The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


Socket Outlets - Fitting Surface Mounted Box

When fitting a socket outlet or power point, a backing box or pattress is fixed in place to house the socket and the wiring connections behind. Back boxes for surface mounted socket outlets and those mounted flush in plasterboard are generally made of plastic. Pattresses for flush mounted socket outlets in solid walls are generally made of metal.

Tools and materials for fixing surface mounted socket box

In this guide we show you how to fix a plastic surface mounted back box and insert the cable ready for connecting up the socket outlet

Surface Mounted Socket Outlet

Mounting the box for a surface mounted socket outlet is reasonably straightforward.

Surface box held level in position

1. Hold the plastic box in position against the wall and, using a small spirit level, ensure that it is perfectly level.

Marking the socket box fixing points

2. Mark the wall through two of the fixing holes in its base.

Drilling the socket box fixing points

3. Double check that there are no services buried in the wall at this point then, using a masonry drill bit, drill a suitably sized hole for the wall plugs

Plugging the fixing holes

4. Insert the wall plugs and tap them home with a hammer

Cutting out cable entry point in socket box

5. Determine which side of the box the cable will be coming in through and cut out the corresponding cable entry slot. Make sure this is left smooth so that it doesn’t cut into the cable. Use a small file to smooth it if needs be.

Screwing the socket box to the wall

6. Position the box against the wall so that the fixing points align with the wall plugs fitted earlier. Insert the screws and fasten them with a cordless driver on a moderate torque setting.

7. Before running the cable to the socket, consider how and where this will be fixed.

8. Wherever this is exposed it should be protected. The simplest and easiest way to protect the exposed cable is with mini trunking.

Measuring and marking mini trunking

9. Measure each section of mini trunking required and cut to length.

Cutting mini trunking with hacksaw

10. Mini trunking can be cut easily with a small hacksaw.

11. Remove the cover of the trunking and place to one side for use later. These covers simply pull off and snap back on.

Fixing mini trunking to wall

12. Most mini trunking has a self adhesive strip on the back allowing it to simply be stuck in position. However, plugging and screwing it to the wall will make it far more secure.

13. Where the trunking needs to change direction, simply use right angled corner connectors.

14. With the trunking securely fixed in position right up to the socket outlet cable entry point, the cable can now be laid inside it.

Running the cable inside mini trunking

15. Feed the cable in through the entry point in the socket box.

Replacing the mini trunking cover

16. Snap the mini trunking covers in place to hide and protect the cable.

Electics Safety warning

box alertThis material is for information purposes only. Strict rules govern what electrical work can be done without notification and inspection.
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