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  1. #1

    Default wainscoting/electrical question

    I am in the process of putting up wainscoting in my kitchen. I am using the Cape Cod beadboard wainscoting boards from Home Depot. They look like they are made of compressed paper and they are 1/4 inch thick. I sawed a hole in one of the boards for the electrical outlet and put the electrical receptacle through it and put the screws back in with the receptacle flush with the wainscoting board. I am concerned about a potential fire hazard with the receptacle having the 1/4inch exposure to the beadboard. As I was reading in my home improvement book from Home Depot, there is something mentioned in there about using an electrical extension ring over the outlet. But, I was not able to find one in Home Depot. Should I continue my search for the electrical ext. ring or just not worry about it and go ahead and put my electrical cover back on?
    Thank You.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,558

    Default Re: wainscoting/electrical question

    HD usually does carry them http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...=10053&style=B

    But with only a ", I would just wrap electric tape around the outlet to cover the screw terminals and not worry about it.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: wainscoting/electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by fixinmyhouse View Post
    I am in the process of putting up wainscoting in my kitchen. I am using the Cape Cod beadboard wainscoting boards from Home Depot. They look like they are made of compressed paper and they are 1/4 inch thick. I sawed a hole in one of the boards for the electrical outlet and put the electrical receptacle through it and put the screws back in with the receptacle flush with the wainscoting board. I am concerned about a potential fire hazard with the receptacle having the 1/4inch exposure to the beadboard. As I was reading in my home improvement book from Home Depot, there is something mentioned in there about using an electrical extension ring over the outlet. But, I was not able to find one in Home Depot. Should I continue my search for the electrical ext. ring or just not worry about it and go ahead and put my electrical cover back on?
    Thank You.

    Quote Originally Posted by jkirk View Post
    you should look for the extension just for the precaution most times its once your at 1/2" that their required by code if a remember correctly

    try another supplier, home depot is good for somtethings,and terrible for others when it comes to stocking items
    NO in NO case is 1/2" EVER ALLOWED, jkirk.

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    HD usually does carry them http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...=10053&style=B

    But with only a ", I would just wrap electric tape around the outlet to cover the screw terminals and not worry about it.
    Jack
    BAD ADVICE Jack.


    Fixmyhouse,

    You are right to be concerned. You need to correct this.

    The National Electrical Code is 1/8th inch gap maximum for dry areas between the combustible (paper, wood, etc.) wall finish and the sides/edge of the box but NO RECESS is allowed between the the box and its extensions is/are and the combustible wall surface.: supposed to be flush to the surface of the wall finish AT A MINIMUM or proud and contained from the combustible wall finish material, which cannot be allowed to function as an extension of the box..

    ONLY if the wall surface finish is mostly non-combustible (like drywall, plaster, concrete, tile, glass, masonry, metal) then its 1/8" gap maximum or 1/4" recess maximum but not both (total gap and difference between depth of box and its extensions and the wall surface combined cannot exceed 1/4") usually guide is to finish within 1/8th inch gap or recess whichever direction -- but again THAT QUARTER INCH IS ONLY ALLOWED FOR NON-COMBUSTIBLE WALL SURFACE FINISHES.

    you're supposed to be containing any arcing or sparking that could occur within the "box area" from igniting the wall surface material. damp and wet area sealing rules are more stringent so are penetrations in walls separating areas like garage from the house in it and other codes. Common sense in a kitchen would also want to contain to prevent grease (in the air from cooking), soot, moisture from entering and collecting in the gap between the paperboard wainscotting and the electrical box as it would swell with either and deteriorate or be more likely to ignite if grease, soot, etc. collection was exposed to an arc or spark and more likely to ground fault if moisture collected.

    you don't have to use a deeper plaster bevel which you would have to install before any of the wall surface materials, you can use a box extension ring or a listed box extender. electrical tape is NOT a listed box extender an not a substitute for one.
    options vary if you have plastic or metal box in the wall. you are not allowed to mount the receptacle, switch or whatever, on combustible wall finish material such as the wainscot board the original poster described with a recess or shortfall of the electrical box to the surface of the combustible wall surface material.

