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Old 05-04-2009, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Adding a single gang switch next to an existing switch

Is it considered "Hacky" to add a separate single gang switch next to an existing single gang switch? I usually cut out the existing box and add a 2 gang old work box, but sometimes I run into trouble with short and tightly stapled wires, especially when there is 3 cables coming into the box (top and bottom). Add to the breaking plaster walls and sometimes it becomes a project I wish I never started.

What's your opinion on this? Just cut in a separate box?

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Old 05-04-2009, 06:58 PM   #2
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When ever I see something like that done I think it looks ugly and not professional. another option to get the box out of the wall is just cut/ break the box up to get the wires out, then you can pull the staples out and cut it open to a 2g

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Old 05-04-2009, 07:07 PM   #3
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welcome 1900, you do lots of re-model ??? howzbiz????
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:12 PM   #4
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welcome 1900, you do lots of re-model ??? howzbiz????
Not at all, I do mostly commercial work. It's nicer in commercial where you usually have a carpenter to patch the hole, a taper to spackle it, and a painter to paint it

I've been doing some residential work on the weekends for my cousin who is a small EC and I'm running into situations which require a different etiquette.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:21 PM   #5
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Sometimes, there might be no other way if the wires are too short. I use smart boxes in this situation because I find old work boxes too small to fill the opening of a nail on. Doesn't get you around short wires. How about a stack switch?
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:39 PM   #6
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Default Different animals

Weekly commercial, residential on the weekends. You are on a learning curve. Doing the weekend work will give you the hands on in all the trades.It keeps you at the top of the skill level. Glad to hear there's work to be had.Breaking the single gang is the way to go.Side by side single plates look like a mistake.Be extra careful if in a older home with plaster walls.Now that could turn into a nightmare.Good luck
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:31 PM   #7
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the worst is when its the old metal boxes buried behind plaster . the kind that have nailed-on side brackets that are difficult to reach.by BTW , i use a sawzall to cut the nails on a regular nail-in box, makes it much easier for me.just make sure to use short blade or you will be doing some patchwork.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:07 PM   #8
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I don't have an issue with side by side single gang boxes. I keep them separated by at least three inches.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:22 PM   #9
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I would rather do a small patch myself then have to SGs side by side, I think it looks home owner.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:23 AM   #10
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99% of all switch wires enter from the top of the box. And in old work, there tends to be only one cable, because the switch tap is usually made in a ceiling box. Newer residential is a little different, but most wires still enter from the top. Sometimes, moving the box up a little can help with short wires. You may have to patch a bit, but that's not bad, and a jumbo plate can be a big help too.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:32 AM   #11
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I most always modify,looks much nicer. or a stack switch if no dimmers are needed.
It depends on all the variables,depending on the level of destruction that may result,I revert to the home owner with the options.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:48 PM   #12
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I never do anything that doesn't look "stock"

It takes more patience but, even in a worst case scenario, drywall/plaster is pretty easy to patch.


It also gives you more room to reach in the wall and fish cables when you change out the box.


A screwdriver will generall work well to remove staples and give more room to work. I have, on occaision, poked a smal hole in the drywall, close to the staple and worked a flat blade long screwdriver to remove it.

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Old 05-05-2009, 04:08 PM   #13
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I always change the box.. it looks like a HO did his own wiring when one box is next to another. Use a Dremel to cut the plaster and go slow..you will feel better about the job looking at one box instead of two
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
99% of all switch wires enter from the top of the box.
99% of all statistics are false.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
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99% of all statistics are false.
85.43875% of statistics are made up on the spot.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
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85.43875% of statistics are made up on the spot.
13.56125% of statistics are made up somewhere else.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
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13.56125% of statistics are made up somewhere else.
Yep. 53% of all people know that.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
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85.43875% of statistics are made up on the spot.
Accurate to 5 decimal places... Wow! The sampling must be huge!
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:01 PM   #19
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Yep. 53% of all people know that.
I don't. I just made it up.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:25 PM   #20
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How about a stack switch?
How about when one of the switches needs to be a 3-way, do they have 3-way stacks? I've seen stacked dimmers, they were in a decora style plate instead of the receptacle plate that most stacked toggle switches use, ugh.

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