5-gang blue plastic boxes

jeff48356

Senior Member
Has anyone seen any 5-gang Carlon blue plastic boxes? I can find them in 4-gang at any home center, but I've never seen any 5-gang. Do they even make them? I always have a use for one in at least every house I wire. In fact, I need them in both new and old-work types. Even if remodeling an older house, there are always 5 things at the front entry that need switches. You have the indoor foyer light, outdoor coach light, post lantern, outdoor outlet (for Christmas lights), and the indoor living room outlet (or the top halves thereof). I always have to end up getting a 4-gang old-work box and using 3 regular switches and then a stack switch for the outdoor outlet and indoor outlet.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I try to avoid having to use 4 gang boxes let alone more than four. Even in my own home I have a 4 gang switch box at one particular location and hate it. Always flipping switches to find the one I want, and have even had 8 years to get used to them.
 

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
I try to avoid having to use 4 gang boxes let alone more than four. Even in my own home I have a 4 gang switch box at one particular location and hate it. Always flipping switches to find the one I want, and have even had 8 years to get used to them.
Agreed. People get over the top switching things (especially in custom homes) and when it comes time to use the occupancy they start to understand why I kept pressing them to lump similar loads together.

Chances are, those Christmas receptacles could be controlled from elsewhere or added to the exterior lights. A three-wire switchleg ensures flexibility down the road if someone has a change of heart.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Agreed. People get over the top switching things (especially in custom homes) and when it comes time to use the occupancy they start to understand why I kept pressing them to lump similar loads together.
I had one very practical example of four switches being useful in a previous home. (I designed the lighting layout).
One the ceiling of the 25' by 35' great room are four sections of dual circuit track for overhead lighting. So there are a total of 8 controlled circuits 6 of which have a switch leg running to a quad box near the entertainment center area. (The eighth circuit is used for one lamp each in two tracks controlled by three-way switches at the entrances to the room (front door and back door, the hallway can take care of itself. :)))
The six circuits were wired to four switches which controlled
1. One track fixture above the piano,
2. Right end of couch area: reading downlight,
3. Left end of couch area: reading downlight,
4. General track lighting for the rest of the room.

Admittedly it could have been split up into a couple of dual boxes, but having it all in one quad box made it easier to re-arrange the assignment of track segments to switches.

I am embarrassed to admit that the outside Christmas lights were controlled using an inside GFCI receptacle whose feed-through want to the outside outlets used for the Xmas lighting. I later put in an RF-controlled switch box to use for that purpose instead.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I had one very practical example of four switches being useful in a previous home. (I designed the lighting layout).
One the ceiling of the 25' by 35' great room are four sections of dual circuit track for overhead lighting. So there are a total of 8 controlled circuits 6 of which have a switch leg running to a quad box near the entertainment center area. (The eighth circuit is used for one lamp each in two tracks controlled by three-way switches at the entrances to the room (front door and back door, the hallway can take care of itself. :)))
The six circuits were wired to four switches which controlled
1. One track fixture above the piano,
2. Right end of couch area: reading downlight,
3. Left end of couch area: reading downlight,
4. General track lighting for the rest of the room.

Admittedly it could have been split up into a couple of dual boxes, but having it all in one quad box made it easier to re-arrange the assignment of track segments to switches.

I am embarrassed to admit that the outside Christmas lights were controlled using an inside GFCI receptacle whose feed-through want to the outside outlets used for the Xmas lighting. I later put in an RF-controlled switch box to use for that purpose instead.
I kind of like your set up as described. Make something simple at main entrances and the more complex setup away from the main entrances. People don't like to fumble around in the dark trying to figure things like this out and making it so that there is less choices when you first enter is desired.

The switches for outdoor receptacles, holiday lighting, or other non primary lighting near the entrance IMO can go on the opposite side of the door as you are not likely to enter a dark room and be looking for those particular switches as the first thing you want to turn on.
 
Has anyone seen any 5-gang Carlon blue plastic boxes? I can find them in 4-gang at any home center, but I've never seen any 5-gang. Do they even make them? I always have a use for one in at least every house I wire. In fact, I need them in both new and old-work types. Even if remodeling an older house, there are always 5 things at the front entry that need switches. You have the indoor foyer light, outdoor coach light, post lantern, outdoor outlet (for Christmas lights), and the indoor living room outlet (or the top halves thereof). I always have to end up getting a 4-gang old-work box and using 3 regular switches and then a stack switch for the outdoor outlet and indoor outlet.
http://www.aifittings.com/products/spec-sheets/FEN102.pdf
These are not blue, but they work very well.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
Once did a custom with 4 7-gang boxes that had three and four way switches. The boxes and the plates cost a bundle even in the early 80's.

I also agree that it's over the top.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
What about metal gangable boxes??? Old work, new work, don't leave home without em'
That works. The Arlington plastic gangable boxes give you the same basic features (within the limitations of a plastic box) and, according to them, cost less and assemble faster then the comparable steel units. I can't say one way or the other from experience.
I like Arlington's divider plate option so you can use some gangs for low voltage and some for line voltage.
 
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