DIY Doctor

Removing Pattress Box

Postby nrg1977 » Sun May 24, 2009 7:13 pm


I'm trying to replace the light switch in my livingroom with a dimmer switch but the existing pattress box is too shallow for my dimmer switch face plate.

I've dug out round the existing pattress box but it seems have some sort of connection to the pipe which feeds the wires to it. It seems to have nuts joining the pattress box to the pipe and its practically impossible to undo these nuts to get the pattress box out.

How can I get this pattress box out without stripping the wall of all plaster?!
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Postby kbrownie » Mon May 25, 2009 5:05 pm

There should be small thin nuts inside the box which will allow you to remove the box if there is movement allowed, the box sounds like it's part of a conduit containment system, not normally plastered over but there we go. Might be worth using a little WD40 to ease them as they could be a bit stiff.
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Postby bd3cc » Mon May 25, 2009 9:06 pm

Sounds like a metal conduit system. A flat headed screwdriver tapped into the nut in the correct direction may undo it, as they were often tightened that way.
Not certain that there won't be plaster damage, depends on the plaster. Then chase out for min 25mm box, and refit, but be careful as your conduit/boxes maybe part of your earthing system, depending on age, particularly if you are using metal fittings.
Alternative, if you are using plastic, you may be able to get a dimmer sw.which has an optional spacer.
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Postby moggy1968 » Thu May 28, 2009 12:00 am

you'll struggle to get this out without dmaging the plaseter as you will have to lift the box over the conduit. try not to dmage the nuts as last time I did one of these I discovered the new size of nuts just don't quite fit!
also bear in mind this conduit maybe supplying your earth, if it isn't it still needs to be earthed.
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Postby nrg1977 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:10 pm

Thanks everyone. I really tried but there was no way to get this Pattress box out without totally ripping into the plaster.

In the end I went to Homebase and discovered they have face plates with the dial on that have like a kind of extender which brings the face plate out a bit further, but still easier than getting the whole pattress box out.

Thanks again
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