Author Topic: What About Power Outlets  (Read 2970 times)

andyman91

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What About Power Outlets
« on: March 22, 2006, 01:23:59 AM »
When soundproofing a wall, what do you do about power outlets & light switches?

I assume they can act as leaks for sound.

johnbergstromslc

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Re: What About Power Outlets
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2006, 03:00:12 AM »
Yep, Andy, you're right.  An electrical box is basically a gaping hole cut right in the drywall and the flimsy plastic boxes (with all kinds of gaps and holes in them) can't block sound worth a dam*.  

If your wall is still open, you can prep the boxes, buttering them with some kind of sealant.  I use RTV because it will dampen the vibration as well as sealing up the gaps and holes.  Smear it over the holes and all sides of the box, as thick as you can.  Also, after the drywall is done, caulk up the gaps between the drywall and elec. boxes (make sure there is about 1/8" and the drywall is not rubbing against the box) and use the foam inserts usually used for stopping drafts and air leakage (3/16" thick, in the shape of an outlet/light switch, available at Home Depot and Lowes) before putting on the cover plate.   After all this, you'll still get some sound leakage, but it will be a lot less, probably not enough to lose any sleep over. (pun not intended)



Here is an image I found on avsforum.com:

(He used USG acoustical caulk to butter his boxes)


andyman91

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Re: What About Power Outlets
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2006, 07:02:11 PM »
Thanks!

andyman91

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Re: What About Power Outlets
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2006, 05:26:39 PM »
Is that the front of the box (the part by the drywall) that's buttered or the back (by the stud)?

Also, my drywall is in place, I don't plan to take it down, rather I want to add to it. Should I remove the boxes and butter them or can I leave them in and treat them? Will I need to remove them anyway just to take them out another 5/8 of an inch?


johnbergstromslc

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Re: What About Power Outlets
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2006, 03:29:56 AM »
The back part of the box is what needs to be buttered.  If the box is already installed, unscrew the outlet from the box and pull it out of the way (with the power off, of course ) and get a tube of RTV with the long nozzle and seal up any holes you see.  A flashlight will also come in handy.  

I don't think RTV conducts electricity, but try to keep it out of the way of the wires, just to be safe.  

Then install the 2nd layer of drywall and you can use outlet extenders (ask the guy in the electrical dept. - he will show you what types they sell) to compensate for the extra thickness of drywall.

Box extender:



(some look a little different)

You may need to get some longer bolts, too.