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Screws Not Lining Up

Screws Not Lining Up

If you find that the screw holes, switches or outlets do not line up with a multiple gang switchplate, there is usually a simple solution.

Lining up the screws
Switches (not the switchplate) are attached to a rectangular or square box mounted in the wall. With the switchplate removed, you'll notice mounting screws on the top and bottom of the switch for mounting into the electrical box. Loosen the screws just enough so the switch can move back and forth. You'll notice at the top and bottom of each switch there is about 1/4 " of play at each mounting screw. That means, for a double toggle, there is 1/2" of play.

You must be careful not to touch the screws on the sides of switches or outlets. If the power is still live, you can be shocked. If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself consult an electrician or handyman.

With the screws still loose a tiny bit, place the switchplate over the switches and adjust the switches accordingly so they line up with the switchplate. Start ALL the screws first which continues the lining up process. Tighten the screws like you would a tire on a car — alternate. Remember, some switchplates, though sturdy, may break due to overtightening. Do not overtighten...just firm is good enough.

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