Gangs to close any ideas?

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Hello all,

I think the pictures speaks for themselves. Bit stuck as to what can be done here...

These are isolators for various appliances. It's a new kitchen and its now obvious that the builder put the gangs to close to each other.

Any ideas on how to rectify with minimal demolition.
 

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These are isolators for various appliances. It's a new kitchen and its now obvious that the builder put the gangs to close to each other. ... Any ideas on how to rectify with minimal demolition.
Is that not the builder's problem (demolition and remedial work, or no demolition)?

Has the builder been paid in full yet?

Kind Regards, John
 
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These are isolators for various appliances. It's a new kitchen and its now obvious that the builder put the gangs to close to each other. ... Any ideas on how to rectify with minimal demolition.
Is that not the builder's problem (demolition and remedial work, or no demolition)?

Has the builder been paid in full yet?

Kind Regards, John

It's kind of my fault as the initial bit of works was completed over 6 months back and was paid. Even if I were to go back I don't have any quotes as such. Unfortunately I ran out of money so everything stalled. Now that I'm back on track it's one problem after another.
 
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They're not even the same range of accessories!! The socket is a Schneider Lisse and the FCUs are Schneider Slimline. That'll look gash even when they're screwed back nicely.

If they won't go back then there's no choice but to untile, chop out some more width and jiggle them all apart.

We generally leave 50mm between boxes - makes it easier to tile but 30mm is about the minimum you want to get away with, not the 10mm you've got there

That and the automatic wire stripper use makes me think the builder did it himself
 
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You “could” shave a mill or two off the inside edge of each switch. But that is so horrible that I am sorry I mentioned it.
Also, that won’t help when you want to put nicer accessories in. Some of the metal fittings are even wider than the white switches you have.

Bite the bullet and start chopping the boxes out.

PS. You can get standard box spacers like these.
https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/AP604.html
They are fine for standard white switches, but NFG for decorative metal fittings.
 
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Okay guys thanks for the responses. I'll try out the shave a few mms off each side to see what happens... what's the best tool to use to achieve this?

if anything I've kind of accepted a worst case scenario 'to break it up' :( so annoying as the kitchen is 95% ready.
 
D

Doggit

Do you have any of the tiles left. If you have, then break the tiles to the right, break out round the back boxes, and reposition them further along. Now if you haven't got any, then you need to cut the tile on the right with an angle grinder and a diamond blade, then break the boxes out and move them along. With the power off obviously when you do this.
 
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Would require some measuring but you could try a twin box with a grid frame, two fuse mods and two 20A DP switches. That would save you a little bit of space. If you weren't bothered about switches you could combine all 3 spurs into one twin box which would definitely fit.

Without knowing how they're wired, they may not require the fuse, I'd put money on them going to under cabinet sockets which will have a fuse in the plug, you could potentially get away with just 3x20A DP switches in a twin box, and then the socket.

The problem with getting new boxes in and out is that you'll likely need to cut away more tile top and/or bottom to physically manoeuvre the boxes in and out.
 
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Use a 115mm angle grinder with a diamond blade on it and really carefully cut out extra space required. Boxes will need pulling out carefully and putting back in without damaging the cable which might prove to be the sticking point. Very careful cutting out of brick/blockwork is also required. Having cut boxes in to tiled kitchen walls using this method I know it is possible but you need to have the steadiest hands usually with elbows braced on work-surface.
 
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Thanks guys. I have loads of tiles leftover so no issue there. It was recently tiled by a tiler a couple of weeks back.

It's going to require a lot of cool headed patience as those boxes were installed in cement when the house was rendered.

As for the question how were they cabled up. I believe they are on its own kitchen circuit. The dual socket to the left is just that. The fused spurs control the following...
I'll need to check which one did what if you wanted to know. But they connect to a combi boiler, electric oven, electric hob, cooker hood, dishwasher.

They do not go into sockets beneath the cabinets, the plugs were cut off and they were wago'd. The fused spur cables to the other ends also come out via the walls.
 
D

Doggit

I wouldn't actually try and reuse the old boxes. Having unscrewed them, if you get a hammer and bolster, and whack them inwards, that'll break them away from the hole. That should let them come out without (hopefully) causing the cables any damage. But if you've got extra tiles, then you could run the angle grinder with a diamond blade down the edge of the boxes, and get them out that way.
 
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Having read previous responses I have seen Doggit has already pretty much said what I repeated. Best option for you is to give it a try otherwise you simply have to cut out tiles completely, hack into wall and get your tiler back.
 
D

Doggit

Didn't know there was any more; so you're going to need to enlighten me.
 
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