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I am replacing a single 220V receptacle with two 20A 120V GFCI receptacles (USA). The white neutral wire was capped off in the receptacle box; I've made sure that it's attached to the neutral bar in the subpanel. I'm going to connect that white wire to two white wires, one for each outlet, using WAGO-221 clips.

But the niggling issue I'm trying to solve now is how to firmly mount the two Leviton GFCI receptacles in the faceplate for the box. I broke off the tabs so they would fit but the screws that go through the faceplate aren't passing through a threaded hole on the outlets but through a slot, so they need some sort of nut on the back. I've never seen packets of tiny hex nuts that would fit those screws. Is that something you can buy?

GFCI outlets in faceplate

EDIT: Yay, we did it. Had to use both 8-32 and 6-32 since the 8-32 is too big for the hole on one of the 120V Leviton tabs. The WAGO clips take up less room than a typical pigtail.

4-inch box [WAGO-221 clip and wing-nuts3 receptacles rotated 90 degrees

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  • I know how to use google, but what is the thread of these outlet screws? 32?
    – mr blint
    Apr 4, 2023 at 20:12
  • Looks to be a 6-32.
    – mr blint
    Apr 4, 2023 at 20:17
  • Do they make receptacles designed to be attached to a faceplate, the way the 220V receptacle was? It had a threaded hole where these Levitons have only a slot.
    – mr blint
    Apr 4, 2023 at 21:09
  • I'm curious, what gadgets do you own with 5-20 plugs?
    – jay613
    Apr 5, 2023 at 3:30
  • No gadgets that have that plug but I wanted 20A and that's what is available.
    – mr blint
    Apr 5, 2023 at 11:08

2 Answers 2

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but the screws that go through the faceplate aren't passing through a threaded hole on the outlets but through a slot, so they need some sort of nut on the back. I've never seen packets of tiny hex nuts that would fit those screws. Is that something you can buy?

Those faceplates are made to use 8-32 bolts (machine screws) with nuts - so 8-32 nuts. They are usually provided with the domed cover and are usually the kind with an integral lock washer. You have two choices to acquire those.

  • Your local big-box store sells 8-32 bolts (the shortest ones should suffice) and 8-32 nuts in packages for $2-5. Some packages have matched sets. (It's difficult to charge less than $1.50 due to the production costs of sealing a thing in a bag with a barcode. To make that seem like less of a ripoff, they give you many).
  • Your friendly neighborhood family-owned hardware store, that has been there for 100 years that you will never shop at because of some nonsense about prices, has a whole wall full of slide-out drawers full of every size of hardware. They will cheerfully sell you short 8-32 bolts and nuts for a nickel each. Choose a head style you like, you won't find a better selection this side of McMaster-Carr. The price of each thing is marked on the lid. They provide little bags, you are on the honor system to write down the price of each item and the quantity.

If you already have 8-32 machine screws, sorry bolts, and just want nuts for them, take one into the store and test fit nuts from the bins onto your bolt. People do this all the time, no one will accuse you of shoplifting. Just make sure you count the nut that you left on the bolt! When test-fitting never force it - it should roll free if the bolt is undamaged.

I am replacing a single 220V receptacle with two 20A 120V GFCI receptacles (USA). The white neutral wire was capped off in the receptacle box; I've made sure that it's attached to the neutral bar in the subpanel. I'm going to connect that white wire to two white wires, one for each outlet, using WAGO-221 clips.

I gather you've already figured out that you need to pigtail the wires to the GFCIs before you install them in the domed cover. Pigtailing neutral is mandatory anyway due to this being a MWBC (Multi-Wire Branch Circuit aka shared neutral).

Fitting two GFCIs abreast in a 4" steel box is ambitious. I find it very difficult to do, myself - in particular side entrances of cable clamps or conduits will foul the GFCI side terminals and pin the wires in a way which would damage them. That's why I use 4-11/16" boxes and domed covers for 2-gang GFCI (or 2-gang with a GFCI in either position). So, coping techniques: #1 change to 4-11/16 box. #2 rotate domed cover 90 degrees if it'll keep you away from wire entries. #3 stack on a 4x4 "extension box" so you have a full 1.5" of clear space behind the domed cover, and another 1.5" of just wire space.

enter image description here

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  • These boxes are already in place and attached to metal conduit, so I can't really replace the boxes without a major overhaul, but I take your point on the challenges of fitting everything in.
    – mr blint
    Apr 5, 2023 at 10:46
  • There's a well-stocked neighborhood hardware store about 20 minutes away. I do shop there but the box store is only 5 minutes away and it's right next to the food market.
    – mr blint
    Apr 5, 2023 at 10:49
  • Thanks for the rotate-90 tip.
    – mr blint
    Apr 5, 2023 at 11:00
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See the weird little tabs obstructing the decora opening in this cover? They may as well have a sticker on them that says "Ya, wtf are these for except to break off and throw away?". Right?

enter image description here

Wrong!

It looks like your cover had them.

And like you broke them off.

And you know what they are?

They are the very nuts you seek. If you're anything like I was for most of my diy life, they are in the garbage. But next time:

Break them off and they fit nicely in the narrow space between the top of a GFCI and the inside rim of the cover. They are nuts. Even if you do all the things in Harper's answer that's still a tight fit for a round nut and a wrench to hold it. They are asymmetric so they don't spin and don't require holding.

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  • Sure as s**t ain’t gonna fit a duplex GFCI between those tabs.
    – nobody
    Apr 5, 2023 at 1:45
  • 2
    I think what you're saying is that the manufacturer does it this way because they're stamping out these things and any "inside" material would just be thrown away or recycled, so by doing this they give you nuts for free. If they had to include two extra separate nuts it would cost them more. Apr 5, 2023 at 1:52
  • I wasn't saying that but it's a good point and makes them even cooler.
    – jay613
    Apr 5, 2023 at 1:56
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact The expense would be in the fact they have to tap the weld nuts.
    – user71659
    Apr 5, 2023 at 6:25
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    Because most 5-15 & 5-20 receptacles are installed in a different type of box then most 30A and up. Apr 5, 2023 at 13:13

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