DIY Doctor

Main navigation

Differences between Metal and Plastic Boxes

Postby xjs1200 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:56 pm

Hi Everyone, I have a question and it may sound stupid, but there should be a logical reason for that or even a regulation. Why metal boxes are used in brick walls and plastic ones in plasterboards. I mean is there any reason for not allowing plastic ones - like the dry lining boxes - in normal walls? Thanks!
Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:00 am


Simply Build It

Postby 333rocky333 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:56 pm

With domestic .As far as I know.
Metal boxes have been around in walls for years , wiring used to be earthed via metal pipes, so the metal box provided the earth and had a terminal in it to connect a earth link to your socket .

Lighting however was unearthed then so the surface boxes were not metal for safety and usually to save cost of chopping in.

Sockets then became surface on the skirting boards,
and just evolved into the present type which are dual purpose flush or surface with a matching box if wanted.

with new building designs using more twin and earth and plasterboard walls, makers cashed in by making the plaster fix boxes to fit faster, with no need for noggings etc.

You could just mark them and the dry liner would cut the hole for you .

As the earth was now contained in the wire it was logical and cheaper to make them from plastic.

Metal pipe also became replaced with more plastic so surface plastic boxes became the norm.
White to match the switches etc

The only real advantage now of the steel boxes in the walls are the one adjustable lug.

As you dont have to worry to much if the builder plasters it it in wonky

As yet I dont know any plastic box that you can adjust
And dry liner boxes wont fit in a wall well due to the design
Invent one for dragons den, you could be quids in

Not sure if i can say, The Iee are doing a peice on the history of the plug and socket going back years,if you can find it
Rank: Ganger
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 182
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:03 pm

Postby xjs1200 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:27 pm

Thank you 333Rocky333 for the info.

The preceding post from Kuzz has been deleted.
Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:00 am

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by

  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!

  • Related Topics