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outlet box for wall light

I was going to replace the old bathroom wall light fixture and when I removed it, there was no outlet box.  My new fixture needs the outlet box.  How do I install one?

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Posted 2012-05-14T00:17:16+0000  by ichitokage ichitokage

Good morning ichitokage,


Thanks for your question, and welcome to the community!


You are in luck, I answered this exact same question a while ago. It seems in older houses, people just built as they pleased, without a junction (outlet) box. 


The one you need in the wall is shown below, and to learn how to install it correctly, click on the image that will take you to the link.

Old Work Fixture Junction Box

As stated in the link, be safe and always work with unenergized wires. This box states it is for ceilings, but it will work in walls just fine, as long as you go in between the studs in the wall. You may need to use a drywall jab saw to cut a better hole for your new junction box, shown below.

Stanley Jab Saw

Let us know if this has been helpful and please let us know if you have any further questions.


Best Answer

Posted 2012-05-14T14:17:34+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Hi,  Great information for Aboveaveragejoe but I have something to add.  When cutting the hole watch out for the vent pipe which is almost always located in the way.  Electricians are allowed to terminate wires in fixtures with back plates i.e.. Strip lights.  If the vent pipe is in the way this project will require some drywall patching.  I hope this helps.  Stukas


I am a Master Trade Specialist with the Home Depot

Posted 2012-05-14T15:05:27+0000  by Stukas
Would I be looking for a standard PVC type pipe?
Posted 2012-05-14T21:43:33+0000  by ichitokage

Hey ichitokage.


What Stukas is talking about is the vent pipe that usually runs straight up the wall from where the sink drain trap goes in.  If your fixture is directly above the sink, sometimes that pipe can be in the way.


Newer homes will use PVC.  In older homes like mine everything is either steel pipe or cast iron, so it is possible that you have a steel 1 1/2" or so vent pipe instead of PVC.


There are other options for putting a box in your wall.  Light fixtures can be mounted in rectangular shaped boxes as well as circular ones.  If you indeed do have a pipe in your way, one of these might help.  Talk to an electrical department associate at your local Home Depot to see which of these might work best.  Here are some examples:


Old Work.JPG

There are also adapters to install boxes without "old work ears" into a wall like this one:

Old Work4.jpg


I hope this helps,




Posted 2012-05-15T15:36:15+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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