We do alot of remodeling; cutting-in fan boxes, switches, outlets, etc, etc, etc. We use (nominally 2X3 inch) gangables (and please, what I'm using for a nomenclature is probably different on every street let alone each town and state), with ears, typically 3 1/2 deep for wire fill. My question is this; does anyone make a gangable that can actually fit a fan control, dimmer or GFI into it after its already been reduced in size due to the (again this will be my street word) madison clip? A few years back for reasons unbeknownst to us electricians our supply house started supplying only Steel City boxes. Raco seems to have same size. Anything better out there that help?
I do a lot of remodeling also and unforunately it's the nature of the beast.
My best relief has been using stranded wire, especially for GFCIs with 12 ga wire. The increased flexibility of the wire makes it much easier to install the devices. Also, if you're installing two devices, sometimes you can use a 4"x4" box with a mud-ring. This gives many options for depth that will give PLENTY of space. The boxes (without brackets) can be mounted beside a stud with wood screws through the box. If you gang a 4x4 with a 4x4 extension and a 1/2" ring (total of 3.5" deep) you'll be in space heaven!
With a little luck and care a double cover will just cover the hole. I usually warn the homeowner that some paint touch-ups may be needed (I even patch the ring). Hope this helps.
Re: Gangables, bigger and better available?#38627 05/28/0412:15 PM05/28/0412:15 PM
By madison clips I am assuming you are referring to the sheet metal supports that are shaped like an "F" (sometimes called "steam boats"). You put the box in the hole and slide two of these along side each side of the box then fold over the tabs into the box with your linesmans. You can get them really tight and against the insides of the box so they take up no room.
If you are talking about those expansion screw clips that you clip on the side of the box and then tighten the screw to draw it tight, well yes they are a problem when used with devices that need the entire width of a box. Somebody used to make a jem box (that's what we call them) with these built in and they didn't intrude on the inside dimensions. I haven't seen them in years though. Might check the catalogs.
One benefit to the plastic boxes is that the cable comes in at the extreme rear of the box. With metal boxes, the KO is further forwards.
Trying to put a spring-wound timer, or some dimmers into a "Gem box" (as we call them) or a "cut-in" box is nearly impossible. The device fills the box so completely that there's no room for the connector...S
Re: Gangables, bigger and better available?#38632 05/31/0405:07 PM05/31/0405:07 PM
Thanks to all for your postings to date, we had a fun weekend keeping the rain out of our basement No, in most places we work we can't use anything other than conduit and obviously metal boxes. We take other measures to avoid having to situate larger devices in our boxes such as loading it from another GFI, etc. When we start a project it's usually with the understanding that we'll TRY not to damage existing walls and such, but it happens. I'll try some suggestions given and maybe report back with progress in a few months. This sure does make me think twice about putting anything but a 4X4 box in anywhere when the walls are open to us... for the next guy. Thanks for imput, Scott.