Electrical switches and outlets that move around because the box is too recessed can be a safety problem. Outlet shims offer a quick and inexpensive solution.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:May 2009
Outlet shims solve the problem created when electrical boxes are recessed too deeply; use them as needed for new installations and for repairs to old, wobbly outlets.
Turn off the power and check with a
voltage tester to make sure there's no
power to the outlet. Unscrew the outlet
and add enough shims to bring the outlet
flush to the wall.
Screw the outlet to the box and reinstall
the cover plate. Turn the power
The constant movement of loose electrical
outlets can loosen the wires connected
to the outlet and create dangerous
arcing. Luckily, the fix is simple. If
the outlet is recessed less than 1/4 in. in
noncombustible material, you can fur it
out with outlet shims as shown. If it's
recessed more than 1/4 in., use a plastic
extension ring. You'll find both in
the electrical department at
Turn power off before doing this repair.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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