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I've got a hole above an outlet box in a wall. The wall has a 2x4 to the right of the box. I can feel it from the inside. It's just lightweight dry wall. There used to be cable and network lines pulled out of the hole.

I need to patch it up, so I can sell the house it's part of. I'll make sure to turn off the power before any work. What's the best way to try to fix this hole? Are there any special considerations I should take?

The photo got rotated 90 degees for some strange reason. The hole is above the outlet. The 2x4 inside of the wall is to the right side.

enter image description here

  • Are the cables still lurking back there, or have they been removed in their entirety? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 25 '18 at 0:04
  • How close to the edge of the hole is the 2 x 4? – Jimmy Fix-it Aug 25 '18 at 0:11
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If I were you, I'd do the following

  1. Go buy a low voltage old work gang and a recessed multimedia port plate (you can use other plates if you want, I'm just trying to leave the Ethernet accessible).
  2. Buy some fiberglass mesh, wood shims (if you don't have any scrap wood laying about), drywall screws and vinyl spackle
  3. You said your stud was to the right of the box. Confirm that, and then, to the left of your electrical box, mark and cut the hole for your low voltage gang. Move it away a few inches but do not contact the stud just to the left. You should have 12-24" depending on how far your studs are. I wouldn't make this too far from your electrical box, though, and I would make sure it's even with the electrical box for aesthetics. Save the drywall you cut out.
  4. Mount the low voltage gang, then fish that Ethernet cable though the multimedia plate and mount it onto your box.
  5. Take the piece from Step #3 and make sure it fits in the hole above the outlet. Widen the hole as needed until the piece can fit reasonably well inside (does not have to be perfect, but you don't want more than 0.25" of gap anywhere)
  6. Take a shim (or scrap wood) and use a drywall screw to screw the shim to the wall just to the left of the hole so it sticks out into the hole
  7. Put the piece in the hole and use a drywall screw to attach to the shim from Step #6
  8. Tape the gaps around the drywall piece with the fiberglass mesh tape and then spackle the gaps and drywall screw holes
  9. Sand and paint
  • I think I would just install a low voltage ring , it looks like the hole is smaller no box is required for cable or data cables. Cut the hole to size fold the metal tabs in and put a cover on. It will look like a normal data outlet above the power outlet. – Ed Beal Aug 25 '18 at 1:22
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    He could but there's a few problems which is why I didn't suggest it. First, the hole goes down to the existing electrical box. Mounting the old work gang might prove problematic (especially with the metal "bend in" type of gang). Second, wall plates don't overlap well at all. Third, it would stick out like a sore thumb to potential buyers. With two even boxes side by side, it would look normal. – Machavity Aug 25 '18 at 1:39
  • This was a really well thought out explanation/answer. You've come up with a very complete answer. Thank you very much. I think it's try it. – jjwdesign Aug 25 '18 at 15:37
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You should turn off the breaker feeding that receptacle just because you will be taking the cover off.

What you do is get a new small piece of sheetrock, but larger than the hole, cut into a rectangle with nice clean edges. Then trace the outline of that new piece over the hole and using a "keyhole Saw", cut out the wall in that shape, so that the new piece fits in snugly. Then with the piece out, get some small pieces of thin wood, like lath / furring strips or even the old paint stirring sticks (but not plastic ones) and using construction adhesive like Liquid Nails, glue those sticks to the BACK of the wall so they are across the hole.* Let that dry and harden over night. Then put the cut piece back in the hole so that the wood slats are keeping it from pushing through, and use wallboard tape and mud to fix it in place and blend the texture back into the wall. Wait a few days for everything to dry before repainting.

https://www.lowes.com/projects/repair-and-maintain/patch-and-repair-drywall/project

  • If you CAN, make the new hole go over the 2x4 stud a little, then you have a more solid anchor for that new piece.
  • This answer was really helpful. I watched the lowes video and see what you are saying about using the wood strips. I might give that a shot if I have enough room. to do it. – jjwdesign Aug 25 '18 at 15:32
  • An old paint stick and liquid nails worked great! – jjwdesign Aug 26 '18 at 1:41
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    Too bad most paint places are switching to plastic stirring sticks. I found those wood ones useful for a lot of things besides paint. Maybe the new trend to get away from so much plastic will bring back the demand for wood again... – J. Raefield Aug 27 '18 at 22:09

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