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I have some network equipment inside of a Suttle wiring cabinet. There is a punch out for an electrical outlet and it was like this when I moved in to the house. This might be convenient if you just want to plug in, but I have a large UPS so I end up just going out.

Can I take this metal electrical box out of the wall and just remount it to the stud? Seems to be a regular outlet, but I wasn't sure because every other box in my house is plastic. I would rather have it below and them just pass in the necessary power cords from the UPS.

If I need to replace with a plastic box or do anything else (obviously turn off circuit when moving), please let me know.

photo of the electrical outlet in question

3 Answers 3

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Yes, you can move this box. Definitely stick with metal. In fact, one of the many advantages of metal boxes is that they can be moved around and reused easily.

If you simply flip the box around so that the top (receptacles) is now the front and the front is now the right side (it has a hole already that you can use for a mounting screw) then you will find that the faceplate will overlap with the faceplate of the receptacle next to it. So either move it down a few inches or route the incoming NM cable through a side (currently front) knockout instead of the bottom (which will become the back against the stud) so that the receptacles are facing towards the left.

Or do something else - there are a few different ways you can mount this. You can't move it up (both because you don't have extra cable and the wiring cabinet is in the way) but other than that you can put it anywhere as long as:

  • The NM cable is coming through a proper clamp (can't tell if it is right now, if not they are very inexpensive) into a knockout.
  • The box is securely mounted to a stud or some other permanent part of the building.
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  • Maybe an overly basic question, but with my plastic boxes I see a way to attach a nail throw a groove on the outside. I don't see anything like this on the metal box, but do see holes on the side. Do I just screw/mail throw the holes in the box or should there be something on the outside for mounting i am missing (haven't yet removed from the cabinet)
    – HelpEric
    Feb 28, 2023 at 14:55
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    Some boxes have a bracket to make mounting easier, like this one. But in general you just put a couple screws through holes and you're done. Feb 28, 2023 at 14:59
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One alternative that saves passing cords through the door:

Rewire this outlet to be not connected to your household power, but to an inlet, which you plug into your UPS (using a short extension cord.)

Decora-format 5-15P inlet image from Newark.com

Otherwise, yes, you can just remount the same box (I'm in the metal is superior, not so much for grounding but for containing fires, camp.)

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  • this is essentially turning the existing mount box into an extension chord / power strip? I still want to use this outlet/circuit for the UPS. If I redo everything i may have more than 2 devices in the wiring cabinet anyway, but it may be an option vs just running a power strip out of the UPS.
    – HelpEric
    Feb 7, 2023 at 16:26
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    Just add a receptacle (and box) connected to the original cable from the house, but convenient to the UPS power in connection. Yes, this more-or-less makes the present outlet a power strip of sorts. It allows for "tidy door closed" rather than "door hanging open to pass power cords through" operations. If you need more plugs, you can plug a power strip wholly inside the cabinet into it.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 7, 2023 at 16:30
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    short and accurate answer +1
    – Traveler
    Feb 7, 2023 at 19:23
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Some people prefer metal boxes to cheap plastic, for the better grounding.

No problem to move it to the stud if you follow basic safety, turn off the circuit and check there is no power at the outlet.

You do not want to find you turned off the wrong breaker with your fingers.

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