair of sidecutters as a small hammer side-on, also
jabbing with a small screwdriver. If I'm really serious I would tend
to employ the rounded end of a small pien hammer. I don't use a lot of
force on this job, just gentle taps.
Can't remember having seriously broken a pattress box though. The
finished "hole" is usually a bit jagged in nature but that's not
terribly important on the grand scale of things.
Yup. I've never quite worked out why the thinnest of the plastic remains
intact while it breaks across a thick bit. Luckily, I pretty well never
use plastic surface mounting stuff - I prefer metal clad regardless of
where it is to be used.
*Ever stop to think and forget to start again?
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW 12
I almost wrote the OP myself last month.
The cheapest screwfix are definitely more brittle than the MK / Crabtrees,
presumably the filler to resin ratio is much higher. After cracking a couple I
ended up Dremelling from the outside with a mini abrasive disk at the "weak
points" and snapping off the tongue with a pliers. After that the internal skin
knocks out with a screwdriver tip (from the outside).
Also, in the current screwfix boxes that I have, the boss around the thread
insert foul the internals of Wickes own brand double sockets. Typically, I only
discovered this after I had a row of them installed and wired below worktop
height. Dremel to the rescue again, mini cylindrical grinding stone.
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