SliderBox: Why Replace Outlet Boxes When You Can Slide Your Way to Code Compliance?

August 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Electrical 

sliderboxesWell, well, well. If my inner DIYer hasn’t found another product to love. These days, I’ve been dreaming of putting a tile backsplash in my kitchen. Most of my focus has been on things like mud, grout, trowels, tile cutters, and the actual tile itself, but I had a small epiphany (a “light bulb” moment, if you will) the other day, as I was watching Holmes on Homes while sweating it out on the treadmill.

Good, responsible and detail-oriented Mike Holmes was rescuing another family in distress from the shoddy work of a disreputable contractor. He was primarily there to right a prematurely disintegrating tile floor, but decided to throw in a bonus new backsplash for the long-suffering homeowners. There I am, doing my “hamster-in-a-wheel” workout, and watching Holmes do some proper tile work. At one point, he and his tile guy notch a tile to fit around an outlet box, and it hit me that installing a backsplash changes the thickness of your wall, and can make things a little tricky as far as outlet boxes are concerned.

If you tack (or nail, or glue) any type of decorative finish onto drywall in a way that causes your outlets to become recessed, in many (or all) cases, you’re not meeting electrical code. I love pretty tile, but not at the expense of receptacles that aren’t quite safe.

Anyway, to make a long story short, the SliderBox™ came across my desk just 2 days later. It looks like any boring old electrical box, but it’s actually able to adjust to different depths without any hassle. Want to add tile to your wall? Just slide it out to make it deeper. What about if you remove a decorative overlay from your wall? Just slide again for a shallower box. All you need to do is loosen a couple of screws, which is a heck of a lot easier than replacing – or relocating – the junction box altogether.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a project waiting for me. Has anyone seen my tile nippers?

check this thing out

FiberglassBox: All the Toughness of Steel Outlet Boxes, None of the Grounding Issues

August 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Electrical 

fiberglassboxAhhh, steel. You’ve gotta love the stuff. It’s tough, rugged, versatile… and, unfortunately, electrically conductive. Sure, you may want it to conduct electricity sometimes, but other times it can just be a grounding hassle. Take, for example, the steel outlet box. If you’re going to put a receptacles and live wires into a steel electrical box, you sure as heck better ground it, or something really bad could happen to someone who’s not expecting it. No one should ever be shocked or electrocuted because they make contact with an ungrounded metal outlet box. Never.

But even with that in mind, a lot of electricians out there favor steel boxes, because, as I mentioned before, they’re super tough. The only downside is that to get that toughness on the Electrical Code’s good side, it does need to be properly grounded, and grounding takes extra time. And being that time is of the essence in the electrical industry as it is elsewhere in the business world, that’s gotten people thinking that there has to be a better solution. One that’s strong as steel, but takes less time. There is: it’s called FiberglassBox.™

Just as it’s name makes it out to be, Allied Moulded Products’ FiberglassBox is indeed a fiberglass box, the type meant to house electrical outlets and switches. It’s just as strong and rigid as everybody’s favorite steel receptacle boxes, but it has a few pluses: it’s light, it’s non-corrosive, and it’s completely non-conductive. That’s “non-conductive” as in it does not conduct electricity, and therefore needs no grounding. No grounding. ‘Nuff said.

check this thing out