The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#115351 - 10/20/03 02:52 PM More sheet rocker woes . . .
Admin Online   content


Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3187
Loc: NY, USA

This isn't something you see every day (thank God). While remodeling our nursery room and banging popped nails deeper into the wall, I noticed the ceiling light was flickering every time I hit the wall along this one stud only. Stud finder, that also detects electrical presence, shows electricity only near the bottom at approximately "outlet level".

Upon opening the wall I find an outlet box that the rockers have walled over and forgotten about. Nobody found it sooner because every circuit in this 16 year old house worked perfectly. Whoever shoved the wires back in the box managed to end up with both black (hot) wires touching each other and nothing else, and both white (neutral) wires touching the ground conductor, hence completing the flow of electricity from the feed to the out feed, however poorly.

After seeing this, and reading previous posts where EC's were complaining about rockers, I felt I had to pass it on. The wife's comments . . . "Oh, I always wanted an outlet there." Luckily, nothing of any major current draw was ever plugged into any outlets downstream. I was running a 14 amp air compressor in the same room, but it's outlet was on another circuit (again, thank God).

-- Mean Gene

Tools for Electricians:
#115352 - 10/20/03 03:04 PM Re: More sheet rocker woes . . .
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Bad indeed, but if this was a new home built to plans, I wonder why the electrician(s) didn't notice a missing outlet where the plan said there should be one.

Megging the line/neutral to ground on the final test would have caught this too.

#115353 - 10/20/03 05:04 PM Re: More sheet rocker woes . . .
ThinkGood Offline

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI

That one's a real winner! Maybe it could be part of the What's in the walls thread

P. S. Here's one I dug up:

[This message has been edited by ThinkGood (edited 10-20-2003).]

#115354 - 10/20/03 05:21 PM Re: More sheet rocker woes . . .
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
i'm forever cutting out buried boxes here, usually with some sheetrocker behind me in denial.

usually i locate center, and cut just so the box can come thru the rock, which i then slap a tad to have it do, and pop the expected s.r. screws in a 2' circumfrence

#115355 - 10/21/03 04:07 AM Re: More sheet rocker woes . . .
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4229
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
I was standing a few feet away from a rocker the other day when he torqued one of our boxes way back into the tin-stud wall he was covering.
When I told him that it was no good, he told me he couldn't help it because "The framing's all *&^%ed up."
I told him that I had to agree with him about the framing, and that I had been just a few feet away when he had framed the wall a couple of days earlier.
He fixed it right then and there ...S

#115356 - 10/21/03 08:23 AM Re: More sheet rocker woes . . .
Mean Gene Offline

Registered: 10/20/03
Posts: 137
Loc: Ohio, USA
All I was expecting to find was a cable with a really bad nick in it or a nail or screw in a cable. When I first saw it I thought it was intended to be a junction box with no cover or means of access. It wasn't until I realized the wires were stripped and just shoved back in the box that I knew it was intended to be an outlet.

#115357 - 10/21/03 12:08 PM Re: More sheet rocker woes . . .
:andy: Offline

Registered: 10/18/03
Posts: 272
Loc: Germany
unbelieveable that no opponent wires touched, but all touched in the correct way

and there are no heat marks either.

who strips cables this long? do you need the copper this long for making an O ring around the terminal screw?

#115358 - 10/21/03 12:23 PM Re: More sheet rocker woes . . .
sparked Offline

Registered: 09/23/03
Posts: 101
Loc: Raleigh
A few comments here:
If I did new construction (I don't) I think I would leave the wires unstripped before the sheetrockers got here. Why would you strip them, they would just get covered in paint overspray from the painters?

:andy: is right, I see no reason to strip them that long for any reason.

I see this is a Slater box, I like those because of the push-in-the-screw holes. Anyone else use them?

Thinkgood, did you replace that wiring? Or at least put in a junction box that's not filled with plaster?

[This message has been edited by sparked (edited 10-21-2003).]

#115359 - 10/21/03 01:54 PM Re: More sheet rocker woes . . .
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Regarding the Slater box, do the screws then come out the normal way (turn with a screwdriver)? I hope it's not a one-way thing....that could be problematic when it comes time to replace the device....

Also, can two cables go through one knockout like that? I'm thinking one cable should go through each hole so that tab can grip it properly right? Not used to dealing with plastic boxes, that's why I ask the silly question.

#115360 - 10/21/03 02:04 PM Re: More sheet rocker woes . . .
sparked Offline

Registered: 09/23/03
Posts: 101
Loc: Raleigh

See here for a description of how to use a Slater box.

Regarding the clamps, I wasn't sure about that either. I would use the one to the right.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >

ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals