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Why Does Electrical Outlet Sink on Drywall [Explained]

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Even if your electron outlet works, a sunken one is a big eyesore. We understand how bothersome it is for you. 

So, you want to know why does the electrical outlet sink on drywall?

Electrical outlets sink in drywall mainly because of three reasons. The first is an unsecured Jbox. If it moves behind its position, the outlet also sinks. Then a bent outlet might also be the reason. If it’s bent backward, it will look like this. Finally, too damaged walls may be the reason. 

But knowing only this much won’t be enough. But don’t worry because we have written a whole article covering it. 

Sunken Electrical Outlet: Reasons And Solution

A sunken electrical outlet may ruin the whole image of your drywall. So, it is essential to solve this issue. But when you try to research why it happens or how to solve them? 

Well, an ocean of information comes up. Like even the types of outlets.

The good news is we have done the research for you. We have tried to provide all the reasons behind it. Also, we have provided solutions for the problems. 

So, be sure to go through all of it.

Unsecured Jbox

An unsecured Jbox is one of the main reasons for a sunken outlet. Sometimes, the wall around the Jbox gets damaged. Thus the Jbox holding the outlet goes within the wall. 

Then, why does the drywall behind the outlet cover get damaged? It happens mainly because of the continual pressure applied to it. While plugging and unplugging, we apply pressure on the outlet. And, thus, the bracket pushes the drywall. 

This continual push causes the wall around the Jbox to deteriorate slowly. Thus, the Jbox also loosens up. It keeps going in within time. As the outlet is attached to the Jbox, it also starts sinking. 

This, in turn, causes the outlet to look sunken from the cover. Here’s how you can fix them. 

Install Brackets

How to install leveling plates on outlets? Installing a bracket/leveling plate is quite an easy process. What it does is it levels the drywall with your outlet. So, when you attach your outlet it fits perfectly. Because it doesn’t get the space to sink. 

Here’s how to install your flush fit level plate:

  • First, turn off the main electricity connection to ensure safety while working. 
  • Then, fit your bracket under the outlet. It is a thin steel plate so you can get it behind quite easily. Also, the upward direction is pointed out in the plate. So, you don’t have to worry about mixing it up. 
  • Now, simply attach the screws to the outlet and attach the cover.

This simple trick just might do the trick. 

Use Adjustable Old Work Jbox

For the normal Jbox, you can’t adjust its nails. Thus it’s not possible to adjust its position on the wall. However, the adjustable old work Jbox doesn’t have this problem. 

Then, how to attach an adjustable old work Jbox? 

First, adjust the adjustable J Box position. That is after removing the old one. Level the outlet with the drywall. Now, just attach its screw to get it in the right spot.

When you put the outlet on this Jbox, it will be leveled. Since it’s already aligned with the wall. Simply attach it using the screws and place the cover. 

Bent Outlet

Sometimes. The wall around the Jbox might be good but the Jbox might still be insecure. This might happen because of a bent outlet. If you compare it with a new one, you’ll see that the attaching plates are bent.

So, why do outlets bend? The primary reason is again the pressure. The pressure from plugging and unplugging the outlet causes this extra pressure. Which, in time, bends the outlet. 

Mainly, there are two ways you can handle it. 

Bend Outlet

If your Outlet is bent then there is a high chance you can bend it back. So, can I bend the outlet like before? Most probably yes. The plates attaching the outlet are really thin. So, you can easily bend it by applying pressure with your hands. 

Just compare it with a new outlet and get as close as possible to it. Although, be sure to do it gently. Cause, if you apply too much pressure then the socket might just come out and break. Then, it won’t be usable anymore. 

Replace Outlet

Another option that is available here is to just replace it with a new one. Sometimes, the old outlet might just be incapable of repair. The plates might just break if you try to fix them.

In that case, getting another outlet is the best option. Just take the new one and screw it in the Jbox. Again, be sure to turn off the main power line before doing so. 

Here are some suggestions for you to consider:

Product 1
Product 2

Too Damaged Wall

It might be that the wall around the Jbox is damaged too much. If that’s the case then you have to repair the drywall first. Also, if the wall is damaged too much, most probably it’s even more damaged inside. 

So, it is better to repair it properly.

