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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Electrical outlet and switches near pocket door

    I want to put electricals and switches on the wall where there is the pocket for the pocket door. Would I have enough room? What kind of clearance do I need?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Electrical outlet and switches near pocket door

    Probably not. A regular box is about 3" deep and a regular wall cavity is 3-1/2" wide, not enough space for an electrical box.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Boston
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    Default Re: Electrical outlet and switches near pocket door

    dj is right, but if you have a true double wall with the door in between, you can use use a shallow work box.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,194

    Default Re: Electrical outlet and switches near pocket door

    There must be a minimum of 1 1/4 inches from any wall face to the wiring inside the wall so even though a shallow box might work, you can't meet that spec with a pocket door in a nominal 2X4 wall.

    Phil

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    2,969

    Default Re: Electrical outlet and switches near pocket door

    The usual problem isn't the shallow box or switch, its running the wire that will prove tricky.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Pacific Northwet
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    1,643

    Default Re: Electrical outlet and switches near pocket door

    If you use conduit or MC (metal-clad) cable, you don't have to worry about code-required clearance.

    If there really isn't enough space for the electrical boxes, you could use Wiremold-type surface boxes, but that wouldn't look as good. You could also use surface-mount devices. Most that I've seen 0nline are sold for European countries (where they have a lot of old houses where it's impossible to install wires in the walls) and may not be UL listed for use in the United States.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,194

    Default Re: Electrical outlet and switches near pocket door

    Wiremold (surface wiring) would work- conduit won't. The reason is still space- by the time you have the end-connecter into a box hole, you're going to be tight against the door inside the pocket.

    Wiremold isn't bad, but it looks uuu-gly in a home. A recent job I did ended up having the planned pocket doors deleted because of impossible switch placement. Had the original design been followed it would have worked, but because the 'hand' of a tub was reversed putting plumbing in the way, the handing of the door had to be reversed too which left no space for a light switch in the bathroom. The homeowner's choice of electrician failed to catch the potential problem and since he wasn't my guy I wasn't thinking about the wiring after reviewing the original plan, same thing for the plumber.

    The lesson there is to plan well and stick with the plan or you might open a can of worms later on! With today's usual materials I think pocket doors should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. I've had to go back on at least half of them in time as rollers wore, tracks bent, half-studs got bent, or doors warped no matter how meticulous I was on the install (which I am with these). Very gently used they will do OK- add kids or tenants and you've got problems coming sooner or later. That's why I install the header trim between the side-stiles- done that way you don't have to take all the molding off to get to the door when you need to fix it!

    Phil

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