How to Pop Out Electrical Box Holes

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Electrical boxes are made of metal and are installed in walls and ceilings to house electrical outlets, light fixtures and other electrical wiring. Since electrical wires must be threaded through the boxes, they come with semi-cut areas call knockouts. When installing the wiring for your latest electrical project, you choose which knockout is most convenient and remove the rest. Removing knockouts can be done with nothing more than a few hand tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Metal file
  • Look at the electrical box and locate the partially perforated areas, called knockouts. Hold the electrical outlet in place where you will install it and locate the knockout that is closest to where the wires are.

  • Insert the tip of a flat-head screwdriver into one of the perforations and bend the handle backward to bend the knockout away from the box. If the knockout does not bend easily, hit the top of the screwdriver handle with a hammer to bend it.

  • Grasp the bent section of the knockout with a pair of pliers and twist the handles of the pliers away from the electrical box with firm pressure to pop off the knock out.

  • Insert a metal file into the inside of the knockout hole and file away any sharp edges using a back-and-forth motion.

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