Recessing elecric socket - please help!


R

Rebecca

Hi,

Due to a forthcoming baby arrival, whilst decorarting the
nursery-to-be we need to recess the existing sockets into the wall (to
save headbumps at the later crawling stage!) and I have been told by a
helpful handyman that this is something we can do, as opposed to
having to get an expensive electrician in. (He could do it but is
trying to save us money).

Not knowing much (understatement!) about this, can you please give me
your opinion as to whether this is correct and something Joe Bloggs
can do?

As I understand it, all we have to do is turn off the electicity
supply, and chisel out a hole in the wall for the box to fit into,
slot it in and hey presto. Is it really as easy as that?

Mind you, our walls appear to be made of 1930s steel lined bricks so
chiselling out a hole (or three) may be quite a task.

Can anyone give me any tips as to how to make this go smoothly and any
tools which may be helpful?

Your help would be much appreciated!
Thanks
Rebecca
 
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M

MrCheerful

Rebecca said:
Hi,

Due to a forthcoming baby arrival, whilst decorarting the
nursery-to-be we need to recess the existing sockets into the wall (to
save headbumps at the later crawling stage!) and I have been told by a
helpful handyman that this is something we can do, as opposed to
having to get an expensive electrician in. (He could do it but is
trying to save us money).

Not knowing much (understatement!) about this, can you please give me
your opinion as to whether this is correct and something Joe Bloggs
can do?

As I understand it, all we have to do is turn off the electicity
supply, and chisel out a hole in the wall for the box to fit into,
slot it in and hey presto. Is it really as easy as that?

Mind you, our walls appear to be made of 1930s steel lined bricks so
chiselling out a hole (or three) may be quite a task.

Can anyone give me any tips as to how to make this go smoothly and any
tools which may be helpful?

Your help would be much appreciated!
Thanks
Rebecca
It sounds as though you have surface mounted sockets and wish them to
be refitted flush with the wall.

The usual way to do this is to buy a metal recessed switch housing (to
suit the socket you have if possible) mark the proposed position on
the wall, remove the old socket if it is in the way, check that there
are no buried pipes or cables in the area, drill a series of holes
around the edges of the marked hole to a suitable depth for the new
socket housing, use a chisel and hammer to join the holes up and
finish off the recess, fix the metal housing in the bottom of the
hole, plaster up round the edges and reattach the socket unit and wire
it in.

If you are good then the above will only take a few hours per socket
and parts will only be a couple of quid.

Tools needed good drill, preferably with depth gauge, sharp chisel and
hammer, few screwdrivers and odds like that.

Main problems are whether the old wiring is suitable condition and
position.

DIY stores sell a plastic jig that you screw to the wall first and
drill round all the edges, these are pretty useful. There are also
professional box sinking drills, but they are serious money.

MrCheerful
 
C

chris French

Rebecca said:
Hi,

Due to a forthcoming baby arrival, whilst decorarting the
nursery-to-be we need to recess the existing sockets into the wall (to
save headbumps at the later crawling stage!)

There are good reasons for doing this, but head bumping isn't something
to worry about - houses are full of endless things to bump heads on -
and they only really get good at it once they can walk and climb :)
and I have been told by a
helpful handyman that this is something we can do
It isn't a difficult job, others have outlined the job already, but
then if you've done nothing much in the way of DIY it maybe more than
you feel happy doing.

For cutting the holes for the back boxes (esp in hard brick - we've got
some of those) and SDS drill is extremely handy.

This drill much more effectively than standard hammer drills, and also
most have a chiselling action as well - I can cut a box hole out in our
old hard bricks in 5- 10 minutes, with a standard drill and using a
hammer and bolster etc. it could easily take 1/2 hours, and make a lot
more mess of the wall.

I wouldn't in general recommend them, but you kight want to consider one
of the el cheapo SDS drills if you don't want to spend much - there is
a current thread on this. If you are wondering about SDS, do a Google
Groups search on uk.d--i-y
 
B

BigWallop

Rebecca said:
Hi,

Due to a forthcoming baby arrival, whilst decorarting the
nursery-to-be we need to recess the existing sockets into the wall (to
save headbumps at the later crawling stage!) and I have been told by a
helpful handyman that this is something we can do, as opposed to
having to get an expensive electrician in. (He could do it but is
trying to save us money).

Not knowing much (understatement!) about this, can you please give me
your opinion as to whether this is correct and something Joe Bloggs
can do?

As I understand it, all we have to do is turn off the electicity
supply, and chisel out a hole in the wall for the box to fit into,
slot it in and hey presto. Is it really as easy as that?

Mind you, our walls appear to be made of 1930s steel lined bricks so
chiselling out a hole (or three) may be quite a task.

Can anyone give me any tips as to how to make this go smoothly and any
tools which may be helpful?

Your help would be much appreciated!
Thanks
Rebecca
You'll need some of these to fit the size of your existing socket fronts:

http://www.3kw.co.uk/flush.html

http://www.somtech.co.uk/cable_grommets.htm ( the open one's )

Then you'll need one each of these:

http://www.tool-up.co.uk/exec/toolup/ECLBB4RG.html

http://www.tool-up.co.uk/exec/toolup/ESTEB32LB.html

Then some each of these:

http://www.tool-up.co.uk/exec/toolup/KEE29002.html

http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Fixings_Index/Screws_1/index.html

And finally you'll need a lot of patience and time for marking out around
the new back boxes with a pencil and then using the bolster and hammer to
cut the hole into the wall to the depth you need.

If you make a diagram of the connections in the old boxes then make them the
same when you've sunk the new boxes.

A word of WARNING. Make sure you have enough of the existing cable to reach
the new positions of the sockets, and Make Sure You've Turned The Power
"OFF" to the circuit you're working on.
 
A

Andrew McKay

Tools needed good drill, preferably with depth gauge, sharp chisel and
hammer, few screwdrivers and odds like that.
A big issue could be that the electricity will be switched off when
you need to use it.

Andrew

Do you need a handyman service? Check out our
web site at http://www.handymac.co.uk
 
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B

BillR

Rebecca said:
Hi,

Due to a forthcoming baby arrival, whilst decorarting the
nursery-to-be we need to recess the existing sockets into the wall (to
save headbumps at the later crawling stage!) and I have been told by a
helpful handyman that this is something we can do, as opposed to
having to get an expensive electrician in. (He could do it but is
trying to save us money).

Not knowing much (understatement!) about this, can you please give me
your opinion as to whether this is correct and something Joe Bloggs
can do?

As I understand it, all we have to do is turn off the electicity
supply, and chisel out a hole in the wall for the box to fit into,
slot it in and hey presto. Is it really as easy as that?

Mind you, our walls appear to be made of 1930s steel lined bricks so
chiselling out a hole (or three) may be quite a task.

Can anyone give me any tips as to how to make this go smoothly and any
tools which may be helpful?
I would respectfully suggest that while this is a straightforward but
tedious job for an experienced DIYer, if you have no electrical knowledge
and have not cut holes in brickwork with masonery chisels before, then it is
probably not for you.
 
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