Below is a video on how to fix a loose or uneven outlet, switch or dimmer.
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Today we will be showing you how to fix a loose or uneven outlet, switch or dimmer in your home or garage.
First start by shutting the breaker off to the outlet, switch or dimmer that needs to be repaired. Next remove the two screws that hold the faceplate in position. Remove the faceplate from the outlet or switch. With the faceplate removed you can now remove the two screws that hold the outlet or switch to the box. With those two screws removed we can now slide the outlet or switch out of the box.
With the outlet or switched removed you will notice that the box is installed to far back into the wall and away from the sheet rock. What this means is that the outlet or switch is not securely tightened to the box but rather just tightened enough so that the faceplate screw can just catch. So because the outlet or switch is not secured to the box it will wiggle or move or look uneven. This is dangerous because if the outlet or switch is installed in a metal box or the ground wire is close to the terminals of the outlet or switch as the outlet or switch moves it could cause a short between the metal box or to the ground wire and could cause a fire. It is always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher in your home and easily accessible.
To fix this we need to add a shim between the box and the outlet or switch. For this I use some #8-32 nut. You may need to stack them to get the right spacing so that the outlet or switch is even with the sheet rock. When stacking them you may need longer #6-32 screws as the factory ones may not still reach the box. Test fit until you ensure you have the right amount. With the dimmer in the video I used three on top and three on the bottom. Once you have determined how many nuts you need slide them onto the top and bottom screws and then hand tighten the screws down so that the outlet or switch is secured to the box. Make sure to slide the wires back into the box so that they aren’t touching another wire and aren’t going to get pinched when you tighten it to the box. With those two screws in and tight we can now reinstall the faceplate and tighten the two screws that hold the faceplate to the outlet or switch.
With the faceplate reinstalled you will notice that the outlet or switch is even in the faceplate and is not at an angle or that the outlet or switch doesn’t wiggle like it did before.
That’s it you have just fixed an uneven or loose outlet, switch or dimmer in your house or garage.