Notices

Moving an electrical outlet

Old 02-05-2009, 07:00 AM
  #1  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North East
Posts: 5,938
Default Moving an electrical outlet

In the final stages of my kitchen back splash project and will need to move 5 electrical outlets down approximately 1/2 inch. There is plenty of wire so a re-wire is not an issue. Looking for suggestions on how to move the boxes down 1/2 which are installed in drywall.

Do I rip the existing boxes out and replace with a new box? Is there an easy way to install the new box assuming I don't want to cut a large section of drywall for access? I'd like to just get away with cutting 1/2 inch lower into the drywall if possible but will go with what you suggest.

fyi - the travertine style we are going with would make it a biotch to keep the boxes at the existing height - there is a listello rope boarder at the height where the existing outlet is. If I could find a mini face plate which was 1/2 inch lower it would probably do the job too.
FireFly is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 07:22 AM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Diego
Posts: 4,683
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

The boxes are mounted to studs with nails. It really is pretty easy to cut out a square of drywall around the box, rip it out. (you will most likely destroy the box tearing the nails out) and just replace the box at the required height. Then just patch it in. Howevr, I will say that I have been succesfull moving them in your scenario by A: turning power off! LOL B:remove the outlet, pull the coil of wires out so you have access C: Use a sawsall or similar and cut the nails holding it between the box and stud. D.cut the drywall, move the box down, flush it out as necessary. E: re attach the box to the stud with screws through the inside of the box with an angle drill. F: Dirty, but it works very well The backplash wll easily coverthe 1/2 gap you created.
doughnut is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 07:23 AM
  #3  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Southeast
Posts: 472
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

A long shot..... Cut 1/2 inch off the top of the face plate and refinish (bevel, smooth, etc.)?

Just a thought.
slapshot38 is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 07:24 AM
  #4  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,085
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

A couple of things I don't know about in your area.
- is there a mim. height code for electrical boxes over a counter?
- what type of boxes are used in your area and how they installed?

Since you are installing tile over the back splash I certainly wouldn't be concerned about ripping into the drywall to move the boxes. In my books a drywall repair is a drywall repair regardless of how big or small it is. And because the drywall repair is going to be hidden behind tile it doesn't have to be that good of a job......a tape coat and a second would be all you need.

Personally I'd move the boxes in a heart beat.


edit: Why or how is it that you say you've got lots of wire so moving of the boxes isn't a problem?
Garett is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 07:49 AM
  #5  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North East
Posts: 5,938
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

Great suggestions! Slapshot - I thought about this option but it may not look astheticly appealing with the face place not being symmetrical and I'm paying good $$ (on materials) to make this look good. But I will look into again to see what I am facing.

Doughnut this is what I was thinking and although it may be dirty it may be my best bet. I did not know how to re-attach the box (I'll likely use a new one) but now I know I need to track down an angle drill if I want to go this route.

Garett- I never thought about the height. But in all honesty I can't imagine dropping them 1/2 inch would raise any eyebrows. There is a 4" granite back splash on top of the granite counter and then the face plate starts 1.5 inches above the granite back splash. But I'll ask around and see if I can find codes for my area. There is ~3" of extra wire in the box so pulling it down 1/2 inch will not require a new run of wire...

I guess if I can just cut 1/2 lower in the existing configuration there will not be much of a patch job since the tile will be cover it anyway.

Where the wine rack is I need to do something about the outlet on the wall because it will be in the way of the SS insert I'm putting there. Not sure if I'll drop it so it's horizontal or move it to the side... I'm sure I'll be asking for help when I tackle that one too
FireFly is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 08:45 AM
  #6  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,453
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

Very easy process. The box you have is nailed to a stud with one nail at the top and one at the bottom. Take a SawZaw with a metal blade and wedge it between the box and stud. (Use a short blade so that it doesnt go though the drywall on the other side of the wall). Once you wedge it in there cut down till you cut through the first nail holding the box. Then flip the saw over and cut up until you cut through the top nail. once that is done just cut out the 1/2 inch section you need under the box and slid it down. Re attach the box using 2 1" drywall screws one at the top and one at the bottom( This is done inside of the box with the screws going into the box and then through the stud at an angle). I have done this a hundred times. And yes I am an electrician. Certified and Licensed
trrooster is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 08:54 AM
  #7  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Diego
Posts: 4,683
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

trrooster - 2/5/2009 6:45 AM Very easy process. The box you have is nailed to a stud with one nail at the top and one at the bottom. Take a SawZaw with a metal blade and wedge it between the box and stud. (Use a short blade so that it doesnt go though the drywall on the other side of the wall). Once you wedge it in there cut down till you cut through the first nail holding the box. Then flip the saw over and cut up until you cut through the top nail. once that is done just cut out the 1/2 inch section you need under the box and slid it down. Re attach the box using 2 1" drywall screws one at the top and one at the bottom( This is done inside of the box with the screws going into the box and then through the stud at an angle). I have done this a hundred times. And yes I am an electrician. Certified and Licensed


Good Idea!
doughnut is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 08:55 AM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,085
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

FireFly - 2/4/2009 10:49 PM
Doughnut ..... I did not know how to re-attach the box (I'll likely use a new one) but now I know I need to track down an angle drill if I want to go this route.
Personally I don't see the need for an angle drill to install a few screws in a box, I've never needed one.

Garett......There is ~3" of extra wire in the box so pulling it down 1/2 inch will not require a new run of wire...
3" of extra wire in the box, what does that mean? Does that mean when you pull the outlet out from the face of the box it only can be pulled out 3" in total or does it mean you can pull the outlet out approx. 9" from the face of the box, which in turn gives you 3 extra inches?

Something else to make note of. It would not be code (in my area) if one moved a box and the wire(s) leading into the box wasn't exposing a portion of the otter jacket that sheaths the wire. The clamping mechanism that holds the wire inside the back of the box is supposed to be clamping the sheathing of the wire with a small portion of that sheathing exposed if one were to be looking into the electrical box. By code, one is NOT allowed to clamp the actual wire itself. But, in saying that, the code does not say that one can't cut a small piece of sheathing and slide it over the exposed wires and then clamp the wires down.
Garett is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 09:08 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Landlocked, Wi
Posts: 48,777
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

You don't mention if the existing outlets are GFI or not. Good opportunity for an upgrade. Modern codes require them for most above counter, kitchen applications.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...ctric/gfi.html
GhostShip is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 09:20 AM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
240 LTS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Upper Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 20,654
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

trrooster,

Would a "Goof Plate" be large enough to cover the gap at the bottom? Maybe then the outlet boxes may not even have to be moved at all? We will not let them be used on our jobs but in an area like this, it may be the way to go.





Firefly,

Goof plates are used by contractors that may have cut a hole too large for the standard size switch or outlet plate. They do not want to take the time or have the time to spackle and paint the wall again.
240 LTS is online now  
Old 02-05-2009, 09:25 AM
  #11  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: MA and ME
Posts: 16,795
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

I hate wall outlets in a kitchen.

I use Plug Mold just under the wall cabinets. 8 inch center to center with it's own GFI feed.

She doesn't own enough countertop appliances in two houses to fill them up.
Mist-Rest is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 09:37 AM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,453
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

240 LTS - 2/5/2009 12:20 PM



trrooster,

Would a "Goof Plate" be large enough to cover the gap at the bottom? Maybe then the outlet boxes may not even have to be moved at all? We will not let them be used on our jobs but in an area like this, it may be the way to go.





Firefly,

Goof plates are used by contractors that may have cut a hole too large for the standard size switch or outlet plate. They do not want to take the time or have the time to spackle and paint the wall again.
I dont know if a Goof plate will work for this. He said he had to move the outlet down 1/2". It might cover the cut out at the top once he moves it down. Still might not be a bad idea to buy one(Jumbo outlet plate) and see.
trrooster is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 09:46 AM
  #13  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,649
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

Instead of being gentle and trying to cut five little squares, just cut one long rectangle that includes all the boxes and extends from a stud to another stud with. Do your moving and screwing without having to consider space restrictions, then install a single piece of sheetrock taped and bedded and you're done. As Garret said, it doesn't have to be pretty since it'll be covered over anyway.

If you leave a gap in the wall and if the wall is an exterior wall as is usually the case, then either foam or otherwise insulate that gap to keep cold air out.
bamaboy473 is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 09:48 AM
  #14  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Diego
Posts: 4,683
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

"Personally I don't see the need for an angle drill to install a few screws in a box, I've never needed one."

See there you go Garrett with practicality and "need". I am giving the guy a perfectly good excuse to purchase another power tool! He might even need one of those trick Hi Output LED headlamps so he can see what he's doing. . . . .

Yes I am a power tool junkie.
doughnut is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 09:55 AM
  #15  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,453
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

doughnut - 2/5/2009 12:48 PM

"Personally I don't see the need for an angle drill to install a few screws in a box, I've never needed one."

See there you go Garrett with practicality and "need". I am giving the guy a perfectly good excuse to purchase another power tool! He might even need one of those trick Hi Output LED headlamps so he can see what he's doing. . . . .

Yes I am a power tool junkie.
I'll have to admitt that I come up with all types of excuses as to why I need another power tool. Wife decided she wanted to give my mother and hers a homemade window ledge planter for herbs. I got a table saw, new drill, and a new set of nail sets
trrooster is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 10:49 AM
  #16  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,085
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

doughnut - 2/5/2009 12:48 AM

"Personally I don't see the need for an angle drill to install a few screws in a box, I've never needed one."

See there you go Garrett with practicality and "need". I am giving the guy a perfectly good excuse to purchase another power tool! He might even need one of those trick Hi Output LED headlamps so he can see what he's doing. . . . .

Yes I am a power tool junkie.
OOOPS.........sorry....my bad. I should have picked up on that, I'm a tool junkie as well.
Garett is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 11:02 AM
  #17  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North East
Posts: 5,938
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

Thanks again guys! Ordered all the travertine today at lunch as well as (2) 12x12 stainless steel medallion like inserts. Should be a fun project.
btw, all the outlets in the kitchen are GFI (fairly new construction).

Rob I may need to borrow your tile cutter after all but it's probably easier for me to rent one locally
FireFly is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 12:27 PM
  #18  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: MA and ME
Posts: 16,795
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

Just say the word Joe and it's yours. I'm in no rush for it's return.
Mist-Rest is offline  
Old 02-05-2009, 01:04 PM
  #19  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North East
Posts: 5,938
Default Re: Moving an electrical outlet

I'll let you know. Turns out the most aesthetically appealing design also incorporates the least amount of cuts so it should be an easy job - famous last words I built a life sized template last weekend so I could show the admiral the various types/sizes and it was a good move. Appreciate the offer and will let you know.
FireFly is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread