Remove the old box and enlarge the opening
1 of 2
Photo 1: Cut the old box loose
To remove the old box, pry it away from the stud slightly to
expose the nail shafts and cut them with a hacksaw. Then work
the wires through the box as you pull it free of the hole.
2 of 2
Photo 2: Install the new box
Enlarge the hole to accept a new double electrical box. Fit
the wires through the box as you work it into place. Then
tighten the lock wings and do the final wiring.
As a general rule, a standard 18-cu.-in.
box maxes out at three 14-2 cables.
(The box size in cubic inches is marked
on the inside of the box.) The easiest
way to accommodate the fourth cable is
to install a larger box. However, you
should check with your electrical
inspector for a permit and approval.
Stop at a home center and buy a double-gang “old work” box (also called a
“remodel box”). You can install a second
receptacle in the larger box and
cover it with a two-receptacle cover
plate. Or you can stick with a single
receptacle and use a two-piece “snap
together” cover plate (with one receptacle
and one blank).
Start by turning off the main breaker.
Then remove the existing receptacle
and use a tester to make sure none of
the wires in the box is “hot.” Use a
fine-tip marker and tape to label the
wires that go to each wire nut so you can keep them straight later.
Turn off the circuit breaker to the box before beginning any work.