I have a box with one switch to a fan, one switch to a light, and one cable (ahead of the switches) to an outlet. In bathroom with GFCI breaker.

Is it ok to use a 3 gang box, so I have more room for shoving wires in (12 AWG) but to put a 2-gang plate on?

  • How do you intend to cover the hole for the 3rd space if you only use a 2-gang cover?
    – brhans
    Oct 13, 2019 at 20:49
  • Hi. To cut a hole in the drywall that is only 2 gangs wide. I know this sounds odd, but surely I am not the only homeowner who struggles with getting 4 lots of 12 AWG into a box. Our struts are 2x4 so I'm not sure a deeper box will work
    – Catherine
    Oct 13, 2019 at 21:19

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can do that. So you'll replace the two gang with a three gang box and just have two switches in the box. The new three gang box must be installed correctly, flush with the outer wall surface, with the hole big enough for all three gangs.

Remember to shut off all the power when doing any of this work. Take pictures and mark the wires before you disconnect any of them which you'll have to do for the box change out.

You'll probably need a cover similar to the one below when you're finished. Good luck.enter image description here

  • Excellent. That answers my question.
    – Catherine
    Oct 13, 2019 at 21:49

If you tried to hide the 3rd section of the 3 gang box behind the drywall it would mean that the box is set back a from the wall surface by the thickness of the drywall. That could be 1/2 or even 5/8 inch. That would itself be non compliant with Code because electrical boxes are supposed to be set even with the finished wall surface (although Code does allow for some small tolerance).

Of course the inaccessible third section of the electrical box would also be a Code violation.

  • Good catch +. I edited my answer based on the OP's comment that wasn't there when I originally answered the question
    – JACK
    Oct 14, 2019 at 13:19

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