Installation of sockets and switches in a plasterboard partition

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A master who is engaged in the installation of household electrical networks must know all the intricacies of working with hollow walls and drywall partitions. We have tried to highlight as many details and technical nuances as possible, knowledge of which is necessary for high-quality and aesthetic installation of a clean electrician.

Installation of sockets and switches in a plasterboard partition

Choice of installation boxes

There are two main requirements for the installation of electrical fittings: aesthetic appearance and reliability of fastening mechanisms. When installing in a false wall, success in both parameters depends, first of all, on the choice of installation boxes (socket boxes).

Mainly the quality of these products is determined by the characteristics of the plastic from which they are made. The box should be compressed to half the original diameter without any hint of cracking or delamination. The molding of plastic is complete, without gaps, cutouts for holes should not be filled, except with the thinnest film.

Drywall sockets

The reliability of the mechanical fastening is determined by two parameters. The first is how well and soundly the legs are made. In the fully released position, they should completely hide behind the dimensions of the box, in the tightened position, they should protrude 2–3 mm beyond the front edge. Metal feet seem to be more reliable, but they are more likely to damage the thread and bend. Plastic feet are more reliable: they do not unbend with a large tightening force, in addition, the self-tapping screw has a less frequent thread pitch and therefore installation is faster.

The second criterion that determines the reliability of fastening mechanisms is the thickness and surface quality of the side inner walls. The squeeze legs of sockets and switches expand well in the box, where there are notches on the inner surface, even the smallest. In addition, the box should not deform strongly when expanded from the inside. The reason for this phenomenon may be too soft and thin plastic, the absence of any stiffening ribs.

At what stage to carry out the installation

Since the main requirement for the installation is the tight adjoining of the frames to the surface of the finish, the installation of electrical accessories is carried out in two stages. At the first, installation boxes are mounted, this should be done as soon as the planes of the false walls are sheathed with plasterboard. A small protruding side will hide in the putty layer, and the fittings can be pressed against the finish as tightly as possible.

Installation of sockets and switches in a plasterboard partition

When installing the installation boxes, it is recommended to unscrew the self-tapping screws for the metal frame and keep them in a separate place. The cable can be cut straight after insertion into the box. In any case, the inner cavity must be protected by plugging it with crumpled paper or plastic wrap..

The final installation is carried out after the completion of the finishing work. The edges of the trim and putty, protruding into the cavity of the box, must be carefully cut off, avoiding chipping off large fragments. On the cylindrical thickenings inside the box, you should determine the places for screwing in the self-tapping screws and pierce them with an awl.

Installation of sockets and switches in a plasterboard partition

An exception to the general installation procedure is sandwich and MDF panels, plastic lining. In this case, all work can be performed at the last stage, but the boxes must be selected for the sockets in a special way. It is important that the side of the box fits completely into the groove on the seamy side of the mechanism frame, otherwise a gap will form between the plastic panel and the wall.

Marking, drilling holes

When laying wires, their ends are brought to the place of installation of the fittings and left with a small margin, without passing through the casing. Usually the end is tied to the nearest profile or lintel.

Hole markings start with a common horizontal line, raised above the finished floor about 30–40 cm for sockets and 80–100 cm for switches. In general, switches are mounted at the same height as door handles. The markup is carried out only in the place where the frame profile will not be guaranteed.

Drilling drywall under the blind

On the horizontal line, mark the centers of the holes into which the pilot drill of the crown will be installed. This can be done with a tape measure, knowing the center-to-center distance between the specific type of outlets. For example, for Schneider and Viko sockets and switches, this is the standard 71 mm, for other manufacturers the values ​​may differ slightly. To be sure, you can use the general installation frame as a template..

The first hole must be drilled carefully and in the place where the cable is guaranteed not to meet. It is advisable not to allow the crown to fly out into the cavity of the false wall. When the first hole is made, the cable is pulled into it or it is made sure that it will not be touched during further actions and the rest are drilled. When all the holes are made, the jumpers between them are cut with a knife, leaving a free strip of about 30-35 mm in the center.

Holes for sockets in drywall

Assemblies for a common frame

Speaking about the choice of boxes, we intentionally did not touch upon the topic of assembling them for installation under a common frame. In total, there are two types of socket boxes for these purposes: connected by “chips” and in a common monolithic case.

The latter seem to be more reliable, but not particularly practical in installation and operation. First of all, because one of the compartments of such a box can be damaged by negligence and then the entire product will become unusable. In docking boxes, the problem could be solved by replacing one of them.

Drywall sockets

On the other hand, if the density of the chips in the grooves is not high enough, the assembly will constantly crumble during installation. On the contrary, if the fit of the connectors in the grooves is too tight, attempts to hammer the chips all the way can lead to damage to the case..

If there are more than three mechanisms in the assembly, the quality of the boxes must be very high. First of all, this concerns the correspondence of the center-to-center holes, otherwise a number of sockets and switches simply will not fit or will be fastened with insufficient quality.

Securing the installation boxes

The installation process of the socket boxes is simple and intuitive. After connection, the required number of boxes is inserted into the holes made, while the clamping screws or screws are unscrewed almost to the end. You should also first break out the required number of holes for cable entry and punch the jumpers between the sections.

It is necessary to insert the socket outlets carefully so as not to crumble the edges of the holes in the drywall, sequentially bypassing the assembled boxes around the perimeter and correcting the protruding elements. When the boxes are completely recessed and the side rested against the wall, you need to tighten the screws or self-tapping screws to press the legs.

Installation of sockets and switches in drywall

When tightening, you need to control the effort very carefully. Periodically, you can pull the edge of the box over the side, checking for free play. After all the legs are pre-tightened, they should be tightened one by one another 0.5–0.7 turns. It is not necessary to tighten strongly, it is enough to eliminate any manifestations of backlash.

Electrical connection

The lead-in cable always goes into the outermost box of the socket group, but never in the middle. First, the cable is cut with a 10–12 cm protrusion from the wall, then the belt insulation is removed with a cable knife. Cutting should be carried out almost to the root, leaving about 15-20 mm of insulation in the place where it touches the sharp edges of the plastic box.

Installation of sockets and switches in drywall

Immediately prepare the required number of jumpers of the same length. Insulation is removed from them and from the lead-in cable with a stripper; the conductors need to be stripped by 10–12 mm. No more than two cores can be tightened into one contact, one on each side of the screw. The cores must be clamped with long-nose pliers in the “fork” position, put on opposite sides of the screw and tighten it, making sure that the core insulation is close to the current-carrying terminal of the clamp.

Installation of sockets and switches in drywall

After the entire outlet group is connected, it is necessary to press the conductors to the body and fold the remaining stock with an accordion. In parallel, it is checked how easily the socket mechanism fits into the box, whether cable jumpers interfere with it.

Completion of installation

At the final stage, the previously saved screws are returned to their place. They screw the mechanism over the frame to the box, but without effort. It is enough for the frame to maintain its position at different angles of inclination.

Installation of sockets and switches in drywall

When all mechanisms are in place, they are pushed close to each other, or the remaining gaps are evenly distributed. It is necessary to set the sockets and switches according to the level already at this stage, using special bubble microlevels. When the alignment is completed, the screws are tightened more, almost to the stop. Following is the tightening of the spacer legs.

Installation of sockets and switches in drywall

Installation is completed with the installation of plastic covers. First, the lining of the power outlets is inserted into the frame, their bolts are distributed over the holes and baited, then tightened one by one. Switch keys, covers for television and telephone sockets are installed last. After the hardware is mounted, check it again with a level and slightly correct the position if necessary..

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