I do not have much experience with home improvement related things. I moved into my first apartment and I saw that the internet coaxial cable was pushed inside the outlet. I loosened the screws and using a knife I cut the thin paint layer around the cover and removed the cover

I pulled the coax cable out and fixed the position but when I try to screw the cover back it won't go in. What do I need to fix this outlet cover?enter image description here

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  • The wall appears to be of a fiber board type. The screws have threads and a shank, once the shank reaches the wall there are no threads to hold. If you can tell me that behind the wall board there is some wood to screw into then there is nothing to grip for the screw. You will need anchors Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 15:23
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    Drywall doesn't hold screws. Period. Always expect to use an anchor or mounting bracket of some sort for any project.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 17:24
  • If you are renting, maybe you can get the landlord to fix it? It is their duty to fix anything wrong in the apartment. Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 8:06

3 Answers 3


Low voltage plates without brackets make for a sad DIYer

It appears the last installer tried simply screwing the cover plate to the drywall directly without a bracket or box to back it up. Unfortunately for them, screws don't hold well in drywall, as you found out the hard way. While you could use drywall anchors, there isn't much left there for them to hold on to, thanks to the screw-job chewing up the drywall.

It'd be better if you got something called an "old work low voltage bracket", such as the one shown below, that installs behind the drywall with a set of built-in clamps that hold it to the wall. You'd have to cut out the damaged drywall around the existing hole to the size of the bracket's cutout, insert the bracket, and then engage the clamps. Then you can screw the faceplate to the bracket and have things stay together properly. (Obviously, you need to undo the cable to do this.)

old work low voltage bracket example


I recently had a need to mount an electrical wall cover plate directly to drywall (without an electrical box to screw the cover plate to). I found that Cobra 131Y Wall Anchors worked well, as they grip securely into 1/2" drywall, and they accept 6-32 screws (which are the screws normally used to screw cover plates to electrical boxes). Below is a photo of the finished result:

enter image description here

  • I take it this is being used as an access of some sort? Commented Feb 3 at 3:27
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    @ThreePhaseEel There was a thermostat mounted on the wall there, which I moved to another location in the house. I mounted the wall plate there, to cover the holes, until I get a change to fix the drywall the right way.
    – mti2935
    Commented Feb 3 at 4:05

Use butterfly plugs or drywall Fisher plugs

  • a little more information would be helpful I am not aware of this type of plug. they also make a low voltage metal ring that the tabs fold inside and provide an anchor point for the screw low voltage only.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 15:37

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