Saturday, January 23, 2010

Three Way Action

This is a photo of the newly installed 3 box gang at the foot of the main staircase. Conveniently, the depth from the finish plaster wall to the first layer of brick beneath was 2-1/2 inches, exactly the depth of the boxes. These are the 'old style' boxes with four knockout openings (two back and one each top and bottom) as opposed to the newer boxes with integrated clamps entering the top and bottom near the back.

This box gang was a breeze to install after fishing the three 3-wire cables down from the attic, along the floor joists in the basement, then up the exterior wall between the inside brick layer and the lath and plaster. Instead of using metal knockout clamps with screws, I used these newer plastic one-way spring loaded clamps, which permit the cable to be slid into the box, but not back out.

After the box was installed, I sprayed low expansion foam around it to lock it in place and seal the opening from drafts. I imagine to meet the electrical code I will have to drill and 'tapcon' the gang in place, but that is really unnecessary as the cured foam holds it in place as if it were fixed in concrete.

Another sweet thing is that the switchplate covers the entire opening, so I won't even have to fix the wall whatsoever! And the three 3-wire cables? I will have a chandelier hanging over the staircase, a ceiling light on the landing, as well as second floor hall lights controlled from both the top and bottom of the stairs (and the other end of the hall in the case of the hall lights).