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Trying to help a friend replace a toggle cover. There are two boxes together and the normal cover will not fit. Any ideas on where to get a cover that will fit? Posting a photo to help with explanation. I know that changing the two boxes for one would most likely remedy the situation, but they don't have the funds for an electrician. Thanks in advance.

enter image description here

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  • 2
    cut sides from two covers
    – jsotola
    Oct 7 at 1:02
  • 2
    Either replace them with a double-gang, as below, or spread them just enough to fit two single plates. Cut plates always look bad.
    – isherwood
    Oct 7 at 12:40
  • If the OP is (or knows) a modeler, they might be able to cut the plates & glue them together seamlessly, but in general, yeah, cutting looks... bad.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 7 at 12:41
  • based on @FreeMan's comment, find someone that can 3d print one.
    – gns100
    Oct 7 at 21:40
  • Great idea, @gns100, however it won't come with a UL approval and could (if discovered after a fire) be grounds for the insurance company to deny a claim. Personally, I wouldn't go there, no matter how tempting. Plus, I've yet to see a 3D print (from a consumer-grade machine) that comes anywhere near to the look (in terms of shine and smoothness) of a cast, manufactured one.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 7 at 22:07

3 Answers 3

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Try loosening the toggles (since those are rework boxes) and shoving the two boxes tightly together. Then re-tighten the toggles. Might work. Also, loosen the switch mounting screws and shove the switches closer to center, then re-tighten those. Everything is pushed out as they are now.

Otherwise you cut two single switch plates. Which usually looks about as ugly as it sounds.

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  • This would be the #1, simplest approach. If it fails to get the switches close enough together for a single plate to cover, then go with either Gil or Brian Leishman's answers (they're the same thing, one with pictures and a little more explanation than the other). I'd suggest that cutting down cover plates would probably be the last resort as it is going to be the ugliest solution...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 7 at 12:35
  • Won't work. The spacing will still be too wide by about 3/8".
    – isherwood
    Oct 7 at 12:46
  • Thanks for the suggestion. I think the smartest idea will be to change them out for a single, if it's doable.
    – Eric
    Oct 8 at 23:57
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Those are two single boxes next to each other.

enter image description here

They actually can come out very easily if you loosen the top right and bottom left screws of each box. (make sure you turn off your breaker, take pictures of what wire is going where, maybe even label them with painters tape)

Then you can install this double box in the hole instead!

enter image description here

Goes in the same way the other two came out, with the two corner screws. When the corner screws rotate, the plastic flaps on the back will rotate with them up into place to hold the box to the wall. Once you install the lightswitches into the new double-gang box, normal plates will line up correctly.

Both of those box kinds can be found at any hardware store, and your key words are "old work" (meaning existing construction, wall already built) and "2 gang" (for two switches/outlets/etc)

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    One word of caution on installing the 2-gang box. Depending on who cut in the two 1-gang boxes, they may have cut out notches (top & bottom) for the wings to fit through, while leaving the rest of the opening tighter to the box (I ahem know a guy who did that). This means that there won't be room for the notches on the 2-gang box because they'll be in different places. This is easily remedied with a utility knife by cutting the drywall, but you must make sure you don't nick the wiring insulation or cable sheath while waving a knife around inside the wall.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 7 at 12:37
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    Also, cover plates come in "normal" (or "standard"), "midi" and "maxi" covering more and more space outside the box. This would call for the installation of a Maxi cover plate, and may not need any additional paint or drywall repair if the 2-gang box is centered in the hole - the Maxi might just be big enough to cover everything. Hold the plate up to the wall once you've got the 1-gang boxes out to see if it will cover the full opening.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 7 at 12:40
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    Also, don't buy stuff like this from Amazon. It will cost 10 times what you would pay from a local store. Plus, you may need more stuff like tape, caulk, or a matching faceplate, and your local hardware store will have those in stock. No waiting for shipping!
    – ArmanX
    Oct 7 at 16:37
  • @ArmanX absolutely, I think I meant to actually say that in the post Oct 7 at 17:05
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I think we'll try to replace the boxes for a single, if it's possible. I appreciate the ideas.
    – Eric
    Oct 8 at 23:56
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Turn the power off then Try removing both boxes and take pictures of each one. If you are successful which I believe you will be you can get a double rework box from your local box store and use that to replace the two existing boxes. Insert the wires which you previously marked, connect the switches and mount side by side. Turn on the power and it should work just fine. You will probably need an oversized plate but that should not be a problem. The next time you paint you can fill in the gap on the side of the box and go to a standard plate.

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  • Thank you for the suggestion. I think this is what we'll try, if possible.
    – Eric
    Oct 8 at 23:58

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