When it comes to new-construction electrical work, in most cases it’s a given that electrical boxes for outlets and switches are automatically going to be located wherever there’s a stud on which to attach them. It’s common sense, really, but that plan can really be put to the test in situations where you (or a customer) may want carte blanche over electrical box placement, regardless of where the studs are (or, more importantly, aren’t).
Sure, there are those retrofit outlet boxes that are able to grab onto drywall, but what happens when you have a multi-gang setup that absolutely needs the structural support that studs offer? You can always custom-rig something on-site, but that can be both time consuming and logistically tricky, considering that you’d have to build a bracket from scratch in an environment where a lot of different people are trying to get a lot of different things done at once. It’s possible, but not ideal.
What would be ideal is something that would let you custom-configure electrical boxes off-site, show up to work the next day with your ready-to-mount fixture, zip it in place between a couple of studs with your power drill, and then dust off your hands and spend all the time you just saved on bigger things. Sound like you need an Erico Caddy Telescoping Electrical Box Support.
Designed to expand or retract to fit inter-stud spaces between 10 and 24 inches wide, Erico’s telescoping box support lets you create a “custom” bracket for up to 10 side-by side electrical boxes in very little time, and at minimal cost. You can use it for complete on-site installations, or as I mentioned above, you can pre-load your boxes offsite and/or ahead of time, and then quickly fit and fasten it into place on-site when you’re ready. Nothing like adding a little convenience and flexibility to your project!
The telescoping box brackets can be used for both new and retrofit jobs, and in addition to accommodating electrical boxes, they’re also great for mud rings, so you can use them in both high and low voltage applications.
Lately I’ve been loosely involved in the purchase and repair of ceiling tiles, and it surprised me how lightweight and flexible the things are. I guess the whole lightweight thing makes sense, considering how they have to be suspended above a room and all (anything weighing in at more than a few ounces would probably be dangerous in the event that one fell), but I wasn’t expecting them to have so much give.
That said, drop-ceiling products like the Erico-Caddy Fixture Stabilizing Clip are beginning to sound like a pretty smart idea. While drop ceilings aren’t too common in the average home (unless, of course, you want to snazz it up with funky patterned ceiling tiles), they’re pretty much all the rage in commercial properties. From offices to retail stores, this style of ceiling just seems to work, because it allows for easy access to ductwork and cable runs, and is easy to repair in the event of water damage.
There’s just one catch: commercial environments tend to have things like exit signs hanging from the ceiling, which means extra gravitational pull on those sag-prone ceiling tiles. It doesn’t take much for a bulge to form, but no one wants a deformed ceiling. What to do? Well, remember how I said those Fixture Stabilizing Clips have started to sound pretty smart to me? Here’s why. They actual help to increase or relieve tension between above-ceiling sign mounts and ceiling tiles as needed, so instead of having a wobbly sign or bulging ceiling tiles, you get a nice, smooth ceiling and securely-mounted signage to boot. Best of both worlds.
Who knew that something so simple could be your #1 weapon in the Battle of the (Ceiling Tile) Bulge?
Basket-style cable trays are the standard pretty much anywhere you need to run cables overhead (like server rooms, manufacturing facilities, and warehouses), but once they’re full, they’re full. Because overfilling a cable tray can damage cables and cause pretty heavy signal attenuation, it’s vital not to exceed capacity. But obeying fill capacity rules can often mean upsizing to a larger cable tray system when you need to expand your network. A complete upgrade not only costs a lot of money, but can also be a major installation headache – when you’re already suspended an entire network of cable baskets from your ceiling or overhead beams, why would you want to go through that again?
Whether you’re about to network a facility from scratch or are facing the influx of more network cables than your current cable tray system can handle, think about opting for the ERICO Caddy J-Hook CAT Link System. This aerial cable support system not only costs significantly less than traditional cable trays, but can also be added onto at any time.
The CAT Link J-Hook System is, as you probably gathered from its name, made up of J-shaped hooks that route cables along the ceiling or support beams of your facility just like cable trays would. In the past, J-hooks weren’t completely in favor with some installers, because there was the concern that they allow the cables to sag between hooks, causing signal loss. But this system has a far superior design: the hooks reduce friction during cable pulls, and have wide bases with smooth, beveled edges that provide excellent support and help to maintain a safe bend radius for your cables.
As I mentioned before, it’s really easy to expand a network with these ERICO caddy J-Hooks, because instead of replacing, you just add on. The hooks (which are available in 1, 2, 3, and 4-inch sizes, by the way) are designed so that you can just attach new hook to existing ones wherever they’re needed, allowing you to tier you cable runs instead of just mixing everything up in one tray. And unlike most cable trays on the market, these J-Hooks require no grounding, screws, rivets, or specialized tools for installation.