enter image description hereThis 50s Junction box does not budge. I want to replace both the box and the wire, but neither is moving. The wire won't move because it runs horizontally before the vertical. I'd like to remove the box so I can replace the wire. There appear to be no screws, bolts, or any fasteners attached to the inside of the box. What's keeping this box in place?

  • 2
    It is not supposed to be mobile. See Ack’s answer. Perhaps if you reword your question to say “ What is required to replace an electrical outlet box“ ? You’ll get answers specific to that inquiry.
    – Alaska Man
    Mar 23, 2020 at 0:42
  • It's a "new work" box, installed before the wall finish, and Ack shows a fine example, though not exactly the sort you likely have there. The only boxes you can expect to move are "old work" boxes, or boxes with no brackets that have visible screws. The cable is probably stapled to the studs, as well. You are going to need a much bigger hole in the wall if you really want to move it. Unless you need a larger box, there's no need or use to removing the box itself.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 23, 2020 at 1:36
  • If you have an oscillating saw, run it between the wall stud and the outlet box with a blade that can cut nails. Make sure the power is off first, of course.
    – cutrightjm
    Mar 25, 2020 at 5:21

2 Answers 2


There's a connection that you can't see or get to without opening the wall. Like this:

enter image description here

  • 2
    More likely it's nails driven through the box.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 23, 2020 at 1:30
  • 1
    The CO noted that there are none to be seen
    – Ack
    Mar 23, 2020 at 2:01
  • 2
    With some designs the nails pass behind the corners of the box.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 23, 2020 at 2:17
  • 2
    yes, behind, not through the inside. Or on top. I agree
    – Ack
    Mar 23, 2020 at 2:28

That is an older house and it appears that you have an old style wood and plaster wall. Sorry to say that the box could be secured in many different ways but here is something that might help.

The box you are going to use is larger than the original. Especially if you are using standard PVC boxes. So you can use the new box as a template to mark around the old box. Then remove some of the material around the old box which allows you to see how it is anchored in the wall and just maybe you can see how to remove it. I would use something like a multi tool with an osculating blade that moves back and forth.

If you don't mind a larger hole you can actually cut and install a duplex box and make it a quad receptacle instead of a duplex.

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    This is very good information about the 'how' related to the OP's question of 'why'
    – Ack
    Mar 23, 2020 at 18:19

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