Electrical receptacle box

Electrical receptacle box DEFAULT

Plastic electrical box © D Friedman at InspectApedia.com Electrical Box Types & Sizes for Receptacles

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Guide to types of electrical receptacles (wall "outlets" or "wall plugs"):

How to choose the right type of electrical receptacle when adding or replacing a wall outlet in a building. Here we describe matching 15-Amp receptacles to 15-Amp circuits, 20-Amp receptacles to 20-Amp circuits, two-wire receptacles where no ground is present, GFCI and AFCI electrical receptacles, and the proper electrical box to hold and mount these devices.

This article series describes how to choose, locate, and wire an electrical receptacle in a home. Electrical receptacles (also called electrical outlets or "plugs" or "sockets") are simple devices that are easy to install, but there are details to get right if you want to be safe.

We also provide an ARTICLE INDEX for this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Choose the Proper Electrical Junction Box When Adding a Receptacle

Arcing in an under-sized electrical box (C) Carson Dunlop Associates
  • The proper sized and type of junction box must be used to house the electrical receptacle, must be properly secured in the wall, and must be located at the proper height from the floor.
  • The National Electrical Code Article 314 contains complete details and tables of electrical box sizes in dimensions and cubic inches and should be consulted for complete accuracy because the actual size of the box required, in cubic inches, depends on the number of wires that will be within that enclosure.

    We give some basic electrical box size examples just below.
  • If the junction box is too small you face several problems such as crowding which forces wires to be jammed and bent into the box, increasing the chance of a loose connection or damaged wiring, and worse, arcing.
  • If the clearance between the metal box and other live electrical parts is too small, arcs and short circuits could occur, as we depict in this sketch courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.

Article Contents

Table of Electrical Box Sizes vs Number of Wires Allowed

NEC Table 314.16 (A) Metal Electrical Boxes for Devices
Box Dimensions (Inches)
& Trade Name
Minimum Cu. In.Max # Conductors AWG 14Max # Conductors AWG 12
3 x 2 x 1 1/2" Device Box7.5 cu. in. 33
3 x 2 x 2 " Device Box1054
3 x 2 x 2 1/2" Device Box12.565
3 x 2 x 3 1/2" Device Box1898
4 x 2 1/2 x 1 1/2" Device Box10.354
4 x 2 1/2 x 1 7/8" Device Box1365
4 x 2 1/2 x 2 1/8" Device Box1876
4 x 1 1/4" square1898
4 x 2 1/4" square21109
4 x 2 1/4" square30.31513

Notes to the table above

The National Electrical Code Article 314 contains complete details and tables of electrical box sizes in dimensions and cubic inches and should be consulted for complete accuracy because the actual size of the box required, in cubic inches, depends on the number of wires that will be within that enclosure.

This is an excerpt pertinent to wiring electrical receptacles and switches; other wire sized and applications are given in the source NEC.

NEC 314.16(B) Electrical Box Volume Required Per Conductor (wire)
Conductor size (wire size) Free space within the box for each conductor
No. 142 cubic inches
No. 122.25 cubic inches
No. 10 2.5 cubic inches

Notes to the table above

This is an excerpt pertinent to wiring electrical receptacles and switches; other wire sized and applications are given in the source NEC.

Typical Electrical Boxes for Single Receptacles, Switches, or Splices

Typical electrical junction boxes used for receptacle installation to accommodates a single receptacle are 2" x 4" metal or plastic boxes of varying depth.

Choose a deeper box if you have more than the minimum number of wires entering & leaving the box or it will be over-crowded and may violate building electrical codes.

Below are an older style steel electrical boxes nailed to wood framing in a building. The box is carrying six wires in total: two "hot", two neutral, and two grounds.

Metal electrical box in new work installation, nailed to wood framing (C) Daniel FriedmanSmall steel electrical box with aluminum wiring (C) Daniel Friedman

At above right in addition to aluminum wiring hazards the box is overcrowded.

See ALUMINUM WIRE REPAIR SPLICE SPACE.

Also

See ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS.

It's likely to be permitted and safe to install a larger sized junction box than you need for an outlet or switch or wire splice, but you may need to purchase a special adapter-cover for the box in order to properly secure an electrical outlet therein. Installing a junction box that is too small is illegal and unsafe.

Typical 4-inch Electrical Boxes used for Single (or more often) Duplex Electrical Receptacles

Below-left we show a typical 4-inch metal junction box, and below-right a common and deeper plastic junction box.

Metal electrical box © D Friedman at InspectApedia.com Plastic electrical box © D Friedman at InspectApedia.com

Electrical junction boxes are required for all wall plugs ?

Burned up electrical receptacle (C) Daniel FriedmanReader Question: Do I really need an electrical box to put a new wall plug in ? - Thomas

Reply:

Yes, Thomas, electrical devices such as switches and receptacles (wall plugs) need to be mounted in a code-approved plastic or metal receptacle (box) for fire safety as well as to assure that the device is mechanically secure.

