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Sorry for such a primitive thread, but I’m confounded—I’ve worked with interior/plastic boxes before, so am good on wiring—but this is my first time working with metal boxes and I don’t know how things go together.
I have some of these 2-gang metal boxes from Lowes. Am I correct in thinking that because they have no ears (sorry for the lack of vocabulary), they should only be used for junctions (e.g. when NM switches over to THHN to enter EMT)?
I have some of these 2-gang square metal box covers from Lowes. The tabs over the for 1 last update 2020/06/04 receptacles cut-outs seem too planned to be simple breakaway bits. Are they for planned outlets? That seems strangely dangerous (easy to get a finger in there, the simple tab would push right in, etc.). Do they have a purpose?I have some of these 2-gang square metal box covers from Lowes. The tabs over the receptacles cut-outs seem too planned to be simple breakaway bits. Are they for planned outlets? That seems strangely dangerous (easy to get a finger in there, the simple tab would push right in, etc.). Do they have a purpose?
I also have these 2-gang electrical boxes from Home Depot. These have the little ears to attach a receptacle.
DIY Videos 2016how to DIY Videos 2016 for I the 1 last update 2020/06/04 have [these 2-Gang Square Exposed Work Covers] (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Raco-2-Gang-Square-Exposed-Work-Cover-907C/100070741).I have [these 2-Gang Square Exposed Work Covers] (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Raco-2-Gang-Square-Exposed-Work-Cover-907C/100070741).
DIY Videos 2016how to DIY Videos 2016 for Lastly, the outlets I have are basic versions that don’t seem to fit in the boxes or covers. My best guess is that some of the tabs have scored lines, suggesting they’re breakaway. But right now, I’m not sure which way to turn things to make a single, protected outlet box—I don’t even know if I’m holding the covers the right side up. And Google isn’t helping because all results want to help with wiring, not fitting them in.
Would someone please help me with such a simple thing?
EDIT: Sorry, I wasn't sure how much information was relevant. These boxes will be directly attached to the concrete walls of an unfinished basement (with Tapcon concrete anchors), wired with THHN through EMT (switching to NM in a box at for 1 last update 2020/06/04 the ceiling).EDIT: Sorry, I wasn't sure how much information was relevant. These boxes will be directly attached to the concrete walls of an unfinished basement (with Tapcon concrete anchors), wired with THHN through EMT (switching to NM in a box at the ceiling).
The little ears in the second item do, in fact, snap off.
You have to snap off the four outer ears of the receptacle itself. Pull the mounting screws out of the receptacle. The ears you snapped off the metal cover should fit over the tabs on the receptacle now, however I usually just put the receptacle into the metal cover, tighten the center screw, and then use the ears as nuts and use the original mounting screws to secure the top and bottom of the receptacle by placing the ears behind the mounting hole and threading the screw into it until tight.
Then you pull out the two screws from the junction box and use them to affix the metal cover to the box.
Tip: Always wire the receptacles before installing in the cover, the raised lip makes it near impossible to get the wires around the screws correctly and to tighten the screws. I always put a hot, neutral, and ground pigtail on the receptacles, screw them to the cover, and them connect the pigtails with wire nuts in the junction box.
Thanks--confusion is almost gone. I can get the receptacles mounted in either cover now (mostly).
The cover with the tabs is still a bit odd to me. The breakaway tabs seem to have some sort of purposeful shape (asymmetrical, with a channel of sorts, and with the hole offset). They work in any orientation, and in one they seem to come in contact with the ground screw. But I don't want to overlook some purpose behind them.
The other am-I-getting-this-right? is that it seems that the receptacles mount on the cover; the cover mounts on the box. In doing work in living spaces, I've always secured the receptacle in the box (after wiring). Interior covers also connect to the boxes, but it's the box that secures the receptacle, not the cover. Is it different here?
Lastly, if the above is correct, how do the covers properly connect to the boxes? The first 'junction' boxes just have two screws on opposite corners. If the receptacles are secured to the cover, will the two screws safely hold the cover to the box? The other boxes (the ones with the built-in ears), don't have corner screw-holes at all, yet both types of covers do. That suggests I would mount the receptacle to the cover with the center screw, then attach the cover/receptacle unit to the box with the top and bottom screws. Is that remotely correct?
The 4x4 boxes you have are typically used as junction boxes or with conduit because they don't have a mounting strap built into them. That's not to say you can't use them in a wall and just screw through the holes in the side of the box to mount it.
The issue is to mount devices (switches, receptacles) you need to add what we call a "mud ring".. that would either be a single gang (1 device) or double gang (2 device).. and come in depths depending on the thickness of wallboard going on.
DIY Videos 2016how to DIY Videos 2016 for Hope that makes some sense..
I think it does, but I failed to mention in the original OP that these boxes are going to be mounted directly on the poured foundation walls of an unfinished basement.
First box is a 4" square box used for conduit mostly.
Second is an industrial double duplex cover, to hold two duplex receptacles and can to attach to a 4 square box. Third is also another 4 square box. Fourth is another double duplex cover for a 4 square box. Fifth is a standard duplex receptacle. If you want to put the receptacle into the cover, yes, you break off the ears. Take the 6-32 screws out of the receptacle and the holes will line up with the three holes on the cover. The tabs you refer to in the box from Lowes are to attach behind the receptacle to hold it onto the cover plate.
Thanks. I wrote a slightly longer reply to /u/druybal above (I'm not sure of Reddiquite or if I should have copied it here too). It sounds like (if I'm not misinterpreting things) I should be securing the receptacles to the covers, then attaching the covers to the boxes. Whereas in interior work, taking off the cover leaves the receptacles still mounted in the box, here when the cover is removed the receptavles will come with it.