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#20409 - 01/13/03 11:53 PM Plastic Boxes - Multigang "Stability"  
sparky66wv  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
The thread on \"Plastic or Steel?\" got me thinking of a Q I only seem to remember at work.

When dealing with plastic boxes, especially multi-ganged ones (2 gangs+) how do you insure that the boxes (or more importantly, the screw holes) remain plumb and square even after the drywallers have "had their way" with them?

Obviously, the coverplates are only going to go on if the two (or more) devices are parallel with each other and level with each other. I know of no parallelogram cover plates.

For this reason, I may opt to use steel boxes for multigangs even on the next bid job I do. Less headaches.

Are the fibre-reinforced boxes any better?

This is also a problem with single gang phone, cable, and blank plates that connect directly to the box sans device.

Any tips?

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 01-13-2003).]

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#20410 - 01/14/03 12:02 AM Re: Plastic Boxes - Multigang "Stability"  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
IMHO fibre-reinforced boxes are better for not flexing

Even with steel multigang box if they get installed out of level its tough to fix after.

3 or more gangs and we put a support from stud to stud behind box sometimes a caddy part, sometimes Job fab. in a pinch.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#20411 - 01/14/03 12:05 AM Re: Plastic Boxes - Multigang "Stability"  
sparky66wv  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
iwire, Thanks, I kinda figured they would be better. My supplier will have to order them though.


Pauluk, you're rubbing off on me!

[Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 01-13-2003).]

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
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#20412 - 01/14/03 01:07 AM Re: Plastic Boxes - Multigang "Stability"  
caselec  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 558
San Jose, CA
We seldom have a problem with the non-metallic boxes being out level on square on trim out. We use P&S boxes and they seem to be pretty stable. Carlon boxes are very flimsy and I can see having this problem with them. I haven't uses any of the fibre type boxes in quite a while. Most of them have a smaller cubic in capacity but they also tend to break very easy. Many times on trim out I would find several boxes broken from the either the insulation or drywall contractor hitting it. If you find one of you phone or TV boxes is out just us a decora style jack which allows you some adjustment.


Curt Swartz

#20413 - 01/14/03 10:05 AM Re: Plastic Boxes - Multigang "Stability"  
ThinkGood  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
Milwaukee, WI
My house is so old, the boxes look crooked because they are plumb and square. The walls are crooked [Linked Image]

Seriously, though, the original boxes (black in color, and seemingly made from something that is bulletproof, actually just good old heavy steel) were mounted with a piece of wood from stud to stud, across the bottom and the top (not the thickness a full stud, though). They were screwed in with wood screws, one on top and one on bottom, diagonally.

They are very difficult to remove. Keep in mind, these are the "old work" type of boxes.

#20414 - 01/14/03 11:48 AM Re: Plastic Boxes - Multigang "Stability"  
txsparky  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 552
Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
In resi,I will use the gangable steel boxes (for anything over 2 gang)mounted to a 2x4 ran between the studs.If you install it level,it will be level come trim time.It makes it alot harder for the non-english speaking,illegal for the money only,ba@##rd drywallers ,that are so prevailant in this area,to screw up.

Sorry about the rant [Linked Image] .


#20415 - 01/14/03 12:04 PM Re: Plastic Boxes - Multigang "Stability"  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
I saw advertised in some catalogue (I think it's MCM Electronics) about a metal rack that fits between two studs. You attach your boxes to that rack so they're all straight. But I think it's for single boxes...don't know if gangable boxes will work.

#20416 - 01/14/03 05:54 PM Re: Plastic Boxes - Multigang "Stability"  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
I haven't had any trouble with these so I have never given it much thought. I wouldn't think the extra time involved in using metal boxes would be worth it.

#20417 - 01/14/03 07:29 PM Re: Plastic Boxes - Multigang "Stability"  
George  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 375
I glue foam insulation behind the boxes. glue to the wall and the box.

#20418 - 01/14/03 07:55 PM Re: Plastic Boxes - Multigang "Stability"  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,853
Brick, NJ USA
Hey Virgil:
I seem to remember Carlon including a steel bracket with the 3, 4, & 5 gang plastic boxes.

We don't do much resi nowadays, but I do remember what you're saying being a PITA.

Metal boxes, 3 gang & bigger.



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