I'm looking to install a GFCI outlet in place of a regular bulb old box. The problem is the box is fit tight and not flush with the dry wall and the hole is also larger.

I've looked into circular wall plates for GFCI outlets, extension boxes but I'm not sure what's the best way to overcome this in a neat way. Would greatly appreciate some help!

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    Is this in a wall (if so, how high?) or in a ceiling? That matters because GFCI normally can't be placed in a ceiling or high on a wall (not sure of the height limit). Jul 18 at 22:07

2 Answers 2


You won't be able to fit a GFCI receptacle in that box. Regular receptacles barely fit, with a trick cover plate. Also note, GFCI receptacles are not allowed on the ceiling.

Option 1, what Jack says: remove octagon box and replace with 2-gang box. You need a 2-gang because your hole is already too big for a 1-gang. Put another receptacle in the other gang.

Option 2, learn a marvelous thing about GFCI protection. It's not a receptacle at all, it is a zone of protection applied to parts of a circuit. That thing you know about is a "combo device" containing a GFCI device and a receptacle. They also make GFCI+switch, GFCI as switch, GFCI+breaker or standalone GFCI. All of these devices can protect additional parts of the circuit. That is the ONLY legitimate use of the "Load" terminals - though many people blindly use "Load" because they need a place to attach 2 more wires. (Actually the LINE screws can handle 2 wires each - read the instructions!)

So, you can figure out where power comes from to reach this spot, and fit a GFCI device there. Either at a prior outlet, or a prior switch, or the breaker. Now this outlet is GFCI protected. Note it must be labeled "GFCI Protected" per instructions 8(C), which you must follow due to NEC 110.3.


The only way I can think of this working is to get a two gang metal box with a mud ring and remove the existing box. If this is mounted in the ceiling, GFCI outlets can't be installed.

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