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Jennifer
Floor outlet fix?

I recently pulled up old carpet to find well preserved old hardwood underneath. It has now been sanded and refinished and I have encountered a challenge - there are 2 floor outlets in the living room that the previous owners had just covered with regular plastic wall plates (they're both rectangular metal junction boxes). Now that the carpet is gone, I thought that I could use a floor outlet kit and replace all the inner parts and use the new sturdy metal outlet cover since the junction box is well secured under the floor, but it turns out, it is not recessed enough for the new plate to sit flush on the hardwood floor. It's only about 1/8" at most but is definitely noticeable and keeps the plate from being totally secured. I've looked for other floor outlet options but I can't figure out a way to truly fix it that doesn't involve tearing up the floor around the box, and I really don't want to do that unless there's just no other option.

Has anyone else encountered this? Any suggestions for fixing it correctly that don't involve demo of my lovely new floors? I'd really appreciate any ideas/suggestions - thanks!  

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: Floor outlet fix?

Jennifer

There is no need for an outlet kit, what ever that is. I have never used that, and I have floor outlets in our entire home. We have a Victorian house, and they have always been in the floor. I have re-wired the entire house for above NEC code requirements. I always use metal boxes and  commercial grade, water resistant devices. I used solid brass plates for each. If I wanted the plate to sit flush with the floor, I would use a router to route out a small rabbet round the parameter of the outlet cover. However, that would not stop any spilled liquid from dripping into the box. I let mine stand proud, but even with the floor at the back of the plate. Using water resistant devices, and a good basket along with a solid brass plate, there is nothing else that is needed to be able to walk on the outlets. But since they are close to the wall, they do not get in the way of foot traffic.

If I have missed what you are describing, please attach some pictures of your outlets

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

Jennifer
Re: Floor outlet fix?

Thanks for the info! I definitely don't mind that the outlets are slightly above the level of the floor, I just need the covers to touch the floor around the outer edge so they can be secured appropriately. These outlets are out in the room vs near the wall, but still will likely have a couch or table over them so it's not a huge problem for foot traffic. I found some wooden covers that will match the floor so the router is a good idea and I might be able to make that work if I can find a thicker plate so it at least touches the floor around the edges. It's just that the fixed boxes are right at the level of the hardwood. Thanks again for the help - I'm going to keep working on it.

Attachment: 
HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: Floor outlet fix?

Jennifer,

That is nothing more than removing the electrial box, replace it with new, slighly deeper and wider one. That is an old box, I can tell by the size and style. Then mount the box, just slightly below the surface of the top of the floor. Something like 1/8" low. I put a double gang in the middle of the living room floor so that we would have 4 outlets for the Christmas tree. Still using the solid brass cover. I also used the toddler safety inserts. Not that we have children, but it keeps the dust out of the outlet gates. There is no need to use a router to lower the cover plate, unless you want. And if so, it would be easier to install recessed Electrical outlet.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

 

 

Jennifer
Re: Floor outlet fix?

Yes, that's exactly what my original plan was (remove old box and replace with a newer recessed one like you described) but the current box is nailed in (really well, I might add) so was having a hard time figuring out how to remove it without making a mess. It seemed like too much trouble at the time, but now that my other attempts to make these outlets useful and safe have been unsuccessful, I think it's the better/easier option to make sure it's done correctly.

Thank you again for the help--I really appreciate it!

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: Floor outlet fix?

Jennifer,

There is no easy way to remove an old box that is nailed on. I have had to beat them off with a hammer and cold chisel, saw them off using a sawz-all, just anything to remove it. And then cut the old nails off flush with the board it is mounted to. If this is over a basement, or open area below, it is pretty simple to beat it off and let it fall to the floor below. This is a nice time to install a double-gang box, or even a quad. I installed a four-gang box under the tv. Seems there is usually more than 4 outlets needed for that area. Now I have 8 outlets under the tv, on their own dedicated circuit.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

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