Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Outlet For Frustration

Another change I'm making is to take out the old gross baseboard heaters and put new ones in. While I'm at it, I'm going to change the electrical outlets. The PO had, for some reason, used exterior-type outlet boxes. I have no idea why they did this so I am guessing:

  1. They were cheap (a common theme in 'improvements' done around here).
  2. He had a thing for aluminum outlet boxes.
  3. He expected the roof to open up and gallons of rainwater to pour in.
Whatever the case, they are ugly and I'm taking them out and putting in new normal recessed outlet boxes, so the sunroom will look like a room.

If you know what I mean.

First I had to grab my trusty pry bar and rip off some bits of old molding that was still remaining. That was easy. Simple even.

But taking out the boxes themselves Yet Another Task That Looked Easy But Was Not. Take off the covers, take out the receptacle and unfasten the box, right?

Not so easy. Sigh.

Actually, taking the receptacles out was a piece of cake. I should add here, as a side note, if you yourself are attempting this, make sure you turn off the electric at the fuse/breaker box. Unless you like to get electrocuted, that is.

So with the receptacles removed and the wiring disconnected, I start looking around to see how the boxes are fastened. In my experience, these things just have some sort of fastener - screws or even nails in a couple boxes in this house - that run through the box and hold it to the wall or stud or whatever.

So...I am looking. I see no nothing holding this on. How can this be? I am scratching my head. I lay down on the floor to get a better look and I see how they are held on.

They are held on with fasteners that were put on from behind the board! Choo are KIDDING me! You can see the red circle where the fasteners come in from the back. There is another board mounted horizontally at the bottom of this panel; in order to get to the fasteners I'd have to undo the whole enchilada. Ain't no way dat gonna happen, I tell you whut!

Time to use the old noodle.

I see the solution, but will it work? Only one way to find out - press on!

I'm going to try drilling out the fasteners - going through the box and (hopefully) into the fastener. I've done this sort of thing before, and maybe this will work.

After trying a small drill bit (about 1/8"), I find that it's easy to go through the box, and sure enough, I can see the end of the screws that were used. I get a bigger bit (3/16") and voila! It works! What a relief. I was dreading the thought of having to take this whole panel arrangement off.

I do this for the rest of the screws, and I can yank the box off the panel like so. Bwahahahahaha.

Choo vill not stop ze progress, choo hear me?!

Really just goes to show if you have a little bit of know-how and ingenuity, not to mention the right tools, you can get it done.

Call me crazy, but I personally don't like to put stuff together this way - I always try to consider the poor sap who may have to some day take it apart. But I suppose it was done this way because it's the only way to attach this type of box. But why use this box in the first place?

Well, that's a moot point now. I have 15 more screws to drill out. After they're done, the boxes come off cleanly. You can see a bit of fastener that still remains, but I can hacksaw them off later when I go to sand and paint.

Just goes to show, sometimes the easy jobs take an unexpected turn.


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