Unscrew the outlet
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.
Photo 1: Remove the screws
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.
Photo 2: Shim and retighten
Screw the outlet to the box and reinstall the cover plate. Turn the power back on.
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 home centers.
Turn power off before doing this repair.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Voltage tester
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- Outlet shims