I have a 4" square box which I'm going to put a GFCI outlet in.


I got one of the raised covers with a rectangular cutout for GFCIs.


However, the outlet itself doesn't sit flush with the cover. When I put it over the outlet, the screw holes at the top and bottom of the outlet stick out too far and prevents it from sitting flush. I know that I can remove the corner perforated tabs but there are still additional screw holes that stick out.

See circled in blue here: doesn't fit

Do I just bend the secondary screw holes back or something? Seems kind of weird because I've only read online about removing the tabs and not that second set of holes.


I just had to deal with that last week. On an expensive rundown timer, no less! The rectangle shape is Decora, and those outer screws hold Decora plate covers, which use an extreme outer position. You have two choices:

  • bend or hacksaw them off. Your device can never be used with a normal Decora cover plate.

  • dump the accursed raised cover (you certainly don't need the cubic inches) and go with a 1-gang mud ring for a 4" box. This is flush, but has a 1/2" extrusion the size of a 1-gang box. This has the space needed. And then you use a plain Decora cover plate, which needs those threaded holes. If you need dual Decora, they make 2-gang mud rings too.

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The small ears have a crimp that allows them to break off with a few twists front to back. Code requires more than 1 screw to attach the outlet to the box the covers usually come with them (or the ones I purchase do). The small threaded hole can be bent back but if it interferes with the nuts that hold the outlet in place I would cut it off.

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  • 1
    OP mentioned the ears. Question was about the standard plate mounting holes and their tabs. (See the blue circles.) – isherwood Dec 5 '17 at 19:16
  • Guess it is time for a new phone I can barely see them. Thanks. – Ed Beal Dec 5 '17 at 19:22

Take the tabs (two each end, one on each side of the blue circle) off. They are scored, so you can use pliers to grab them, and then bend back and forth until they snap off.

Then you can use the same pliers to gently bend the blue-circled part back 90° so it clears the inside of the cover. Use the bolts and nuts supplied with cover to attach the outlet to it.

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