In fact when you purchase a "wall plug" you'll see that its metal mounting ears and screws are spaced and designed to connect to an electrical box.

Watch out: while it's physically possible to install a wall receptacle or "plug" without using an enclosure, doing so is dangerous, risking fire and shock, and of course, it's also illegal in virtually every building code jurisdiction.

Take a look at our photograph at left - a fire was contained within this electrical junction box. Had the box been omitted there is a good chance the fire would have spread to the building itself.

When we hear a question like this it makes me very afraid for you and for future building occupants - as amateur electrical wiring is dangerous.

Details about how to wire up an electrical receptacle are

at ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLE CONNECTION DETAILS - where to connect black, white, red, green, ground wire.

Gang Boxes - built-up electrical boxes for more space

Ghomas & Betts Steel City Brand steel gang box sketch (C) Daniel FriedmanGang boxes are steel electrical boxes with removable sides and screw fittings that permit multiple metal boxes to be joined together to obtain more space. As we discuss

at ALUMINUM WIRE REPAIR SPLICE SPACE,

Some electrical boxes installed as original work are stamped out of a single piece of steel and cannot be expanded. Others called "gangable" metallic boxes such as by (Thomas & Betts - Steel City Brand) installed as original work included side plates that could be removed to install a sidecar extension.

Gangable electrical boxes can be expanded by adding another box along the open (away from the stud or joist) side of the existing box (requiring a larger wall opening), or by adding a "side car" extension that hides behind the wall surface.

Sketch at left: illustrates the removable side-plates on a gang-type electrical box.

Boxes of this type can be expanded along their open side - the side that has not been already fastened to a stud or joist.

To add an electrical box extension you must have access to the top or bottom screw on the open side of the box to remove the side plate - that's where you'd add on a second gangable box as an extension or a side-car hidden box extension.

Watch out: it will be almost impossible to extend an original-work metallic box size using an extension without cutting open and thus damaging the wall at one side of the box.

However in my OPINION drywall repairs are trivial compared with the cost of complete re-wiring with all copper in a building with aluminum wired branch circuits.

Gang Box Extenders for More Wiring Space

In addition to screwing multiple gang boxes together to construct a large "new work" electrical installation, gang boxes can be extended behind the wall to obtain a small amount of additional wiring space: illustrated below.

Steel gang box with hardware for old work installation (C) Daniel Friedman

At above left is a single "gang box" steel electrical box.

Below I've removed the left side of the gang box and I have installed a steel"side car" or "box extender" (yellow arrow in the photo below) to increase the cubic inches of wiring space in this electrical box.

Gang box extender in position but not installed (C) Daniel Friedman

These box extenders can be used to add a small amount of wiring space that can bring an otherwise too-small gang box up to code without having to cut a larger opening in the building wall.

Gang box with side car extension (C) Daniel Friedman

You'll notice that the box extender is shaped to be recessed to slip behind the thickness of the plaster or drywall.

Below we see a modern GFCI electrical receptacle shoehorned into a too-small gang-box that has been extended with a box extender or "sidecar" in order to try to include AlumiConn™ aluminum-to-copper pigtailing connectors.

GFCI jammed into a gang box with sidecar box extender (C) Daniel Friedman

See ALUMINUM WIRE REPAIR SPLICE SPACE where we discuss all of the approaches to obtaining more wiring or device space in electrical boxes.

Where wall depth permits, a better approach where more wiring space is needed is to remove the existing electrical box and install a deeper box in the same opening.

Electrical box extensions & supplies for more wiring space or increased cubic inches of electrical box space

  • Thomas & Betts (ABB Group) Steel City electrical boxes, Thomas & Betts Corporation 8155 T&B Boulevard Memphis, TN 38125 Phone: 901-252-5000, Phone: 800-816-7809 Fax: 800-816-7810 Email: [email protected] Website: http://www.tnb.com/
  • Home Depot stores
  • Loews Building Supply stores
  • Local electrical contracting suppliers in your area
  • U.S. Patent No. 5,117,996, June 2, 1992 describes an electrical box extension submitted by William J. McShane, Philadelphia, PA. McShane patented a number of electrical box extension designs to accommodate wall thickness changes as well as space additions.
  • Danbury toP&M Electric supply (29 Federal Road, Danbury CT 06810, Tel: 203-744-7445), The RAC535 X-cube adapter .5cui steel sidecar electrical box space extender retails for $1.79 and a RAC519 2 12/D NMC gang-type electrical switch steel box retails for $2.45.

New Work Compared with Old Work Electrical Boxes - Old Workboxes

New Work Electrical Box Examples

Normally a "new work" plastic electrical box installed during new construction is either nailed to the building framing (shown below) or if it needs to be spaced away from a stud or joist in a wall or ceiling it may be supported by a bracket that is in turn nailed to the building framing.

