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Electrical boxesOctober 2006

The use of innovative backing boxes - common in Germany and Scandinavia - can save time and improve quality , reveals BSRIA's Glenn Hawkins.

The traditional approach to backing boxes can cause quality problems. Innovative backing boxes can save time and money, and improve the quality of the finished installation.

The photographs show the difference in installation quality. The first image shows the conventional method of using square or rectangular boxes within a dry wall partition. The supports for the backing boxes is improvised - an approach that is typical of UK construction.

Once these boxes are behind partitions, re-finding them is difficult and likely to lead to poorly-cut openings. Re-work may be needed to deliver an acceptable finish to the partition.

The second picture shows an approach common in Germany and Scandinavia. It is based upon circular backing boxes and a range of installation accessories that enable rapid installation within a range of partition depths. These items are commonly installed using hot-glue guns. The boxes are used in conjunction with magnetic inserts and magnetic, circular hole cutters, so that locating the backing boxes is exact and the cutting of holes is precise.

Key learning points

A new approach to the installation of electrical items within drywall partitions needs to be thoroughly evaluated. Improved methods commonly used by contractors are slow, and create an interface detail that demands re-work to provide an acceptable finish.

For more information contact BSRIA:

Tel: +44 (0) 1344 465600

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