I just recently moved into a home and there is a 3 switch light switch at the end of the wall near where the fridge was. We have purchased a wider fridge and the switches would now be covered. I tried to move to a narrow 1.75" switch plate but it is still too close. I looked around and I'm not too sure on the steps to take, or if it is even possible, to install a light switch on a beam. Also to note, this is a load bearing beam.

Old fridge

Here is a pic of the switch with the older fridge. The newer one goes basically to the end. Is it possible to mount a 1.75" switch place on the end of the wall? Basically to the edge of the red or even on the white where it is all beam?

  • Motion sensors could be an option depending on your room setup. There are some decent ceiling mounted wireless sensors available that would allow you to leave the switch in place. – mjohns Jul 25 '15 at 12:40

I would avoid any interference with a load-bearing beam (which you do well to point out). Drilling holes -or space for a receptacle- will surely make it more fragile.

Instead of that, the option of switching the switches from one side of the wall to the opposite side may be attractive. Basically, you would need to disconnect and take out the switches from their current position, cut an appropriate hole in the other side of the wall and install them back in on that side. The hole on the fridge side of the wall can then be plastered and painted over (I would recommend it) or covered with a covering plate, unless you are happy with just having the fridge cover it.

In this way, you are not fiddling with the wires from the fuse box to the receptacle, they can stay put in their current position within the wall.

Two quick recommendations if you so do:

  • Remember to cut the electricity at the fuse box before working.
  • Once the receptacles are out in one side, you can find the appropriate position on the other side by drilling one small hole straight through the wall in each of the four corners. That way, you automatically get the size more or less correct.

Hope this helps.


Option 1

A less expensive option if you don't mind having a plate behind the refrigerator is to put a 3 gang blank plate over the existing 3 gang switch box. Then feed out of it with the necessary wires to the other side.

The electrical is pretty basic as all you would be doing is extending the switch loops/legs to the new 3 gang box. You do not necessary need a hot or a neutral but current NEC code requires a neutral therefore you would need a neutral just to cap off later, and of course the grounds.

That being said, you would need 6 switch loops for your 3 switches plus one neutral for each branch circuit. If they are all on the same branch circuit then just one neutral.

To make life easier, run a 14/3 (3 wire) for each switch (it might need to be 12/3 depending on what the current wire size is). Use the Black/Red as the switch loops and cap off the neutral(s).

Option 2

Another option is to use Lutron Pico wireless devices. The wireless pico switches can go just about anywhere as there are no wires.

This option is technically more involved as you will need to match the dimmer to the load type, i.e., incandescent, LED/CFL, low voltage magnetic, or low voltage electronic. This could end up being more involved than option 1 if you are not familiar with the products. You could hire an electrician do this but the price would probably be too high for most people.

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