See ELECTRICAL JUNCTION BOX TYPES.

Plastic electrical box nailed to wall stud in new construction (C) Daniel FriedmanPlastic electrical box installed for ceiling light (C) Daniel Friedman

Examples of Old Work Electrical Boxes & Methods of Installation

When an electrical circuit and electrical boxes are being added to an existing structure wires are snaked through building cavities to the desired fixture location and an old-work electrical box or "junction box" is installed to contain electrical splices and devices.

Both metal and plastic old-work electrical boxes are available and there is a variety of clips, clamps, and other devices used to secure electrical boxes in a wall or ceiling when the box cannot be conveniently nailed or screwed directly to the structure.

Steel gang box with hardware for old work installation (C) Daniel Friedman

[Click to enlarge any image]

At above is a steel gang box with mounting hardware to permit old-work installation: those metal brackets at the top and bottom of the box can be screwed to a wall surface.

In my opinion I'd prefer to see this box used in a wood or paneled wall or on a plaster wall on wood lath rather than on simple drywall as I worry that in a receptacle installation someone may find they pull the whole installation off of the drywall when removing a wall plug.

Clips used to secure an old work metal electrical box (C) Daniel Friedman

Above we illustrate thin steel clips (colored orange) that have been used (with considerable care) to secure a steel gang box in a drywall or plaster wall (adapted from Steel City products).

See details at OLD WORK ELECTRICAL BOXES for RETROFIT

 

 

Reader Q&A - also see the FAQs series linked-to below

Reader Question: Is 14/3 wire ok to use to wire between the light switch and the light? What about an electrical outlet on the same circuit as the ceiling light fixture?

is it okay to use 14/3 wire for power to light to switch to receptacle?

Reply:

Anon:

If you are asking about using a shared neutral wire on a lighting circuit combined with an electrical receptacle circuit, see (search InspectAPedia.com for) our article on "multi wire branch circuits" or "shared neutral electrical wiring".

In general we'd use 14-2 wire on a 15 amp circuit to power electrical receptacles and a SEPARATE circuit to power the lighting fixtures. If we lose power on one circuit we want the other still working so that there is safe lighting in the area.

For a light fixture such as a ceiling light, in addition to bringing power to the junction box where the light fixture is to be mounted (using 14-2 copper wire) we'd use a separate length of 14-2 wire to run from the light switch to the junction box to control the light.

Tape the white wire at both ends of the switch circuit with black tape so that the next worker knows that this is a switch circuit and that the white wire is not a neutral wire.

Watch out: we do not wire fixed lighting fixtures such as ceiling lights on the same circuit as electrical receptacles ("wall plugs"). If one of the two circuits should be switched off by a circuit breaker (perhaps detecting a fault or over current) we want the other circuit to remain on so that room occupants are less likely to be left in darkness.

 

Yes, Bob,

ALL electrical wiring splices for lighting and receptacles in a building, including the bath, need to be in a metal or plastic electrical box.

It's not technically difficult to add a box - use an "old work" box - those are sold with various mounting methods that make it easy.

Watch out: IMO if your light is within touching distance of the sink it should be GFCI protected as well.

See OLD WORK ELECTRICAL BOXES for RETROFIT

I will be installing a new wall mount light fixture in a powder room (toilet and sink only). The current light is also wall mounted. Wiring for the current light comes through a hole in the drywall behind the light and the splice between the wire and light rests on the metal backplate of the light fixture. There is no junction box in the wall behind the light. Will I need to install a junction box and make the splice between the wire and light within the junction box? Thanks.

how to install a cluster of electrical receptacles in one location

Mike

You are certainly allowed to install a cluster of electrical receptacles, and I've done that many times myself. However in my opinion you'll be sorry if you put them all on one 15 amp circuit. It seems likely that you will overload the circuit.

At the very least I would prefer to run two or more 20 A circuits to that location and connect the receptacles accordingly so that you don't simply overload the circuit.

Also the electrical box(es) or gang box needs to be big enough to permit all of the electrical connections, wires, and devices.

I need to install a cluster of 10 receptacles on a center wall to support a home computer lab. The wall section is actually 4 foot x 2 foot with a gas fire place on of the 4 foot faces. I will be using the other side. I also want to run a dedicate 15 amp circuit. Any code issues with that? Luckily, the breaker box is only about 10 feet away.

The receptacle layout would look like this:

[] [] [] [] []
[] [] [] [] []


Jodie

Thank you for a helpful question on electrical box size for two light switches.

A typical 4-inch box is the right size, but the actual box dimensions, in particular, box depth and thus the space needed in cubic inches varies depending on how many wires or connectors will be in the box. Take a look at the tables above on this page for details and you'll see that more connectors means more cubic inches means a deeper box.

