I have installed a back splash in my kitchen, if I use the plastic spacers how many should I use or is there a limit? I understand that this can cause to much air space around the receptacle or light switch.
If your problem is that the thickness of the back splash material has caused the electrical boxes to become recessed you may need to use electrical box extenders. These come in a number of styles depending on the type of electrical boxes you have. There are options for metal or plastic boxes for starters. Other factors would be amount of extension needed and whether you are dealing with a single width type box or a wider type.
Here is an example of a metal box extender that works in a telescopic manner to accommodate just the amount of extension that you require.
If you're in an area that follows National Electrical Code (NEC), the boxes cannot be set back more than 1/4" (6 mm). If the backsplash has caused the boxes to be set back more than this, you'll have to use extenders to bring the box out to the proper depth.
National Electrical Code 2011
ARTICLE 314 Outlet, Device, Pull, and Junction Boxes; Conduit Bodies; Fittings; and Handhole Enclosures
314.20 In Wall or Ceiling. In walls or ceilings with a surface of concrete, tile, gypsum, plaster, or other noncombustible material, boxes employing a flush-type cover or faceplate shall be installed so that the front edge of the box, plaster ring, extension ring, or listed extender will not be set back of the finished surface more than 6 mm (1⁄4 in.).
In walls and ceilings constructed of wood or other combustible surface material, boxes, plaster rings, extension rings, or listed extenders shall be flush with the finished surface or project therefrom.
If the box is less than 1/4" from the finished surface, you can use as many spacers as needed to mount the receptacle in such a way that the yoke is held rigidly at the finished surface.
You use as many spacers as needed to get the outlet/switch mounting tabs flush with the tile. You may not need them if the mounting tabs of the box extender suggested by Mr Karas are tall enough to hold extender and device (just need longer screws: 6-32, in either case )
Die cut wallplate insulation gaskets: they go over switch/outlet and under wallplate. They block airflow by sealing around box perimeter and fit tight around device.
The adhesive is good for 1 shot and then will need replacement.
You can google a product called the "Electrical Outlet Spacer" or find it on Amazon. I used these for the purpose of bringing my outlets and switches flush with the new tile surface after installing a new back splash in my kitchen. They worked great and were easy to size properly.
Use longer screws (#6 x 32 x 2"). If you get the right pack, it comes with the nuts. Run the screw through the receptacle and put the nut on the backside of the receptacle. Works like a charm!
I have not been able to find this solution to (shim...space...) keep an electrical outlet away from the wall,
So it can sit ABOVE new tile... ( ie: kitchen backsplash) The tabs on both sides of the outlet mounting screws can be bent back like “dog ears” therefore allowing the outlet the spacing needed for install after tile.