I noticed one of my light switches doesn't have a normal box.

Is this some sort of new open / no-back box that I'm unfamiliar with? Or do I need to replace it with a normal box?

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2 Answers 2


That is a low-voltage "box", it even says so along the left side of it. It isn't really a box, it protects the drywall edges, keeps the hole rectangular, and provides screw holes for mounting outlets for phones, network, cable TV etc.

For a 120V light switch, yes you should change it to a proper electrical junction box.

You should probably also thoroughly scan your whole house for other improper electrical work, or have an electrician do that. Hopefully this is a one-off.

  • 1
    Consequences of not having a proper box means that if the switch fails and heat up, it can set the walls on fire from the inside, which you WILL NOT detect until significant portion of the house is already on fire, and it'll probably kill you.
    – Nelson
    Commented Feb 19 at 2:34
  • Given a well-intentioned question, and this one is clearly so, I think the answer is better without a house fire illustration.
    – jay613
    Commented Feb 19 at 13:19
  • but that's the exact reason why they're needed, to prevent fires...
    – Nelson
    Commented Feb 19 at 17:07

All junctions need to be enclosed by boxes, yes. https://www.electricallicenserenewal.com/Electrical-Continuing-Education-Courses/NEC-Content.php?sectionID=301.0

  • 1
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    – Community Bot
    Commented Feb 18 at 4:41

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