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.
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.
1. Hold the plastic box in position against the wall and, using a small spirit level, ensure that it is perfectly level.
2. Mark the wall through two of the fixing holes in its base.
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
4. Insert the wall plugs and tap them home with a hammer
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.
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.
9. Measure each section of mini trunking required and cut to length.
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.
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.
15. Feed the cable in through the entry point in the socket box.
16. Snap the mini trunking covers in place to hide and protect the cable.