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Thread: Outlet Boxes - Metal or Plastic?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!

    Outlet Boxes - Metal or Plastic?

    Won't we all be happy when Glenn finally finishes his sub panel and we can get back to talking wood?

    My plan involves a few different outlet box locations:

    Some will be in a wall, stucco exterior wall, wood studs, drywall interior to be added after electrical.

    Some will be in a wall, stucco exterior, wood studs, OSB interior to be added after electrical.

    Some will be in the "ceiling" mounted to wood joists, no exterior or interior wall.

    So, plastic boxes or metal boxes or a mix?
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  2. #2
    FWIW, I used plastic for the remodel of our bedrooms, but have exclusively used metal in the shop. Most of my outlets are on the ceiling, and as Steve so aptly stated metal is more durable.


    PS I used the plastic to placate the code official who couldn't seem to agree on an acceptable way to pigtail the ground on metal boxes - long story.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    I did my entire shop with metal boxes and conduit. Reason one: all my wiring is on the outside surface of the wall. The number two reason has proved to be a very close second - flexibility. You can run more than one circuit in the conduit sharing a ground. Also, I've had reason to add another circuit from time to time and was able to pull additional wires where needed.

    Given you'll be running romex inside the wall, the advice you've received so far is sound. Metal in the ceilings and exterior walls, plastic inside.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    if you use metal boxes you have the option of adding different thickness "mud-rings" in different configurations....well worth the small additional expense.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    WNY, Buffalo Area
    I would go with metal, all around. When I wired my shop thats what I used. The metal boxes give more flexibility in how they are used. -- Just my thoughts anyway.
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.

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