I have a small job coming up where I'm replacing all the switches throughout a large house. The house is ancient and the walls are covered in 1/2 inch tongue and groove paneling that has been stained brown for probably 100 years. One of the switch plates is a standard, three gang toggle switch cover made of wood and stained to match the wall. The plate is oversized by about 1 inch vertically and horizontally. I've tried every local vender including the big home centers and almost every electrical wholesale house in the area as well as all the design centers. No one carries three gang decora plates in brown and don't even think about picking up a brown, three gang decora goof plate. I would have thought this wouldn't be such a hard item to get. It's amazing! I can get any Bulldog pushmatic breaker ever offered, any F.P.E stablok, as many old swingjacks (buss plugs), Even a 1000 amp break before make transfer switch within one day and I can't find this one little switch plate to save my life! What's this industry coming to?
I was told that most of these colors http://www.lutron.com/products/colors/default.asp#architectural are in stock at Lutron. That would make them shipping (5 days at most?) away. I'm sure they aren't cheap by any standard. Maybe it's the oversize that's making so difficult. Have you tried a national distributor like Graybar or Grainger?
Re: Three gang decora plate#59559 12/07/0507:55 PM12/07/0507:55 PM
I used to have a local tin shop make my specialty items. Any size switch plate you wanted. You can drill the screw holes to save money and paint it any color you want. Also good for custom gutters, and panel bottoms that have too many knockouts.
Re: Three gang decora plate#59560 12/07/0509:27 PM12/07/0509:27 PM
Well, this all goes back to giving your business to a supply house instead of places like HD. If you have a good relationship they will have no problem ordering whatever you need directly from the manufacturer. Maybe the item will be a bit more expensive and take a week or so but you can get it if they make it. I do this all the time for different color Decora and plates. They can even make plates up for you with more than the standard stock gangs or special combinations.