Bob Schmidt shows you how to use an electrical box extension with standard plastic electrical boxes, during remodeling. when
adding drywall, tile, wood over existing surfaces.
Tags:Remodeling Electric Box Extension ,accurate measuring,bob schmidt,home improvement,Home Remodel Workshop
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Hi! I’m Bob Schmidt with Home Remodel Workshop.
A few months ago I posted a video about an adjustable electrical box that you can install. Let’s say you have a whole room you got and it’s a new construction. For future changes, you may change the wall surface, the finish on it. I got a lot of messages from people saying, “Well, that’s all well and good. But I already have the old style electrical boxes in my walls, and now I want to add something to it. Is there a way of simplifying that to extend the box out?” There is. I’ll show you what it is.
What I have here is a PVC box extension, and what this is designed to do is a typical nail on PVC box, this is designed to actually fit inside the box below it. Extending out to make sure you cover up any of these spaces, whether you put tile or another layer of dry wall or wood and it will actually extend out to the new finished surface, giving a nice mounting plate for your outlet.
Whenever working with existing electric, the first thing you need to know is to make sure that all the electric is off to this circuit. I’ve already done that, I checked it with the light and yes there are some times the bottom plug would be on the switch, and the top plug would be on a constant circuit. So, just because the light goes off when you turn that switch off on the wall, doesn’t mean there isn’t a constant hot running through this plug. So, it’s always best to make sure that you hit the circuit breaker off and make sure that this entire circuit is dead before beginning.
When using this box extension, the first thing you’re going to want to do once the circuits dead, is to back these plug out of this circuit. You’re going to tilt this plug like this, and slide it temporarily, back into the box like that. Then whatever material you’re going to use, in this case, I picked up a ¾-inch piece of wood here to replicate let’s say you’re putting on a wainscot on. With this will also work for tile, dry wall, half inch five eights, whatever. Then you cut your finished material lining it up directly over top of the existing box. Then what you need to do is pull this back out again, take your box extension, slide it over the top of this fixture, and slide it into the hole.
Now, here’s a critical part, you see how these tabs are catching on your new finished surface? You need to make sure you take some time cutting this hole out accurately, so that this tab will actually hit over top of that surface. What that does is that fills that gap that void from plastic to plastic with this inserting inside.
Now, typically this comes with a inch and a half extension screw. I always make sure I get some longer ones, in this case, I grabbed me some two inch ones because I know that three quarter is about at the max of the box extension. So, what you do at this point is you take this screw; you slide it through here, through the box extension, back to the existing box. It might take you a second or two to line up with the existing hole. Once you slid the box extension in, then you went ahead to put the receptacle on front of it. Run the screws through that, through the box extension, into the existing box. It’s maybe a little bit of a pain in the butt to get on the line up because you’re kind of working blind, and the screws about two inches long, you’re going up and down trying to find around the hole. But once you get it started, which just take your time and get it, go ahead and tighten this up and you’re ready to put the plug cover back on.
With this box extension in place, which is actually slid into the box behind it, it gives us a nice solid surface for mounting our plate cover back on. So that this box won’t move, it won’t push in or out, it won’t go side to side, it would be nice and tight for your new finish and there is no open gaps around the edges where air or anything else can infiltrate.
So there you go. At this point, go ahead and simply turn the circuit breaker back on, give your plug a test, make sure that everything’s hooked up still and nothing came loose, and you’re good to go.
One more note, if you get into this box, if this is an older box, I know that this was a newer wiring type set up that I showed you here, if you get into this box and you find old cloth wiring, and it looks deteriorated, even a little bit, or you see anything in there that looks like a potential short problem, or something you just can’t get into like maybe there’s other wires running through this box that make it a little bit too complicated, or there’s not enough slack to pull the plug out, call a qualified electrician. There is no sense in the world, for something as simple as this to potentially cause a fire in your house. But if it’s nice and clean, look into this, pretty close of what I just showed you here, I wouldn’t hesitate to give it a shot.
I’m Bob Schmidt with Home Remodel Workshop. Thanks for watching, see you soon.