In this article, you will learn how to install a double gang electrical box, also known as a two gang electrical box.
We install double gangs the same way we install a single gang electrical box, except we add two screws to the front of a two gang box (making sure these front screws are flush to allow for a good drywall installation).
This article is from my electrical rough-in series!
What We Cover in this Article:
- What is a Double Gang Box?
- How to Install a Double Gang Box
- Examples of Good and Bad Installs of a Double Gang Box
- Why a Double Gang Plastic Box is My Favorite Box!
What is a Double Gang Box?
A double gang electrical box can be plastic, or metal. (See different residential electrical box types).
In a wood frame setting it’s best to use plastic boxes, as connectors are not needed to insert wires into the box, which saves a lot of money on big jobs!
Plastic boxes are also more affordable than metal boxes, and they aren’t as sharp when it comes to your hands 🙂
A two gang box has two spaces for electrical devices. You can install 1 plug and 1 switch, or 2 switches, or 2 plugs!
If you need lots of power, you can run two homerun circuits from the same panel! Make sure you don’t splice the wires together from different circuits (unless sharing a neutral).
If you need to run a phone or cable line, that will have to be in a separate box, as you cannot mix low voltage (120V) and extra-low-voltage (ethernet, tv, phone, etc) in the same box!
How to Install a Double Gang Box
Installing a two-gang electrical box is really easy, and provides one of the strongest holds out of all electrical boxes (if installed properly!)
After finding above finished floor (A.F.F.), and measuring top of box, the first screw I like to install is the one closest on the top ear tab:
We put 4 screws into a double gang box:
- 1 screw in each box ear (1 top and 1 bottom)
- 2 screws in the front of the box.
On single gang boxes, use the closest screw hole for a strong install (especially with plugs), however, double-gang boxes don’t matter because its two front screws hold it firmly!
Step-By-Step Process to Install Two-Gang Electrical Box:
Step #1: Start by using the closest screw hole of the box’s top ear tab.
Step #2: Put a screw in the bottom ear tab (whatever one is easiest to see so you don’t have to bend over so far.. if you’re boxing all day, this protects your body!)
Step #3: Push the box tight against the stud, then install the 2 front screws flush!
Examples of Good and Bad Installs of a Double Gang Box
Here’s some good and bad installation examples of two-gang electrical boxes.
The main takeaway is making sure the front screws are flush. If they aren’t, drywall can break, or worse, not allow cover plates to go on flush in finishing.
Take pride in your work, and make sure the front screws are screwed in properly.
It helps all trades that have to work in this area.. which includes drywallers, tapers, painters, and YOU AS THE ELECTRICIAN.
Why a Double Gang Plastic Box is My Favorite Box!
I really like how plastic boxes don’t cut your fingers and knuckles like metal boxes do when cutting-in wires, splicing, and tucking wires in the box.
Also, a double-gang box has lots of space, allowing you to neatly organize your wires without having to be perfect like a single gang box.
Conclusion: Recap and Reminders of Double-Gang Box Installation
A couple things to mention before closing out..
Double-gang boxes do not need to be be supported on 2 sides like a three-gang electrical box.
The next thing to talk about is SCREW HOLE HEIGHT.
If you install boxes close to each other, you NEED to make sure box heights are within a 1/16″.. otherwise it will be very noticable, especially if groutlines are present with kitchen backsplash!
You can learn more with before mounting boxes, and installing a single gang box.
Don’t miss my ROUGHING-IN SERIES for how to rough-in as an electrician!
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