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Thread: Shimming switches

  1. #1
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    Shimming switches

    The whole-house installation has begun and I can see that I will be spending more time getting the switches and plate covers to align perfectly than I will on the wiring and programming. Does anyone have any recommendations on the best way to shim switches? I'm guessing there's something that I can pick up at my local Home Depot to use for shims, right?

  2. #2
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    asherrick- The product you are looking for is sometimes called a caterpillar. Another option would be to use the Lutron screwless plates. The device is screwed into the wall, but not tight down. The screwless backplate is then screwed to the device. Holes are in the backplate so you can screw the device and backplate tight to the wall. Then install the front plate and hide all the screws. Worked great in my 30 year old house where the drywall is getting a bit soft in spots. Looks fantastic, well worth the extra $$
    Residential Lighting and Shading Specialist for CED Escondido

    mbalay@cedescondido.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanDiegoRep View Post
    The product you are looking for is sometimes called a caterpillar.
    Perfect. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by SanDiegoRep View Post
    Another option would be to use the Lutron screwless plates. The device is screwed into the wall, but not tight down. The screwless backplate is then screwed to the device. Holes are in the backplate so you can screw the device and backplate tight to the wall.
    I have the Lutron covers. I didn't realize that you weren't supposed to screw the switches tight against the box. Maybe that will give me a little more fudge factor. My concern is that the switches will move or wiggle a bit when I press them.

  4. #4
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    Start the mounting screws for the device, but leave them loose. Mount the backplate to the devices- they'll line up perfectly in the opening as you tighten the plate screw. Then tighten the device/backplate to the wall- and perfection achieved if it's level. Snap the front plate on and you are done. The extra cost of the Lutron plates- to me at least- covers the reduced aggravation.
    Residential Lighting and Shading Specialist for CED Escondido

    mbalay@cedescondido.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your help on this! I got the knack of it pretty quickly and had no other problems. I only had to shim two switches in the dining room and then the switches against the tile backsplash in the kitchen. In total I replaced 40 switches, so I got lots‚Äč of practice.

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