Drywall repair

Let’s share a fact before starting. That is, while working, it is advised to always use the best drywall anchor. So, how to repair damaged drywall? Here is a step-by-step guide provided for you:

  • First measure out more than two inches of the damaged part. That is because most likely, it is damaged inside as well. Make a line of the amount of space you want to cut out. Do it with a leveler. 
  • Now, use a drywall saw to cut through the damaged parts. Do it carefully so you don’t cut more than necessary. 
  • Now you can do the repair process in two ways. The first is to use the sheetrock drywall repair clips. It is really easy to use. Just clip it into the damaged part of the wall. It will act as the base for your repair. 
  • Now using the measurements of the damaged part, cut the necessary new drywall part. You can cut it out using a box knife. Here, it is imperative to make the part a little smaller. Or else, you won’t be able to fit it in easily. 
  • To attach this part to the clip, you first need to screw it in the drywall. That is the drywall clip. Hold it on the side when you screw it to the wall. Then attach the extra drywall part to the clip with a drywall screw.
  • Now take a plier to cut off the arms of the clip by pulling them back and forth. Since they are attached to the wall with screws, you don’t need the clip anymore. Also, if you keep them, then your wall won’t look even after the repair.
  • If you don’t want to buy the clips then you can use other materials as well. Like, such a piece of wood, plywood, etc. Cut it off and screw it to the backside of the drywall to use it as the base. 
  • Then attach the added drywall to the base with a screw. While working, it is advised to always use the best drywall anchor. That should do the trick. 
  • Moving on, we have to fill the gaps and make it look brand new. First of all, use a paint scraper to remove the extra texture of the area. This will help to make it even. 
  • Now, place pieces of mesh tapes in the gaps of the wall. 
  • Upon the mesh tape, use your joint compound to skim the drywall. It is suggested to use the sheetrock fast-setting joint compound. With the quickset, you can get it done within 2-5 minutes. While there are others that will take more time.
  • After it dries out, use sandpaper to feather the edges. Do it gently and take your time to level it properly. If you apply too much force then the mesh tapes might start to show. Lastly, vacuum it so none of it keeps sticking. 
  • Now make your yogurt-like joint compound for spray. Here, you should use a compressor and a quarter-inch hose for spraying. Now, just load your hopper with the compound. 
  • With this you can start spraying with your texture sprayer. 
  • There are different settings on your sprayer. With them, you can choose how the new texture is going to be. Match it up with the existing one to make it look natural. Be sure to wrap the outlet spot before spraying. 
  • After it dries, remove the wrapping and put the outlet cover back on. 

With that, your damaged wall should be repaired.

Use Twist Apart Spacers 

Finally, if you don’t want to repair your wall, then you can use these. It might be that your walls are more damaged to the inside. With the outlet cover on, it doesn’t show too much. 

In this case, you might save yourself the hassle. Here also, you have to use the brackets. So, how to use spacers to level outlets? Here is a detailed guide provided for you:

  • First, place the bracket on the Jbox and see how much extra space is left. Then take the spacer and twist it to see how many flips can fill that gap. 
  • Then cut that much and place it behind the bracket. Depending on the wall, you might need a different number of them. Like two on the top and three on the bottom of the wall. 
  • Now, just attach the outlet with the screws. 

With this, your outlet should be perfectly leveled. 

FAQs

Should I chase my own walls?

If you are skilled and have the proper permits then you can. Although, mostly, electricians frequently pursue walls. Many electricians prefer to complete the operation themselves to assure compliance. Because the placement of the wall chases is restricted by wiring regulations.

Do electricians repair the holes they make?

Naturally, no electrician should ever leave holes in a wall where cables have been installed. However, a plasterer should complete the repair if the customer wants it to be ready for painting. The electrician should plug any holes and chases with bonding to make room for the final plastering.

Is it necessary to wire my house?

It’s likely that your home’s wiring has to be replaced if it’s more than 50 years old. In addition to not being able to accommodate current technology needs, outdated wiring greatly raises the risk of a house fire. In reality, electrical issues (such as outdated wiring) account for close to 10% of all home fires.

Bottom Line!

Now let’s hear your opinion. 

Were we able to answer your queries about why the electrical outlet sank on drywall?

Here’s a tip for you. If possible, remove your charger or something else from the outlets gently. 

If there’s anything else on your mind, be sure to comment down below.

Goodbye!