    One such box extender by carlton carried by both home depot and lowes is pictured here:
    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...=cr&lpage=none

    I've also seen one such as this at home depot but have to hunt for them in the open bulk area boxes usually by the electrical boxes and trim rings http://www.hardwareandtools.com/invt/6290100?ref=gbase

    you can also replace the plaster ring with a deeper one such as this: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...772&lpage=none or this http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...0-R&lpage=none

    an extender such as this: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...665&lpage=none



    or remove and replace the existing box with an OLD WORK box set at the correct flush or proud mount.
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 12-13-2008 at 05:53 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: wainscoting/electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue RidgeParkway View Post
    NO in NO case is 1/2" EVER ALLOWED, jkirk.



    BAD ADVICE Jack.


    Fixmyhouse,

    You are right to be concerned. You need to correct this.

    The National Electrical Code is 1/8th inch gap maximum for dry areas between the combustible (paper, wood, etc.) wall finish and the sides/edge of the box but NO RECESS is allowed between the the box and its extensions is/are and the combustible wall surface.: supposed to be flush to the surface of the wall finish AT A MINIMUM or proud and contained from the combustible wall finish material, which cannot be allowed to function as an extension of the box..

    ONLY if the wall surface finish is mostly non-combustible (like drywall, plaster, concrete, tile, glass, masonry, metal) then its 1/8" gap maximum or 1/4" recess maximum but not both (total gap and difference between depth of box and its extensions and the wall surface combined cannot exceed 1/4") usually guide is to finish within 1/8th inch gap or recess whichever direction -- but again THAT QUARTER INCH IS ONLY ALLOWED FOR NON-COMBUSTIBLE WALL SURFACE FINISHES.

    you're supposed to be containing any arcing or sparking that could occur within the "box area" from igniting the wall surface material. damp and wet area sealing rules are more stringent so are penetrations in walls separating areas like garage from the house in it and other codes. Common sense in a kitchen would also want to contain to prevent grease (in the air from cooking), soot, moisture from entering and collecting in the gap between the paperboard wainscotting and the electrical box as it would swell with either and deteriorate or be more likely to ignite if grease, soot, etc. collection was exposed to an arc or spark and more likely to ground fault if moisture collected.

    you don't have to use a deeper plaster bevel which you would have to install before any of the wall surface materials, you can use a box extension ring or a listed box extender. electrical tape is NOT a listed box extender an not a substitute for one.
    options vary if you have plastic or metal box in the wall. you are not allowed to mount the receptacle, switch or whatever, on combustible wall finish material such as the wainscot board the original poster described with a recess or shortfall of the electrical box to the surface of the combustible wall surface material.

    One such box extender by carlton carried by both home depot and lowes is pictured here:
    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...=cr&lpage=none

    I've also seen one such as this at home depot but have to hunt for them in the open bulk area boxes usually by the electrical boxes and trim rings http://www.hardwareandtools.com/invt/6290100?ref=gbase

    you can also replace the plaster ring with a deeper one such as this: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...772&lpage=none or this http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...0-R&lpage=none

    an extender such as this: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...665&lpage=none



    or remove and replace the existing box with an OLD WORK box set at the correct flush or proud mount.
    So,in 50 words or less, what are you saying ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: wainscoting/electrical question

    I, too have a question: I'm in the process of wainscoting my son's bedroom. I had the same question regarding the electrical outlet as the first poster. My outlets all have metal boxes in the wall. Someone suggested that we tape the outlet, wiring, and the wainscot cut out edges before securing the outlet to the wainscot. This doesn't seem responsible or safe. Can it avoid a fire hazard situation? What options are available if there's a metal box in the wall? If the wainscot is already installed, then what do you recommend to resolve the issue, which doesn't involve taking out huge sections of wainscot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,361

    Default Re: wainscoting/electrical question

    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
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: wainscoting/electrical question

    Thanks -- that's very helpful --

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