See also LIGHT SWITCH WIRING DETAILS

Hello - how large of a receptacle box is needed for two light switches / one a single toggle and the other a duplex/ double toggle - use one larger box or two smaller?

Pp

Thank you for your interest, but to protect reader trust that our articles are written without bias or conflict of interest we don't sell any product or service and therefore we have no dealer in India nor anywhere else.

Please provide dealer number in india

Glen

I'm not sure how you're using the word opening or where the concern lies in the question. Obviously the front of the box as a single opening into which devices are secured. However electrical box may have multiple openings for wiring connections. The number of those will vary as the box size varies.

For new construction/remodeling permit , is one box no matter the size, single, double or multi switch considered one opening

Lake

We use electrical boxes of varying sizes or capacity (in cubic inches) because the number of electrical wires, connectors, devices varies as well. More devices require more cubic inches, as per tables of electrical box size given in this article series.

Good luck on your test.

Why are there different sizes of outlet boxes in a commercial construction

The answer to your perfectly good question depends on the cubic inches that the Box provides matched against the table of cubic inches required for the number of wires and connectors by wire size in the circuit that you are wiring

Can I use an old-work plastic box for a 50 amp outlet?

Reader Question: When adding an electrical outlet in a garage, what's code: metal or plastic junction box?

I am putting outlet in garage wall that has kitchen on the other side. What is code, plastic or metal? I would think in a garage fire that a plastic box would melt and fire would go through the wall faster? - Steve Smith

Reply:

Steve both plastic and metal receptacle boxes are code-approved and neither, properly installed and wired, should violate the fire-rating of the wall.

Reader Question: how do I increase the projection of outlets into a room so I can add a kitchen backsplash

Gang Box Extender Electrical Box Extension from Arlington IndustriesI am unable to find instructions on how to increase the projection into the room of existing electrical outlets so that I can tile the kitchen backsplash and have the outlets be at the appropriate depth for use and safety. Do I move forward the box to which the outlet is screwed and if so how? - Anne 3/22/12

Reply: use electrical box extenders - shop for an "electrical box extension" of the proper thickness

Anne,

Building suppliers like Home Depot and also your electrical supply house sell "box extenders" in varying thicknesses, made of plastic, code approved, for the purpose you describe. The electrical box extender is sized and shaped to match the electrical receptacle box to which it is to fit.

By removing the electrical receptacle from its mount on the existing box, the box extender is fit as a sort of large rectangular plastic washer, mounting between the existing box edge or surface and the mounting ears of the receptacle or switch.

Electrical box extensions are sold in plastic and steel and in thicknesses from about 1/8" up to an inch or even more.

The plastic electrical "gang box extension" shown at above left is produced by Arlington Industries but there are several manufacturers. Just choose an electrical box extender that brings your receptacles far enough forward to suit the thickness of the kitchen backsplash or tile.

Watch out: don't try a makeshift substitute using washers or junk - that's an improper and unsafe repair, leaving a gap around the electrical box sides.

Reader Comments:

Anne,
I'm in the midst of a remodel that posed the same 'problem'. Work box extender rings are available at Home Depot and Lowes in the electrical department.

They are plastic, color-coded frames that fit between the front edge of the box and the outlet/switch. The screws that secure the outlet/switch to the box also secure the frame in place.

The frames are available in multiple thicknesses. I suggest you take a tile sample with you so that you can get the correct thickness for your project. Depending on the thickness of the tile, you may need to combine two frames of different thicknesses.

While I was changing a failed plug I noticed that the box was too deep. I looked into extenders, and plastic ones (Arlington BE1) are less expensive. Are CSA approved plastic box extenders code compliant for homes? - Gary 7/19/12

Question: how many electrical receptacles are allowed on a 20-amp circuit? How many receptacles on a 15-amp circuit?

How many receptacles can be wired To one 20 amp circuit No. 12. Wire - John K.

Reply: 10 electrical receptacles to be wired on a 15-Amp (#14 copper) wire circuit

20 Amp electrical outlet © D Friedman at InspectApedia.com John K:

Our photo (left) shows a 20-Amp electrical receptacle - you can recognize it by that horizontal opening that makes the left-hand slot look like the letter "T" on its side.

In general, the Electrical Code [NEC] allows

  • 10 electrical receptacles to be wired on a 15-Amp (#14 copper) wire circuit, and the Electrical Code [NEC] allows
  • 13 receptacles on a 20-amp (#12 copper) wire circuit.

    Watch out: When purchasing the receptacles to use on a 20A circuit, be sure to also buy receptacles that are themselves rated for 20Amp use.

    You'll see that those least-costly receptacles found in a big pile at building supply stores are more likely intended only for 15-Amp use.

Our photo (left) illustrates an electrical receptacle intended for use on a 20-Amp circuit.

Notice that extra horizontal slot? You won't see that on a 15-Amp electrical receptacle.

Reader Question: what is the minimum height that indoor house wiring must be above the ground or floor level?

