How to Connect to an Electrical Handy Box

Written by melissa williams
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How to Connect to an Electrical Handy Box
A handy box is designed to be mounted on the surface of a wall, instead of being flush mounted. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A handy box is a small, metal box designed for use when you encounter a situation that requires a surface mounted electrical switch or receptacle. Since the box is made to be mounted directly to the surface of a wall, there are several different methods that can be used to connect to the box. The appropriate connection method will depend on the NEC (National Electrical Code) requirements, blue print specifications, and the location of the handy box.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pop-in box connector
  • NMC wire
  • EMT conduit
  • Box connectors
  • EMT straps
  • PVC conduit
  • PVC glue
  • Rigid conduit straps
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Hacksaw
  • Torpedo level

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Instructions

    Connection with a pop-in type connector and NMC wire

  1. 1

    Remove the 1/2-inch prefabricated hole in the top of the handy box with a hammer and screwdriver. Insert the connector into the hole. Tap the connector with a hammer to complete the connection.

  2. 2

    Mount the handy box, with the connector facing up, in the desired location. Be sure to use appropriate mounting hardware, based on the surface on which the box is being mounted. Ensure the handy box is level.

  3. 3

    Insert the NMC wire through the connector. Pull out approximately 6 inches of wire from the face of the handy box. This gives you enough wire to connect your switch or receptacle.

    Connection with EMT-type conduit

  1. 1

    Remove the 1/2-inch prefabricated hole from the top of the handy box with a hammer and screwdriver.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the locknut from the box connector and place the connector into the hole. Replace the locknut and ensure the screw on the box connector is facing the open side of the handy box.

  3. 3

    Measure the desired height of the handy box and mount using appropriate hardware, based on the surface which the box is being mounted. Ensure the box is level.

  4. 4

    Measure from the top of the handy box to the first place you need to change direction with the conduit, if necessary. Cut a full piece of 1/2-inch EMT conduit to the desired length.

  5. 5

    Insert the conduit into the handy box connector and tighten the screw found on the box connector. Place an EMT strap over the conduit within 8 inches of the handy box. Secure with a screw. Use EMT straps approximately every 4 feet thereafter.

    Connection with PVC conduit

  1. 1

    Remove the 1/2-inch prefabricated hole in the top of the handy box.

  2. 2

    Measure and mount the handy box in the desired location. Ensure the handy box is level.

  3. 3

    Glue a box connector onto the end of a full length piece of 1/2-inch conduit.

  4. 4

    Measure the distance from the top of the handy box to the first place you need to change direction with the conduit, if needed. Cut the conduit the desired length.

  5. 5

    Remove the locknut from the box connector and place the piece of conduit into the hole in the top of the handy box. Replace the locknut. Place a 1/2-inch rigid strap over the conduit within 8 inches of the handy box and approximately every 4 feet thereafter.

Tips and warnings

  • It makes the job easier to have a helper who can cut, bend, and help hold the conduit in place while you take measurements and install.
  • When using EMT-type conduit, be sure to remove any sharp edges created by cutting the conduit. This will keep from nicking any wires when pulling them through the conduit after installation is complete.

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