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Electric sockets question

Electric sockets question

Old Jul 11th 2004, 1:23 am
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Default Electric sockets question

I've been putting up tile in the kitchen this weekend and I've gotten to the point where I am cutting around the electric sockets. However, my plan is to go as close to the socket as possible and then lay the actual socket cover over the top of the tile, but use spacers(washers) behind the screws that hold the plugs and switches to bring them out level with the tiled wall. Still with me??..if so, is it a problem to slightly pull out the sockets and switches using the washers?. I'm only talking about 5mm. It all sounds rather simple, but seeing that I nearly electricuted myself last week, when the screw driver I was using to pull the old covers off with, slipped into the socket and melted the end of the screw driver! :scared: I thought I better ask around before I get rushed to the emergency room with first degree burns.
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Old Jul 11th 2004, 3:11 am
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Default Re: Electric sockets question

Originally posted by Pimpbot
I've been putting up tile in the kitchen this weekend and I've gotten to the point where I am cutting around the electric sockets. However, my plan is to go as close to the socket as possible and then lay the actual socket cover over the top of the tile, but use spacers(washers) behind the screws that hold the plugs and switches to bring them out level with the tiled wall. Still with me??..if so, is it a problem to slightly pull out the sockets and switches using the washers?. I'm only talking about 5mm. It all sounds rather simple, but seeing that I nearly electricuted myself last week, when the screw driver I was using to pull the old covers off with, slipped into the socket and melted the end of the screw driver! :scared: I thought I better ask around before I get rushed to the emergency room with first degree burns.

Pimpbot,

Hubby actually did this in our kitchen - but in the UK. Not electricuted himself I might add. I just read this message to him and the first thing he said to do was, isolate that socket and turn it off (my suggestion is to turn off all the electricity until your done - but hey what do I know! ) Other than that, since he hasn't done that kind of work here, he doesn't have any other suggestions. But good luck, and turn off that electricity! :scared:
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Old Jul 11th 2004, 4:05 am
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Default Re: Electric sockets question

Originally posted by Pimpbot
I've been putting up tile in the kitchen this weekend and I've gotten to the point where I am cutting around the electric sockets. However, my plan is to go as close to the socket as possible and then lay the actual socket cover over the top of the tile, but use spacers(washers) behind the screws that hold the plugs and switches to bring them out level with the tiled wall. Still with me??..if so, is it a problem to slightly pull out the sockets and switches using the washers?. I'm only talking about 5mm. It all sounds rather simple, but seeing that I nearly electricuted myself last week, when the screw driver I was using to pull the old covers off with, slipped into the socket and melted the end of the screw driver! :scared: I thought I better ask around before I get rushed to the emergency room with first degree burns.
You can get small plastic quick fix spaces (item 18989) from Lowes (the ones I bought were bright green) that go between your actual internal switch screw holes and the box in the wall. Use enough of them to bring the switch forward - you may need to get longer screws - I did.

An alternative would be a box extender like item 103391 at lowes.com.

Oh and turn of the damn electricity won't you before doing the work?

Cheers.
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Old Jul 11th 2004, 9:11 am
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I usually turn the whole system off, just in case another circuit goes through the same area, but always check with a radio or light to make sure you have pulled the right one. And make sure nobody can turn it on when you are working on it.

As a final check I always short the wires with a heavily insulated screwdriver.

And I try and work on the basis that they are still live.

Just in case.

Home Depot do a very nice book on US wiring systems or try the Library.
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Old Jul 11th 2004, 11:06 am
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Please make sure you turn off the power to the sockets and test with an appliance, then loosen the screws until you can pull the socket far enough away from the wall to allow you to slide tiles underneath thus hidding the cuts, when the tiles are firm them screw back the socket no need for spacers etc.
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Old Jul 11th 2004, 5:03 pm
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Thanks for the hints and tips.
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Old Jul 12th 2004, 9:18 pm
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Originally posted by Pimpbot
Thanks for the hints and tips.
You can get a little yellow socket tester gizmo which not only shows you if the socket is wired properly but also has a button on it for tripping the breaker.

At least this way you get the right breaker.
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