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Can't get a plug socket back box out, metal pin?

Please the the image attached. I'm making a right mess trying to get this back box out and replace it with a double. Is that black 'blob' at the back some sort of metal pin that's holding it in? If so, how do I get it out? Thank you.

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1 Answer

  • 3 months ago

    The "black blob" is the head of a nail which is holding the electrical box in place. It's a fairly standard way of attaching the box, most likely nailed into a stud. It's a long nail and you aren't going to get it out by prying on the box.  You have to go directly at the nail. 

    There are a couple of approaches, depending on what tools you have on hand. (They do make nail pullers specifically for this purpose) One way is to use a chisel or old flat head screwdriver (that you don't mind ruining) and hammer around the edges of the nail head. The idea is to work it up enough that you can slip a cat's paw nail puller behind it and pry it out.

    Alternately, you can drill a series of holes in the box as close together as possible, in a ring around the nail. Then use your chisel or screwdriver to sever the rest of the metal between the holes.  Now you can lift the box out, leaving the nail in place. Once the box is out of the way, you can just hammer the nail flush with the stud so that it won't interfere with the new box (if that's what you're trying to do.

    Needless to say, you want to make sure there is no power in those wires while you're doing all this work.

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