How to Install an Electrical Box With a Mud Ring

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Install electrical boxes before the walls are covered whenever possible.
Install electrical boxes before the walls are covered whenever possible. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Electrical boxes are required for outlets and for junction boxes. An outlet is any device that makes electrical power accessible to the user. Light fixtures and receptacles are two kinds of electrical outlets. Junction boxes enclose wire connections without making the power available to the user. A mud ring on a electrical box is a cover with an opening for a switch or outlet and the edges protrude through the drywall or plaster to the outer surface of the wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • 1 1/2 inch roofing nails
  • Screwdriver
  • Round head wood screws
  • Stud finder
  • Jab saw

New Work with Exposed Studs

Measure from the floor to the height at which you wish to install the box and mark it on the stud. The height should match other switch boxes or outlet boxes in the home. Measure from the floor to the bottom of other wiring boxes to find their height and use that height for the new box.

Hold the wiring box on the stud at the mark with the front edges of the box flush with the front of the stud. Nail the box to the stud using one nail each through the top and bottom brackets to hold the box in place.

Remove the two screws supplied with the box with a screwdriver. Position the mud ring over the box screw holes and screw the mud ring to the wiring box.

Old Work with Enclosed Walls

Place the stud finder against the wall and hold the button down as you slide it left and right to find the stud. The light will illuminate and or the buzzer will beep when it finds a stud. Mark the location on the wall with a pencil.

Push the jab saw into the drywall near the mark and fully penetrate the drywall. Cut a small hole in drywall with the jab saw to locate the edge of the stud.

Hold the wiring box against the wall at the mark with the edge of the wiring box along side the stud. Use the box as a template to trace the outline of the box. Cut an opening for the box using the jab saw.

Hold the wiring box in the opening against the stud with the front edge of the box flush with the inside of the drywall. A helper is usually required for this step. Screw the wiring box to the stud using two 1-inch long round-head screws through the holes in the side of the box.

Remove the screws supplied with the wiring box. Hold the mud ring in place and fasten it to the wiring box using the supplied screws.

Tips & Warnings

  • Buy the correct mud ring. Depths ranging from 1/4 to 5/8 inches are commonly available for different thicknesses of drywall.
  • Don't make the hole any bigger than necessary or you may have to make repairs to cover a portion of the hole.
  • Be sure to check local codes for wiring box requirements before you start.

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References

  • "Basic Wiring"; Time Life Books; 1994
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