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This question already has an answer here:

I removed one switch from a three gang switchbox. I simply don't need it. All the wires to that switch have been trimmed and taped off and the same at the opposite end of those wires.

Now, what can I do to finish off the outside of that switch? The simple solution would be to plaster over the vacant third of the box and put a double gang cover on the outside. Am I breaking any codes if I do that? If so what's a decent alternative?

This is in Canada.

marked as duplicate by mmathis, Tyson, Machavity, Community Jan 25 '18 at 18:57

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  • What do you mean by "taped off"? Unused wires should each get a wire nut, on both ends. Wrapping an unused wire with electrical tape (or any other kind of tape) is not really an appropriate way to decommission them. See the answers in e.g., this question for more info – mmathis Jan 25 '18 at 14:52
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Leviton (and I am pretty sure LaGrand) make sectional wall plates including blank sections.

Like these.

You could assemble a two-switch + one-blank plate to cover your now empty section of that box.

This would be the easiest cheapest way to discontinue the box.

Removing and replacing the box with a two gang would involve drywall or plaster repair. Plastering over the now empty part of the box would probably not pass inspection and is just not a best-practice way to fix this.

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I can't speak to the codes portion of your question, however my husband has been changing out our builder's outlets to z-wave since we moved in.

As long as your wires are capped off (I'll assume tapped off is the same thing) how about putting on a 3-gang switch plate with 1 blocked?

Hubs did this recently with a 2-gang. It leaves all the wires accessible behind the plate should you need/want access to them for a future project while still closing off/shutting down the area that's not longer in use.

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You cannot legally plaster over one-third of a 3-gang box. For one thing, the outer edge of the box is supposed to line up with the room surface of the finished wall. So how would you "cover over" 1/3 of the box with a 1/2" thick wall?

If, for aesthetic or other reasons, you are determined to have only a 2-gang cover at that location, you would have to remove the 3-gang box and replace it with a 2-gang box, then refinish the wall up to the new box.

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