My house was built in 1939. Since it's a timber frame, there are a lot of single 2 prong outlets that are recessed into the posts. These are located near the floor, so the wiring is then feed up from the bottom thru a hole in the beam.

I can replace the old two wire with Romex™ by fishing it thru the existing hole, however, I would like to find something that requires minimal work to fit into the existing pocket of the beam.

The current receptacle has H-H&H marking on it

Does anyone know if someone currently manufactures a single 3-prong outlet that would be similar to my current 2-prong outlets?

Here are some pics enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    Consider whether enlaging the hole to fit a modern box will damage the load bearing capabilities of the beam (which may have already been compromised by the original installation). A surface mounted box on the beam itself may be a much easier and better choice.
    – Jeremy
    Nov 29, 2022 at 17:17
  • 1
    So long as you are putting money and effort into this, I suggest you find an electrician or someone knowledgeable to help you plan how to upgrade the electrics in your home without being constrained by the way 80-year-old wires have been routed. If you don't have hollow walls, look into using metal not plastic cables and surface mounted boxes.
    – jay613
    Nov 29, 2022 at 18:17

4 Answers 4


Compact Nema 5-15R in a search engine turned up this current product that looks like the grandchild of yours

image from gordonelectricsupply.com, no endorsement implied


flanged Nema 5-15R turns up additional results, based on the description of this one as "flanged"

  • 4
    Nice find! I wonder, though, if the "box" into which the OPs outlets are currently installed are considered usable by modern code. i.e., if updating with new NM-B and these outlets, is that considered enough of an update to require "upgrading" the box in which it's all wired, and if so, is a compatible box available. (I'd like to think that Leviton makes a box into which one could install their outlet.)
    – FreeMan
    Nov 28, 2022 at 16:38
  • 1
    @FreeMan A lot of those "flanged" type outlets are intended to be panel-mounted on a machine and not mounted in a wall, so a well-tailored box would likely be hard to find. I've seen some manufacturers sell a mounting plate that lets you install one in a standard-sized wall box, but that doesn't help OP much.
    – bta
    Nov 30, 2022 at 3:11

There may be something available, but I doubt it. 15A/20A receptacles are almost all designed now to fit a standard single-gang box. Even single receptacles are usually on a yoke designed for a single-gang box (they are useful because there are times where a dedicated circuit for a single device is required). Plus, as I found when replacing receptacles in my house, even some single-gang boxes from many years ago are not quite big enough for modern receptacles, and all the more so if you want to put in GFCI or a smart switch or anything else special.

Just get a small metal box and a standard clamp. Screw the box into the wood. Run the NM cable (Romex) into the back of the box through the clamp and you're all set. Something like this Handy Box:

Handy Box

but there are plenty of choices. Plus you get two receptacles for the price of one (look for receptacles with screw-to-clamp, and remember, friends don't let friends use backstabs).

  • 1
    This is probably the most practical answer, but it's certainly an ugly option. Hard to know whether to vote for practicality or against ugly, so I'll abstain.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 30, 2022 at 13:33

System 22 might work for you, longest reach is 1 1/4" deep but it seems some images of the installation are in concrete walls so maybe there is a way to make it work.

They are super pricey though.

System 22 Boccee

  • 5
    The price on these is absolutely insane! $170 for a single! I suspect someone buying in bulk (boutique hotel?) would get substantial discounts, but still. In any case, this actually requires an ordinary box behind the wall, so it won't actually solve OP's problem which isn't to make a fancy flush-mount minimalist look on the wall but rather to embed into the beam in the existing location. Nov 29, 2022 at 3:00
  • Yeah I only see 1 1/4" being the max depth before you hit the box but it seems unlikely the concrete walls are less than 1 1/4" in depth so I am not sure how those installs are done. Nov 29, 2022 at 3:14
  • On the concrete I suspect they made a mold for the receptacle and the box and poured around it. Nov 29, 2022 at 3:16
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    I can't see how this could meet code unless the box was accessible from the other side of the wall. Need a sledgehammer tp "access" the box...
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 29, 2022 at 12:30
  • 5
    Looking at the finish differences around those two receptacles, @Ecnerwal, it looks like a sledgehammer has been involved here at some point.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 29, 2022 at 13:31

It may be a longshot, and you should definitely check for code compliance, but I found this at my local (German!) supplier:

Jung NEMA15 A Jung NEMA15 A

This is meant to be installed on a European style electrical box (again, check compliance) which are round and about 70mm in diameter.

They are, being an odd item for a German brand, not very cheap though.

  • What a strange object — how are you supposed to provide 120V to this receptacle in Germany? Nov 30, 2022 at 12:03
  • 2
    @JacobKrall: it is strange indeed, I guess there are some edge-cases where you are expected to install an extra transformer?
    – Pelle
    Nov 30, 2022 at 12:55
  • 3
    Split the wire in half, lengthwise, @JacobKrall! (No, that's a joke, don't do that. Really, please don't try to do that!!!)
    – FreeMan
    Nov 30, 2022 at 12:56

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