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Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

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  • Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

    My house plan calls for installing the electrical outlets horizontally in the 7 1/4" baseboard. Looks like it would be a nice effect.
    How would you accompish this from both the gang box perspective (to meet code) and from the trim installation perspective.

    Thanks,
    David

  • #2
    Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

    I would use old work boxes and install the boxes in the baseboards rather than in the stud wall.

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    • #3
      Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

      Ditto on the metal workboxes. Make a jig for the installation hole so that you can drill holes for the metal studs and bumps on the box. Cut out the main box shape with a jigsaw. Then either chisel the tab mortise or router it.

      Make sure the workbox hole has enough height to clear the sole plate framing and does not line up on a stud. I was on one job where my co-worker mistakenly centered the box hole on the wires sticking out from under the drywall not realizing that the wires were stapled to the edge of a stud right underneath. Better electricians would have put the last staple on the romex at the center of a stud bay on a sole plate. He had 8 pieces of 7" poplar base cut out for about 15 boxes and none of them could be used. He cut out the drywall to test fit the box into the wall through the base.... and spent the rest of the day fixing his mess.

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      • #4
        metal boxes

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        • #5
          Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

          Jeff,
          Now that's the kind of LONG message I really enjoy seeing on this site. Thanks for taking the time to help a fellow carpenter--and you taught me a lot about something I knew nothing about. We don't see too many installations like that in S. CA.. When we have outlets in the base, the electricians mount boxes elevated on blocks above the sole plate and we cut out the base just like the sheet-rock guys cut out the drywall.
          Gary

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          • #6
            Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

            We do it like Gary does. The electrician sets the box at a given height. We cut the hole in the base the size of the box. The electrician sets the recepticle on the face of the base using a longer 8/32 screw to catch the box. That's it.

            Ed. Williams

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            • #7
              Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

              I just did one (No. California) where the electrician left several Romex tails sticking out of the walls where we had cabinets going on the walls (6" base running around the rooms and under the cabinet kicks) and we used his plastic boxes to use as templates for cutting his box holes. When he saw what he had done, he said that he should have left us the metal boxes as templates, but he would make his plastic boxes work somehow when he trimmed out. Jeff's suggestion of the "work boxes" is well taken, and I'll be sure to get one from the electrician next time around.

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              • #8
                Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

                Unfortunately that method would not pass inspections in several of the towns I work in. My local inspectors have a habit of carrying a GFCI circuit tester with them on the final inspection to test the outlets for correct wiring and also to pop the circuits in all the bathrooms and kitchens etc. They like to wiggle the tester in the outlet to see if it has a lot of play. Long screws with recessed boxes = loose outlets and a failed inspection. The last time this happened to me was on a home office remodel where the customer did not want to hear the children in the playroom next-door while he was working. We insulated the wall and installed double 5/8" drywall for extra sound reduction. I remember telling the electricians to mount all the boxes extra far off the stud edge to make up the difference and of course they did not heed my advice. Needless to say we failed that inspection and it took a long time to get the CO and final payment. Loose receptacles move when you insert plugs causing the live wires to come in contact with the box or wall edge.... or so they say blah blah...

                This is in a very affluent part of lower Fairfield County Connecticut where the Building Department has a HUGE budget and the inspectors are highly trained and ruthless.

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                • #9

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                  • #10
                    Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

                    For base board box installation I'd have the electrician hold the box out as far as possible, then use box extentions--find out what your inspectors accept--and longer screws. If you cut the hole tight, the receptical won't jiggle. In my municipality the Inspectors want to so the make up in the boxes and won't accept buried wire. They'll let you poke the wire out for under cab. flourecents; anything else has to have a box before drywall. Acually they did pass one undercab installation that we used to solve the problem of plugs breaking up the line of the kitchen full ht. back slash. We used a plug strip installed under cab. between the back slash and the undercab.flourecent. It worked but make sure you hold the strip off the wall enough to allow for transformer plugs--they can get pretty fat. It made the client happy but imagine all those appliance cords dangling down and breaking up her kitchen tile detail!
                    Fred

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                    • #11
                      Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

                      Jeff:

                      I've fought the kitchen backsplash issue for years. What I do now is to always have the sheetrocker come back for minor repairs and adjustments after the house is primed and the cabinets are set, and I line up the outlets adjusting them for the tile layout. Holes in the sheetrock are not a problem since everything is being covered up by the mud bed and tile.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

                        In most of Dallas, romex is allowed. In the Highland Park (rich folks) area, everything has to be in pipe. For a tile or marble backslpash, undercounter lights, microwave, etc., the electrician usually leaves a BX whip sticking out of the wall as close to where it should go as possible. Cut out a little rock and move it where you want to...no big deal. Sometimes, if the move is small enough, we don't even patch the rock. Just tape over it and go.

                        Ed.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

                          We use, when we can, what we call remodeler boxes. This is a plastic box with long adjustable tabs. The wires are put in approximate location needed. Then at layout we "fish" them out, cut the hole, and install this retrofit box. The tabs lock on to sheetrock, wood, etc. up to about 1" thickness. Or we screw it to a stud through the side of the box when possible. In our area this is the method of choice for kitchen backsplash layouts. I've haven't heard the phrase "madison"clip but I'm sure it's the same item.
                          I agree with your customer that layout is very important.They care very litle about function when form is what they are buying, especially in kitchens. All your screws are installed slot vertical correct ?.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

                            Last project eletricians set all boxes with a lazor and were very accurate .the depth problem kept them hopping to keep up with us as the wall surface material thickness would turn out differt then expected .in several places the metal boxes were abandoned for the remodelers box,very handy.we also cut our base to the box just like the drywallers. location ,napa valley calif.take all the time you like but it better be right.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Electrical Outlets in Baseboard

                              Ha, ha Mike, I've never known anyone else to turn all screw slots to match and I don't most times but I think of it when it's highly visible! (you think vertical is better than horizontal?)

                              I also use the remodel boxes with the turn-out tab that operates with the screw on the front of the box. Lowes sells them. I've seen other kinds of remodel box systems most of which would work in this siutation.

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