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#29833 - 09/26/03 09:24 AM Why is it called the "handy box"?
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Was it because of the common (albeit dangerous and 'illegal') practice of wiring one of these with heavy duty cord to make a "handy" convenience outlet extension cord?

I get the impression the only proper use for the handybox is surface mount wiring with conduit or armored cable.

I also can't see how you would use this inside a hollow wall without a support bracket.

And while some people may think you can use them inside solid concrete walls, isn't there a specific "masonry" box listed for this purpose?

Is this true?

A "self help" book sold at a major DIY shed has a picture of what looks like a handybox (stamped onepiece thing with rounded corners) inside a wall in their chapter on temporary repairs of crumbling insulation inside the box with a heatshrink sleeve

Of course this could be a staged thing on a piece of "fake" wall but you think that these books would go through the effort of showing "the proper devices" in use at all times.

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#29834 - 09/26/03 12:13 PM Re: Why is it called the "handy box"?
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6805
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Sven:
THe story, as I have heard it over the years...

"Handi" box was christened as it was usable for any single device, or as a "pull point", and it was cheaper than the 4" square.

I have seen them used for all types of things, mostly not legal per the NEC. Multiple cable / conduit entries, and a device stuffed in. They still show up on homeowner installs; most EC's don't use them.
Also, you don't need a "plaster ring" or raised cover to mount your device with a "handi box", which results in a "cheaper" install.

Yes, there is a masonry box (mud box) in many configirations. The easy way to tell is they have square corners.

John
_________________________
John

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#29835 - 09/26/03 02:16 PM Re: Why is it called the "handy box"?
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Sven,

 Quote:
A "self help" book sold at a major DIY shed has a picture of what looks like a handybox (stamped onepiece thing with rounded corners) inside a wall


Is it possible that what you saw was a plastering with a 4" square box behind it, they come in single and two gang types for 4" squares anyway

The part you would see would have rounded corners very close to the dimensions of a handy box.

IMO a handy box is anything but handy, very limited in usefulness if you follow wire fill requirements.

Bob
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#29836 - 09/26/03 02:35 PM Re: Why is it called the "handy box"?
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
IWIRE:

Good point, now that I think about it. From the front, a mud ring does look sort of like a handybox from the front.

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#29837 - 09/26/03 09:33 PM Re: Why is it called the "handy box"?
Electric Eagle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
We use them for mounting a cutoff switch or switch/recep combo to the sides of furnaces and sometimes for surface mounting a switch or recep inside a cabinet.

Why would it be "illegal" to make a portable plug box on a cord with one as long as the connector was approved for the cord?

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#29838 - 09/26/03 10:35 PM Re: Why is it called the "handy box"?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Does anyone have a picture of a Handi-box?.
Just wondering what one looks like.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#29839 - 09/26/03 10:51 PM Re: Why is it called the "handy box"?
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Eagle:

It's been brought up here before. OSHA hates them when they're used for movable extension cords because of the hazards of the dangers of missing knockouts leading to potentially exposed current carrying parts and also the face of the receptacle can be cracked off (receptacles are not really designed for that sort of banging around). It's a case of what use is the box listed for, I guess?

Trumpy:

Here is a picture of a "Double Gang" box:

[img]http://images.lowes.com/product/050169/050169001929.jpg?wid=158&cvt=jpeg[/img]

Here is a "Single Gang" (one device)
[img]http://images.lowes.com/product/050169/050169086605.jpg?wid=158&cvt=jpeg[/img]



[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 09-27-2003).]

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#29840 - 09/27/03 12:13 AM Re: Why is it called the "handy box"?
Pinemarten Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 122
Loc: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Should I phone my previous boss and tell him to cut up the splitter I made to plug in 8 radios for charging?

I took two 4x4 extension rings, bolted them back to back and mounted two duplex recepticles in each side, for a total of 8.
I put a 2' cord and plug on it.

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#29841 - 09/27/03 05:56 AM Re: Why is it called the "handy box"?
Tom Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
In my mind, these things should be called "unhandy boxes". They usually have too many wires in them & if you make an entry into the side, you'll have a tough time putting in a device.

Making an extension cord with one of these on the end will not be in compliance with 314.23
_________________________
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

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#29842 - 09/27/03 02:17 PM Re: Why is it called the "handy box"?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Thanks for the pics, Sven!.
These boxes look rather similar to the boxes we use here for installing switches and socket-outlets into masonry and block walls, although the ones we use are a bit deeper.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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