When running wire for a basement, is there a min height the wires must be off the ground? Not the outlet box, but the wire running through the joists. Justin Sheppard

Reply: minimum heights for electrical receptacles is not specified in the electrical code NEC

No, Justin. But if there is the slightest danger that wires will be nicked by someone driving a nail into a stud though which the wires are run be sure to use steel plates to protect the wire where it passes through the studs.

Simple nail plates are available at any building supplier.

See ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLE HEIGHT & CLEARANCES for details.

Question: are electrical junction boxes required for wall plugs?

Burned up electrical receptacle (C) Daniel FriedmanDo I really need an electrical box to put a new wall plug in ? - Thomas

Reply:

Yes, Thomas, electrical devices such as switches and receptacles (wall plugs) need to be mounted in a code-approved plastic or metal receptacle (box) for fire safety as well as to assure that the device is mechanically secure.

In fact when you purchase a "wall plug" you'll see that its metal mounting ears and screws are spaced and designed to connect to an electrical box.

Watch out: while it's physically possible to install a wall receptacle or "plug" without using an enclosure, doing so is dangerous, risking fire and shock, and of course, it's also illegal in virtually every building code jurisdiction.

Take a look at our photograph at left - a fire was contained within this electrical junction box.

Had the box been omitted there is a good chance the fire would have spread to the building itself.

When we hear a question like this it makes me very afraid for you and for future building occupants - as amateur electrical wiring is dangerous.

Question: Which end of electrical outlets go "up"? The ground hole should be up, down, or sideways?

Electrical outlet with ground connector down (C) Daniel FriedmanElectrical outlet with ground connector down (C) Daniel Friedman

Can the outlet be installed any way? For example ground hole facing up, down, or sideways? thanks, - Anon

Reply:

Anon, the position of installation of an electrical outlet won't affect its operation and should not normally affect its approval by the electrical inspector.

In some areas I see the outlet installed with the ground connector always "up" as in our photo at left, though to me that's less attractive than the position shown in our electrical outlet photo at far left.

I've also seen arguments expressing the OPINION that the position of the grounding pin connector might help resist the tendency of a plug to fall out of its connection.

That's nonsense. If a plug is falling out of a receptacle, one of the two objects is worn or damaged and should be replaced to assure a safe, mechanically secure connection.

Question: When adding an electrical outlet in a garage, what's code: metal or plastic junction box?

I am putting outlet in garage wall that has kitchen on the other side. What is code, plastic or metal? I would think in a garage fire that a plastic box would melt and fire would go through the wall faster? - Steve Smith

Reply:

Steve both plastic and metal receptacle boxes are code-approved and neither, properly installed and wired, should violate the fire-rating of the wall.

Question: can I connect a pigtail from multiple hot, neutral, or ground wires over to a receptacle

I have 2 receptacles that are both side and back wired, 3 hot and 3 neutral wires. I eliminated one receptacle (capping the 3 wires together) but want to keep the other. Is it safe to just run a pigtail from the 3 wires to the receptacle? - Greg

When wiring multiple boxes in series, how do you connect both incoming and outgoing ground wires to the back of the receptacle?

With 12 ga. wire, only one wire will fit under the green screw (and not very tightly, at that - there's no washer or clamp.) - Bob M.

Reply:

Electrical receptacle mounting strap and screw are not a ground © D Friedman at InspectApedia.com Yes, Greg, that's a common practice. Be sure that your junction box is big enough to contain all of the wires and twist-on connectors.

Bob, similar to Greg's question, I see two approaches to hooking up the ground wire in junction boxes and at electrical receptacles.

  1. If the incoming ground wire from the feed circuit was left long enough, it can be run continuously, connected to a grounding screw that connects the wire to the metal junction box (skip this step if plastic junction boxes are in use),

    on to the ground screw terminal at each electrical receptacle, and ending with a ground clamp crimp connector that ties the incoming ground to the ground wire of the outgoing wire that continues to the next junction box.
  2. If the incoming ground wire is not long enough to run as above, then an additional length of ground wire is pigtailed to the incoming ground and makes the other connections I've described above.

In sum, all of the grounds are tied together in the box: the incoming ground, outgoing ground, and ground wires to each of the electrical receptacles.

Watch out: while the electrical receptacle ground may also be electrically connected to the metal strap that mounts the receptacle to the junction box (photo at left), and while the junction box may be metal, do not rely on the receptacle mounting screws and receptacle strap-to-box contact to serve as the grounding connection.

It's easy for the receptacle mounting screws to be deliberately left loose or to work loose - making that ground connection unreliable.

Use a ground wire.

Question: how many electrical receptacles are allowed on a 20-amp circuit? How many receptacles on a 15-amp circuit?

20 Amp electrical outlet © D Friedman at InspectApedia.com How many receptacles can be wired To one 20 amp circuit No. 12. Wire - John K.

