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Mounting Accessories on Surfaces

Whether your circuit cables are concealed or surface-mounted, the easiest way to fit new wiring accessories is to mount them on the wall surface. Every type of accessory must be mounted over an enclosed box so that the wiring is inaccessible. With surface-mounted accessories, the extra depth of the plastic or metal mounting box screwed to the wall surface means that the fitting projects noticeably from the wall, especially with power circuit accessories such as socket outlets. This is a potential draw-back, but one which you may be prepared to put up with as an alternative to chopping holes in your walls for recessed metal mounting boxes.

You may also prefer to fit surface-mounted accessories if you are doing wiring work and do not want to damage the wall decorations at this stage; you can then recess the fittings (and any surface run cables) the next time you redecorate the room.

What to do?

Start by deciding where you want the new accessory to be fitted, and hold its plastic mounting box against the wall so you can mark the positions of the fixing screws. Then decide how the cable will be run to the accessory, and punch out one of the thin plastic sections (called knock-outs) from the back of the box to allow the cable to enter.

Marking box position Removing knock-outs

On solid walls, drill holes and fit wall-plugs so you can screw the box to the wall. On stud partition walls, you must screw the box to a vertical stud; cavity wall fixings are not strong enough, and will pul out of the plasterboard as plugs are withdrawn from sockets.

With the box in place, run cable to it - either recessed in a chase or surface-mounted - and feed it into the mounting box through the knock-out, ready for preparation and connection to the new wiring accessory.

Drilling holes Feeding the cable through knock-outs

Point ot check: