Electrical Boxes: How to Add CapacityUpdated: Dec. 19, 2017
Two ways to solve this common remodeling problem
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Make room for a new device
Photo 1: The easy but less elegant way
Remove the old switch (power off) and screw the extender box on top of the old box. Then install the new switch and cover plate on the extension box.
Although your current electrical “box fill” may meet code, it’s not safe to jam a new device in if the box is already full of wires. You have two options: Add a plastic surface-mount extender box (like Leviton No. 6197-W; available through our affiliation with amazon.com; Photo 1), or remove the old 12.5-cu.-in. box and replace it with a flush-mount 20-cu.-in. box that’s 7/8 in. deeper (Photo 2).
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Cordless drill
- Drywall saw
- Electrical tape
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- Deep remodeling box
- Extender box