Reply:

John K:

Our photo (left) shows a 20-Amp electrical receptacle - you can recognize it by that horizontal opening that makes the left-hand slot look like the letter "T" on its side.

In general, the Electrical Code [NEC] allows

  • 10 electrical receptacles to be wired on a 15-Amp (#14 copper) wire circuit, and the Electrical Code [NEC] allows
  • 13 receptacles on a 20-amp (#12 copper) wire circuit.

    Watch out: When purchasing the receptacles to use on a 20A circuit, be sure to also buy receptacles that are themselves rated for 20Amp use.

    You'll see that those least-costly receptacles found in a big pile at building supply stores are more likely intended only for 15-Amp use.

Our photo (left) illustrates an electrical receptacle intended for use on a 20-Amp circuit.

Notice that extra horizontal slot? You won't see that on a 15-Amp electrical receptacle.

Question: how to fix loose electrical receptacles in a ceramic tile or glass mirror wall wall

Is there a way to repair electrical outlets on finished (glass and ceramic tile) walls that were not installed properly without damaging the tile? The outlets and the covers pull away from the wall when the electrical cord plug in removed?

Also, what does it mean when an electrical switch with multiple switches which control recessed lights, the ceiling fan and light on the ceiling fan gets hot; what is happening? Is this a fire hazard? - Mrs. Spencer

Reply:

Mrs. Spencer:

It sounds as if you need a licensed electrician to check and secure your loose electrical outlets - I agree that a loose electrical receptacle is unsafe. But an inspection is needed to understand the underlying problem

. It could be simply tightening screws, or it could be that the electrical box itself is not adequately secured in the wall. Luckily there are retrofit parts that can be used and inserted along the box to make it secure, usually without disturbing the surrounding ceramic tile.

Some dimmer switches use a resistor to dim the light and it is common for them to get warm. Very hot - a subjective judgment for homeowners - may indeed be a fire hazard and should be investigated.

Question: how do I increase the projection of outlets into a room so I can add a kitchen backsplash

Gang Box Extender Electrical Box Extension from Arlington IndustriesI am unable to find instructions on how to increase the projection into the room of existing electrical outlets so that I can tile the kitchen backsplash and have the outlets be at the appropriate depth for use and safety.

Do I move forward the box to which the outlet is screwed and if so how? - Anne 3/22/12

Reply: use electrical box extenders - shop for an "electrical box extension" of the proper thickness

Anne,

Building suppliers like Home Depot and also your electrical supply house sell "box extenders" in varying thicknesses, made of plastic, code approved, for the purpose you describe. The electrical box extender is sized and shaped to match the electrical receptacle box to which it is to fit.

By removing the electrical receptacle from its mount on the existing box, the box extender is fit as a sort of large rectangular plastic washer, mounting between the existing box edge or surface and the mounting ears of the receptacle or switch.

Electrical box extensions are sold in plastic and steel and in thicknesses from about 1/8" up to an inch or even more.

The plastic electrical "gang box extension" shown at above left is produced by Arlington Industries but there are several manufacturers. Just choose an electrical box extender that brings your receptacles far enough forward to suit the thickness of the kitchen backsplash or tile.

Watch out: don't try a makeshift substitute using washers or junk - that's an improper and unsafe repair, leaving a gap around the electrical box sides.

Reader Comments:

Anne,
I'm in the midst of a remodel that posed the same 'problem'. Work box extender rings are available at Home Depot and Lowes in the electrical department. They are plastic, color-coded frames that fit between the front edge of the box and the outlet/switch.

The screws that secure the outlet/switch to the box also secure the frame in place.

The frames are available in multiple thicknesses. I suggest you take a tile sample with you so that you can get the correct thickness for your project. Depending on the thickness of the tile, you may need to combine two frames of different thicknesses.

While I was changing a failed plug I noticed that the box was too deep. I looked into extenders, and plastic ones (Arlington BE1) are less expensive. Are CSA approved plastic box extenders code compliant for homes? - Gary 7/19/12

Question: electrical outlet height requirements

I was looking at some height requirements on electrical outlets this is a very informational site.

thanks Jerm 4/19/12

Reply:

Jerm, in the article above at ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLE HEIGHT & CLEARANCES we give the data you want. Let me know if anything is unclear.

Question:

I have one line with power coming into a box that will have one two way switch, one three way switch and one power line exiting. Is it proper to splice the incoming black wire to make 3 black wires by pig tailing with wire connectors and doing the same for the white wire and ground? - is it ok? 12/13/12

Reply:

I'm sorry but I'm confused by the question. I think it's safe to say that in general it's common practice to use a twist-on connector to splice pigtails or individual wires at an individual hot or neutral wire where more connections are needed than fit with the original wire.

Just watch out to avoid violating the space or number of connectors permitted in a junction box of the particular size you're working on.


