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Old 06-24-2009, 05:24 AM   #1
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Default a question for you do it your-selfers

to keep SWMBO happy I've been doing a little remodeling. Currrently working on converting our spare bedroom (formerly storage overlflow) into my oldest daughters new room. We are slowly updating all of the windows in the house, so while replacing the windows I discovered the insulation in this room was horrendous, so i completely stripped the walls and re-insulated and then sheet rocked both outside walls (formerly covered with paneling).

soooooo, a few questions that arose during the process.

1. should I have moved the outlet boxes out to make up for the difference in the depth of the sheetrock? I replaced the outlets with new ones and just cut the hole, poked the wire through and screwed the outlet into the box sandwiching the metal bracket between the box and the sheetrock. Is this OK? I kind of forgot about the boxes until I already had the rock up.

2. And speaking of forgeting the boxes...... SWMBO seems to think there were outlets on these walls, but I only have 3 accounted for. I already pulled the one section of rock off where she thought the outlet should have been, and nothing, so I put it back up. fortunately I didn't have it completely srewed down yet. But, she is still convinced there was another outlet that I covered up. The rest of the rock is completely screwed down, and cut around the openings. If I remove the next piece to check, I will have to replace it from scratch. Sooooo.... is there a way to check for an outlet behind the rock like a meter, etc?? My only other thought is to cut the power and poke a small hole next to each of the 4 studs that could hold the outlet and feel into the hole with a wire or something.


I know there are a lot of handy people on here, and I'm sure (at least I hope) I'm not the only one to make this particular goof.

thanks!

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Old 06-24-2009, 05:38 AM   #2
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I am not an electrician, and I don't even play one on TV.

many of even the most rudimentary stud sensors have a feature that detects current running through wires in the walls, so you could try that.

did you at least wire nut the ends of all the loose wires in the boxes while the walls were going up?

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Old 06-24-2009, 05:47 AM   #3
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I am not an electrician, and I don't even play one on TV.

many of even the most rudimentary stud sensors have a feature that detects current running through wires in the walls, so you could try that.

did you at least wire nut the ends of all the loose wires in the boxes while the walls were going up?

Yep, loose wires were nutted and the I cut the breaker on the circuit until the new outlets were in place. That is, of course, not counting the one she thinks I forgot. It it is there, then it still has the original outlet attached cuz I never took one off on that end of the wall.

A studfinder is a good idea, it should pick up the outlet too I think so there may be a noticible difference in the width of the stud there.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:13 AM   #4
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if the outlet cover screwed onto the box behind the sheetrock then your fine.

as for your second question, if there is any current behind the wall then the stud finder(with cable setting on ) will find it but won't necessarily tell you if its an outlet - it could be just a run of cables unless you happen to remember which way all the cables ran.

if your wife can remember reasonably accurately where she thinks it is , and you know where the studs are(screws in sheetrock should give it away) then measure up from the ground to the top and bottom of another outlet and transfer those measurements,minus half an inch or so, draw the rectangle on the wall and neatly cut it out(POWER OFF FIRST!), if no outlet there then you have to back block the hole and reinsert the rectangle to be plastered over later.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceedubya View Post

1. should I have moved the outlet boxes out to make up for the difference in the depth of the sheetrock? I replaced the outlets with new ones and just cut the hole, poked the wire through and screwed the outlet into the box sandwiching the metal bracket between the box and the sheetrock. Is this OK? I kind of forgot about the boxes until I already had the rock up.
No, the "ears" should be on the outside of the rock. You'll never get the cover on the way you have it. If the gap between the box and the front of the rock is too big you need to buy a plastic sleeve to bridge the gap.

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2. And speaking of forgeting the boxes...... SWMBO seems to think there were outlets on these walls, but I only have 3 accounted for. I already pulled the one section of rock off where she thought the outlet should have been, and nothing, so I put it back up. fortunately I didn't have it completely srewed down yet. But, she is still convinced there was another outlet that I covered up. The rest of the rock is completely screwed down, and cut around the openings. If I remove the next piece to check, I will have to replace it from scratch. Sooooo.... is there a way to check for an outlet behind the rock like a meter, etc?? My only other thought is to cut the power and poke a small hole next to each of the 4 studs that could hold the outlet and feel into the hole with a wire or something.

You're on the right track with this. Use a phillips screwdriver and poke it through the rock at the height of the outlet. if the driver doesn't go to the backside of the wall, you found your missing box. You can always mud over the holes you made.
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:38 PM   #6
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If the electrical boxes stick out from the studs a bit (which they should) you would see a bow in the sheetrock if there is a box behind it.

The difference in sheetrock may cause you problems but you can purchase longer screws for the faceplates if the screws you have don't reach.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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I believe the general requirement is that the gap between the face of the box and the device cover cannot be flamable. Drywall is an acceptable material there. You will need longer screws to hold the device. If you already have the ears trapped, cut the rock out enough to remove them, then get box extenders. They come in a few different thicknesses and they can be stacked.

To find the buried box, use a stud finder to mark the studs on that wall. Then put a mark at the height of every other receptacle box. Carefully drill a hole at that height on each side of the studs and use something non conductive to probe through like a bamboo skewer. You'll know when you're not pushing all the way to the exterior sheathing.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:50 PM   #8
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you can buy electrical box extenders they are just plastic collars that mount onto the box with longer screws . This way the ears of the outlet will be in the correct place and the cover will fit correctly.


Found a link to give you an idea of what your looking for Lowe's and HD or any hardware store will have these

extender

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:53 PM   #9
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Carefully drill a hole at that height on each side of the studs
Please don't do this.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:52 PM   #10
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You missed the word "carefully". Yes, you're drilling in a spot that might have energized wires. I'm talking about stopping at drywall depth to allow for probing. The alternative is pulling all the drywall down. He can make the choice.

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