We’ve had a dangerously seeming loose wall outlet since we moved in, and I’ve been meaning to deal with it forever. This was one of those little projects that I procrastinated forever, since it was one that I figured would be messy, but also one that I knew I wouldn’t know what I had to do until I started.
Here’s the outlet with the cover off
one side sticks out about 3/8″ of an inch, and the whole thing is loose, with about a 1/4″ of play in many spots.
As it turned out, the stud that the outlet was attached to was rotated about 35 degrees, which was the root of the problem. You can see that in this picture, if you look closely, as I have the blade of the drywall saw at the bottom of the hole perpendicular to the wall surface, and touching the back edge of the stud:
I ended up cutting a giant hole, big enough that I could try to run a new parallel stud. However, reaching in to my giant hole, I found that there was enough slack that I could reroute the wires to the unused box beside it. That unused box had an unused telephone wire it, and has always had a blank cover plate on it:
Despite being a box for telephone wire, it wasn’t a low voltage box, but was a standard electrical grade box, so I was able to fix the loose outlet by just recycling the unused box for the once loose outlet:
Now I just have a hole to patch:
I’ve put in strapping to anchor the drywall patch to, but it seems that I’ve thrown out all my drywall scraps, so the next steps will have to wait a bit.