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Suggested citation for this web page

ELECTRICAL JUNCTION BOX TYPES at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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Technical Reviewers & References

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  • Timothy Hemm has provided photographs of various electrical defects used at the Website. Mr. Hemm is a professional electrical inspector in Yucala, CA.
  • Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. Mr. Cramer serves on the ASHI Home Inspection Standards. Contact Mark Cramer at: 727-595-4211 [email protected]
  • John Cranor [Website: /www.house-whisperer.com ] is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. He is also a contributor to InspectApedia.com in several technical areas such as plumbing and appliances (dryer vents). Contact Mr. Cranor at 804-873-8534 or by Email: [email protected]
  • [3] NFPA - the National Fire Protection Association can be found online at www.nfpa.org
  • [4] The 2008 NEC National Electrical Code (ISBN 978-0877657903) Online Access LINK (you'll need to sign in as a professional or as a visitor)
  • [5] Special thanks to our reader Steve who pointed out prior errors in our illustrations.
  • [6] Simpson Strong-Tie, "Code Compliant Repair and Protection Guide for the Installation of Utilities in Wood Frame Construction", web search 5/21/12, original source strongtie.com/ftp/fliers/F-REPRPROTECT09.pdf, [copy on file as /Structures/Framing/Simpson_Framing_Protectors.pdf ]. "The information in this guide is a summary of requirements from the 2003, 2006 and 2009 International Residential Code (IRC), International Building Code (IBC), International Plumbing Code (IPC), International Mechanical Code (IMC), 2006 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and the 2005 National Electrical Code."
  • "Electrical System Inspection Basics," Richard C. Wolcott, ASHI 8th Annual Education Conference, Boston 1985.
  • "Simplified Electrical Wiring," Sears, Roebuck and Co., 15705 (F5428) Rev. 4-77 1977 [Lots of sketches of older-type service panels.]
  • "How to plan and install electric wiring for homes, farms, garages, shops," Montgomery Ward Co., 83-850.
  • "Simplified Electrical Wiring," Sears, Roebuck and Co., 15705 (F5428) Rev. 4-77 1977 [Lots of sketches of older-type service panels.]
  • "Home Wiring Inspection," Roswell W. Ard, Rodale's New Shelter, July/August, 1985 p. 35-40.
  • "Evaluating Wiring in Older Minnesota Homes," Agricultural Extension Service, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108.
  • "Electrical Systems," A Training Manual for Home Inspectors, Alfred L. Alk, American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), 1987, available from ASHI. [DF NOTE: I do NOT recommend this obsolete publication, though it was cited in the original Journal article as it contains unsafe inaccuracies]
  • "Basic Housing Inspection," US DHEW, S352.75 U48, p.144, out of print, but is available in most state libraries.

Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair

  • Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the InspectAPedia Bookstore. Also see our Book Reviews - InspectAPedia.
  • ...
  • Carson, Dunlop &Associates Ltd., TorontoCarson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: [email protected] The firm provides professional HOME INSPECTION SERVICES and also extensive HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION and home inspection-related PUBLICATIONS. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors.

    Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.

    The ILLUSTRATED HOME illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors.
    Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.

    TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates
    Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.

  • Home Reference Book - Carson Dunlop AssociatesThe HOME REFERENCE BOOK - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
    Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.

    Or choose the The HOME REFERENCE eBook for PCs, Macs, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, or Android Smart Phones.
    Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAEHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.


    GO TO Carson Dunlop's Home Study Course Information - How to Become a Home Inspector: Carson Dunlop's nationally recognized Home Study Course, selected by ASHI the American Society of Home Inspectors and other professionals and associations. This website author is a contributor to this course.    GO TO Carson Dunlop's Home Study Course Information - How to Become a Home Inspector: Carson Dunlop's nationally recognized Home Study Course, selected by ASHI the American Society of Home Inspectors and other professionals and associations. This website author is a contributor to this course.   GO TO Carson Dunlop's Home Study Course Information - How to Become a Home Inspector: Carson Dunlop's nationally recognized Home Study Course, selected by ASHI the American Society of Home Inspectors and other professionals and associations. This website author is a contributor to this course.
  • Building inspection education & report writing systems from Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd

    COMMERCIAL BUILDING INSPECTION COURSES - protocol ASTM Standard E 2018-08 for Property Condition Assessments

    HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION COURESES (Canada)

    HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION COURSES (USA) including home study & live classes at eleven colleges & universities.

    HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION: HOME STUDY COURSES - [email protected] Training 10-course program.
    Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.

  • The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones
Sours: https://inspectapedia.com/electric/Electrical_Outlet_Box_Types.php

Outlets, Switches, & Boxes

Electrical Switches

Electrical Receptacles

Electrical Boxes

Electrical Switches, Receptacles and Boxes

Looking to install electrical outlets or switches in your home, office, or job site? This is the place for all your electrical wall mounting needs. We have a variety of electrical boxes including outlet, enclosure, and media boxes, as well as the needed mounting plates and brackets. Then we've got the receptacles that go inside them: duplex styles, combination and even rotating options. We've also got switches in both rocker and toggle style, not to mention dimmers and occupancy sensors.

When you're installing your outlets and switches, don't forget the wall plate! There are many different kinds available, including Keystone, A/V, Telephone, and Gang wall plates. Our site has them all!

Which Electrical Outlet is Perfect for You?

Have you ever gone to a store in the market for outlets, switches, or boxes and asked to be pointed in the direction of the electrical outlets, thinking this would be a quick stop on your way home from the grocery store? If so, you probably were led to an intimidatingly long wall of options. As the sales associate meanders away and your groceries are melting in the trunk of your car, you think to yourself "how on earth am I supposed to know which is the right one?"
We've all been there, so we would like to take a little bit of the mystery out of electrical outlet shopping. Beyond bringing your old device with you to replace it - which isn't a bad idea if you are content staying with the same model- we're here to demystify some common variances in types of switches, receptacles and boxes to make your life a little bit easier.

Electrical Switches

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Electrical switches come in all different kinds of styles, and not knowing the options can seriously limit the way you light up your home, office, or that of a client! For example, we have illuminated switches designed to be easily located in the dark. There are occupancy sensor switches that automatically illuminate the room when they detect movement, which is perfect for an office environment or anywhere that you want to make sure the lights are on when they should be an off when they shouldn't. When safety and energy savings is a concern, you should check out the switch that is occupancy sensor with night light. Of course, we also carry all of the basic toggle switches, dimmers, and more to fit your exact needs.

Electrical Receptacles


Electrical receptacles are the same thing as electrical outlets. Receptacles provide a source of electricity - in other words a place for things to be plugged into the wall. The good news is that they certainly aren't one-size-fits-all! We offer everything from simple duplex power receptacles to 360 degree rotating units and USB versions to fit your needs. Also, we recognize the importance of safety. So we offer many models to protect from the risk of fire and electrical shock. One outlet adapter we sell even allows you to push sofas and other furniture against the wall without crushing or bending cables and plugs.

Electrical Boxes


Electrical boxes, as the name indicates, are used as a container for electrical connections, used to both conceal them and keep them organized and safe from wear and tear. One of the most useful ones we find is the Erico Caddy Within Wall Mounting Plate which allows you to mount it inside of a wall, giving a smooth, gap-free finish to faceplates. It also limits the amount of movement, which protects cable lines from excessive damage. In addition to boxes, we offer a wide array of mounts and brackets to make shopping you're your electrical outlet needs made easy.
Sours: https://www.cableorganizer.com/categories/electrical-supplies/electrical-outlets/
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Different Types of Electrical Boxes in Your Home

Metal and Plastic Electrical Boxes

Most electrical boxes are either metal or plastic. Metal boxes are generally made of steel, while plastic boxes are either PVC or fiberglass. Weatherproof metal boxes for outdoor use are generally made of aluminum. 

If you are using metal conduit to run wiring to the electrical box, then a metal box is required—both to anchor the conduit and because the conduit and metal box system itself may be used to ground the system. If you are using non-metallic cable, such as Type NM-B (non-metallic sheathed cable), then you can use either plastic boxes or metal boxes, as long as the cable is secured to the box with an appropriate cable clamp.

Modern wiring systems with NM-B cable usually include a ground wire inside the cable, so the box is not part of the grounding system (however, metal boxes must be connected to the system ground, usually with a short length of wire called a pigtail).

Sours: https://www.thespruce.com/electrical-switch-and-junction-boxes-1824666

For which he himself could not explain, but for some reason he did it every time, as soon as the meeting took place. Andrei told how he saw her, either lying as if in a grave and as if he himself was there next to. The deceased, or in his old apartment on Tereshkova Street in the village of Molodezhny.

He said that sometimes he could not go to the house or go upstairs to the thirteenth apartment, where he lived with his mom and dad since his birth. Until the moment you move to another street.

Receptacle box electrical

I managed to launch it and send it to where it was needed. According to the program set and verified by time and place. Before dying here to everything from a twin brother and a traitor. This geek loving humanity.

New Garage Outlet From Panel--VERY DETAILED! (New Circuit / GFCI / Breaker Box / FULL INSTALL!)

Do you want more. - And you. The girls finished together, then they lay next to each other for about an hour. Gently stroking sweaty breasts, and pulling at the nipples, they continued to show their beautiful faces with kisses, caressing their steamed pussies with their fingers.

Now discussing:

Sticking protruding polymorphic black maternal nipples to his already grown man's back. With a heap of long, black, liquid metal, snake-curling hair of a thirty-year-old brunette beauty, disheveled in all directions. Which, touching, merged with the metal of her now dear loving son.

He felt her. It is the hum of a plasma battery inside her body.



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