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First, this outlet is in what was once a balcony. The drywall was placed over stucco so there's about a 1/2 - 3/4 inch of stucco followed by a gap (1/2inch ish) followed by 1/2 drywall. The original outlet was an outdoor outlet in the stucco so with the extra inches the junction box barely reaches the outside drywall.

The hole was cut bigger than it needed to be and then the faceplate was used to keep it flush then it was given a coat of silicone around the face plate (probably so it couldn't pull out. (All this was done before my bf bought the place and no one noticed it before or just ignored it)

I plan on plugging a PC into the outlet (only outlet available) and really don't like the fact that i can literally pull it out the wall. (But at an angle because the armored cable going into the box is just slightly too short to make it without pulling hard) How on earth do I fix this (preferably without having to completely rewire as it's out of budget)

There is a stud nearby, so my idea was open the drywall a bit more attach current box to stud as forward as it can comfortably go then add an extension to be flush with the drywall and then fix the giant hole i just made.

Unless there are other ideas that require less mess, or ones that are better up to code. (I have other ideas but I'm 100% certain they wouldn't pass code)

Edit to add : there is only a 5 x7 inch hole in the stucco partially (read: mostly covering the front) covering the stud. I unfortunately do not have the means or expertise holding a saw to cut through * (I have a hammer and hand chisel though) it so although i can make the drywall hole bigger i (at the moment) gotta work with the stucco hole. I have moved the outlet over a bit and managed to get a bracket to hold the outlet forward. So it stops falling back looking into getting replacment "old work" side supports and may (most likely) add some wood behind the drywall to add even more support) at the moment,

outlet fallen in very little slack

outlet in with stud nearby

with faceplate on

Second edit update: finished. Screwed the box to the stud and then used a metal extension to make it flush with the drywall. Have to say I think I did a pretty good job. Outlet is solid now. Still need to cover new drywall seams but very proud of myself first time I've ever cut into and replaced drywall or even fixed an outlet so it didn't wobble or pull-out.
Wanted to say thanks to all the answers (all very good answers) and hopefully this helps others who may have a similar problem. I know feel confident enough to do some other things around the house ive wanted to do now. So again big thank you to all the wonderful answers. Oh and I used the lipstick trick to find where I should cut the new hole for the outlet, worked well enough cut a little to high on one part but still worked out, it's a nifty little trick. finished outlet

enter image description here

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  • Seems like a good use for a recessed outlet. Apr 6 at 20:28
  • @MichaelTracy i thought about that but decided against it really think it would just look weird there. I would Rather do recessed behind furniture or tvs.
    – Pinky_M
    Apr 7 at 21:03
  • Is two outlets sufficient? You can use the opportunity to increase the port density.
    – Criggie
    Apr 7 at 22:13
  • Based on your finished work, I'd suggest that you unscrew that panel of drywall anyway so you can cut the rough edges of paper off otherwise, you're going to end up with a lumpy looking repair when you're finished taping and mudding. While you've got it off, take some pics if you didn't already. It would be good to share those (in a new question) to have the many professional eyes here ensure you got everything installed correctly.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 11 at 13:01

5 Answers 5

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It appears the hole is to big to use a re-work box. I don't know your skills or resources however I would suggest removing some drywall and moving it to a stud. While you have it open you might consider installing a double duplex (two duplex receptacles in a double wide box) to get some more outlets and if possible add another box a stud or two away.

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  • Adding more outlets a stud away is not possible unless i feel like also breaking through stucco, which i don't. I do like the idea adding a 2 gang box and adding another duplex outlet.
    – Pinky_M
    Apr 6 at 20:47
  • I also want to add that the circuit this outlet is on, there are a total of 10 outlets on it (20amp at the breaker) so not sure im corfortable adding another one.
    – Pinky_M
    Apr 6 at 20:55
  • @Pinky_M I know that's unusual for the US, but my entire house's sockets is on a 32A breaker in the UK. It's not ideal, but more sockets is always more useful than fewer (and usually safer because people don't have to use extension leads / squids).
    – Tim
    Apr 7 at 13:21
  • 4
    @Tim Important to note, however, that typically a 32A breaker in the UK would support significantly more power than a 32A breaker in the US.
    – Glen Yates
    Apr 7 at 14:30
  • @Tim the highest breaker allowed on a circuit with normal sockets in the US is 20A, and their voltage is only 120V. So a typical UK socket circuit can provide roughly three times as much power as a typical US socket circuit. Apr 9 at 2:31
13

Since you're apparently about to do some drywall repair anyway...

  1. Purchase a new "old work" box. You'll probably need a metal one to accept your armored cable termination.
  2. Carefully cut the new box into a fresh bit of drywall, moving it in the direction from which the cable enters the area. This will give you more length to work with.
  3. Remove the cable from the old box and insert it into the new box. Install your outlet.
  4. Repair the drywall over the old box location. You can probably float the cutout from the new box using a scrap of wood.
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5

then add an extension to be flush with the drywall

  • If you're talking about adding an extension ring to the box, this is 100% the way to do it.
  • If you're talking about joining the cable in this box, then extending it to a new box, this is probably not the right way to do it, because the original box will need to remain accessible.

I think you mean the first, so it sounds like you're right on track.

I'd second Gil's suggestion of installing a 4" square box so you can install 2 yokes for 4 outlets here. You'll never regret having "too many" outlets.

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  • Its the first (the part of the not 100% up to code was the second) but i like doing things correct the first time so i dont have to worry. And since the box is ground (or i suspect so i figured it be easier if i just try to attach to the stud and then use an extesion from the box to hopefully fill in the gap to the drywall.
    – Pinky_M
    Apr 6 at 20:50
2

With a saw cut a tidy hole for a 2-gang box but 3/4 inches too wide right against the stud, and through BOTH layers of wall. The extra 3/4 inch is for a "stud extension" that will eliminate the double-wall problem.

Attach a piece of 3/4" plywood to the stud but jutting out in front of the stud, all the way to the back of the drywall. This provides a mounting base for the box that is at the right depth for the drywall.

Attach a 2-gang box to the plywood so it is flush with the drywall and requires no extensions.

You can move the outlet a little higher or lower so the cable will reach.

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  • It will need to be a type of 2-gang box with the cable clamps to accept armored cable. Apr 6 at 22:50
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There is a stud nearby, so my idea was open the drywall a bit more attach current box to stud as forward as it can comfortably go then add an extension to be flush with the drywall and then fix the giant hole i just made.

Yes, do this but I would like to recommend an adjustable (telescoping) box.

enter image description here

  • Cut out the drywall/stucco from stud to stud
    • At least 12 inches tall
  • Install the new box firmly against the stud
    • Since the wire is too short you'll have to install the box closer to the ground
  • Install the right thickness of drywall
    • They even sell 1/8" plywood if you need to make an obscure thickness sandwich
  • Mud it, tape it, and sand it down
  • Now you can adjust your outlet box as far forward as you need

Unless there are other ideas that require less mess, or ones that are better up to code.

You've been bit by and are experiencing the "less mess" solution first-hand. Home ownership is filled with fun like this!

Around here we call your situation the "homeowner special".

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  • This seems perfect, nearest stud so the cabling can still reach is on the other side of where the mount is... can i flip this upside down from the picture so the bracket is on the other side (although looking at the knockout placments i might just have enough cabling to work with. (Only downside is lowes and home depot no longer carry so would need to order it online. (I don't mind making a mess or learning new things i do all the handyman Work around the place already and enjoy it quite a bit i follow the "jack of all trades" motto.
    – Pinky_M
    Apr 8 at 19:29

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