patio outlet box question

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gigi55
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patio outlet box question

Post by gigi55 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:56 pm

The blue electric box on my patio stucco wall is loose and having a hard time supporting the plug I use for my fan. Any suggestions to a repair? Thank you very much for any help you can give.


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A. Spruce
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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by A. Spruce » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:43 pm

Depends, is it a nail on box or a cut-in box?
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gigi55
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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by gigi55 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:06 am

I am unsure...it appears to me to be cut in...

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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by gigi55 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:12 am

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A. Spruce
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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:26 am

Yes, that is a cut in box. Dig the plaster out of the corner screw holes, loosen screws, adjust box, tighten screws. If the ears on the hold-down screws are damaged you'll need to replace the box.
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Aaron
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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by Aaron » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:04 am

Besides tightening those corner screws on the box, I also recommend using a very narrow chisel or straight-blade screwdriver, and chip away some stucco around the box. Give the box about a 1/4" margin around it. Then, using a caulk gun, pipe in some high quality construction adhesive to fill in that margin. (Or just buy a tube of construction adhesive with a tip.) Wait a day or so for the adhesive to cure and that box should be very sturdy.

Also that receptacle looks a bit weathered, and could use replacement (the ground pin sockets are chipped). Is it GFCI protected by a GFCI receptacle somewhere else, or perhaps a GFCI breaker in your breaker panel? If it is, you should replace this receptacle with a TR and WR (tamper resistant and weather resistant) 15A receptacle.

If it's not, it would be a good time to switch it out for a TR+WR 15A GFCI receptacle.

Regardless of the receptacle you replace it with, you should also install an in-use exterior cover.

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A. Spruce
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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:14 am

Aaron wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:04 am
Besides tightening those corner screws on the box,
Upon closer inspection of the pic, it looks like that box is stuffed inside another box, which means that the hold-down tangs are not well seated against the back side of the wall. The hole looks like one of the phone or cable accesses that they put in stucco.

Not sure I like the idea of gluing the box into the wall, but it would work if that is the only option.
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Aaron
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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by Aaron » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:36 am

A. Spruce wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:14 am
Upon closer inspection of the pic, it looks like that box is stuffed inside another box, which means that the hold-down tangs are not well seated against the back side of the wall. The hole looks like one of the phone or cable accesses that they put in stucco.
Yeah it could be an extension ring, which are a hair smaller in both dimensions, and designed to be slipped inside an existing receptacle box. Usually they are held in place by the device yoke and long screws that go through the extension ring into the original screw holes of the box. The extension ring settles into place with its own tabs flush against the finished surface.
A. Spruce wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:14 am
Not sure I like the idea of gluing the box into the wall, but it would work if that is the only option.
Actually construction adhesive is like a silver bullet for this situation. It securely fixes the extension ring in place, keying into the stucco for a very solid flush receptacle that is nice and sturdy. As a bonus the adhesive also seals out water and moisture too, like silicone would. And it can be painted if there's any reveal beyond the cover.

gigi55
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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by gigi55 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:22 am

Thanks for all the great advice....on the electric panel it is marked as a GFI..I know that when I accidently got some over spray near that area with pressure washing, it tripped the breaker...in addition it is covered with a metal plate with outlet covers...I just removed said plate for photo purposes...I thought about the panel adhesive myself but wanted to know for sure....thanks again...

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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by Aaron » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:12 am

Ok, so you have a GFCI breaker in your panel (it will have a little button on it to reset a ground fault trip). So all you need is a standard TR+WR receptacle. You should really also get an in-use cover, so that when you plug something in, the receptacle AND plug are sheltered from weather. Be sure to also label the receptacle "GFCI protected" so users know that when it stops working that a GFCI tripped. Although this has been code since 2011, since you're doing a repair you're technically not obligated to upgrade these items. But they are good safety measures.

It's possible the motor of the pressure washer caused the GFCI trip, not the water spray itself. GFCIs unfortunately behave finicky when motors are plugged in.

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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by gigi55 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:20 pm

Aaron...thank you very much...since I am a 55 year old grandma you will have to explain to me what a TR+WR recep is...and I should probably have an electrician do this for me...

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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by gigi55 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:58 pm

took the stucco off the screws and re-tightened....snug as a bug...thanks again for all your help....much appreciated....

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Aaron
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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by Aaron » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:02 pm

Excellent! Glad you got it fixed nice and easily.

TR means "tamper resistant" and the WR means "weather resistant". TR+WR means both.

The tamper resistance is safety mainly for curious small children or infants, so they can't stick things like paperclips into the socket holes. Only plugs can go in because there is a latch inside each hole that releases only if both sides are released at once (as when you plug in something). Those plastic "child proof" caps are now obsolete, unless of course, you don't have TR receptacles.

The weather resistance feature indicates that it made with corrosion-resistant metal components and the nylon plastic body of the device is UV resistant.

TR receptacles are required everywhere in homes now, and TR+WR are required outside. But this is for new home construction and additions.

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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by gigi55 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:06 pm

thanks for the information...sounds like if I kill the power on this recepticle I could replace the recep with the tr+wr myself

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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by emtnut » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:10 pm

For what it's worth ... My outdoor receptacle isn't TR, and the 'cover' broke about 10 yrs ago.

It's still fine :)
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Aaron
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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by Aaron » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:54 pm

gigi55 wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:06 pm
thanks for the information...sounds like if I kill the power on this recepticle I could replace the recep with the tr+wr myself
If you know how to use a screwdriver (which you've just disclosed), you certainly can!

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Aaron
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Re: patio outlet box question

Post by Aaron » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:56 pm

emtnut wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:10 pm
For what it's worth ... My outdoor receptacle isn't TR, and the 'cover' broke about 10 yrs ago.

It's still fine :)
That's just it. It really is no big deal. The code can really be overkill sometimes.

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