I have a 1998 manufactured home. In 2 spots, there are outlets that are loose and it’s because the screw hole that secures the outlet is cracked. The tiniest pressure let’s go of the screw. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how well it’s captured in the attached picture.

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Can this be fixed? Or how do I go about removing the old box and putting in a new old work box?

  • what's a new old work box?
    – jsotola
    Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 2:18
  • 2
    An old work box that is new.
    – GManNickG
    Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 2:20

1 Answer 1


You can try putting a toothpick in the hole and see if the screw grabs better. You can also try a bigger screw. To replace the box, remove the outlet and untwist the ground wires. Straighten out the wires and bent out the tabs holding the cables in the box being careful not to damage the insulation. Turn the two screws on the box counterclockwise while pushing the screws inward. This will turn the tabs that secure the box to the wall allowing you to pull the box out. Work the cables out of the box. Get your new box, insert the cables in the box, place it in the wall and turn the screws clockwise to raise the tabs securing the box to the wall. Twist the grounds together and connect the outlet using the terminal screws, not the backstabs, and attach your ground wire.

  • Ok, sounds like removing the box isn’t going to be as difficult as it seems like it might be. I thought of the toothpick but sadly we don’t have any. I might try a bigger screw but since the box is actually cracked, I’m not sure if it’ll help. Thanks for the ideas. I’ll tackle this soon and will update the post.
    – Doug S
    Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 4:52
  • Today I learned that my local Lowe’s is (and has been) out of old plastic work gang boxes.
    – Doug S
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 4:19
  • 1
    @DougS That's because everyone's doing home improvement because of COVID. :-)
    – JACK
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 12:53
  • 2
    @DougS When you're ready to remove the box, get a utility knife and cut the paint around those outside tabs so you don't pull the paint off the walls...
    – JACK
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 13:11
  • I finally replaced the junction box. Definitely appreciate the guidance!
    – Doug S
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 19:43

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