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HomeTips & GuidesWire Molding Box: All You Need to Know About This Surface-Mounting Electrical Box

Wire Molding Box: All You Need to Know About This Surface-Mounting Electrical Box

A wire molding box is an electrical box that comes in several types, most requiring a surface-mounting installation type.

This surface mounting installation makes the box ideal for retrofitting or modification projects to improve functionality in domestic, commercial, and industrial applications.

Let’s look at this electrical product’s advantages, types, and installation steps.

Table of Contents

What Is a Wire Molding Box?

A wire mold is a metal channel used to house electrical wires when laying out power cables for house wiring projects.

So, a wire molding box is like a receptacle or junction box that enables you to access the wires along the system to tap into the power or communication line.

The entire system of wire molds enables you to lay cables and extend circuits without cutting into the plaster, drywall, or insulation.

Wire molding boxes also sit on the wall surface, leaving the underlying surface intact. You only have to drill tiny mounting holes to hold the screws.

What Is a Wire Mold Box For?

Wire molds only carry the wires from point to point above the wall surface. Wire mold boxes allow you to extend electrical wiring circuits and install additional fixtures or outlets without damaging the underlying wall surface.

Advantages of Using a Wire Molding Box

  • Surface mounting: Wire mold and box installation occur on the wall and ceiling surfaces, eliminating the work and mess of drilling or cutting. Therefore, they are ideal for retrofitting projects.
  • Easy installation: Wire molding boxes are easy to install because they don’t require drilling or cutting through walls and ceilings. You only need screws to mount them on the surface.
A circuit breaker mounted in an electrical box installed on a wall surface

A circuit breaker mounted in an electrical box installed on a wall surface

  • Versatility: These boxes are available in different configurations and sizes, giving you options to pick the most suitable one for your project.
  • Cable management: Wire mold boxes usually include raceways, which are built-in cable channels for organizing the wiring and keeping it neat.
  • Accessibility: The surface mounting of these boxes makes the wiring inside easily accessible for maintenance or future upgrades.
  • Code Compliance: Like other internal wall box installations, wire molding boxes meet the electrical code requirements. However, you must install it properly to ensure the system meets the safety and building regulations.
  • Customization: Although they come in different types for various functions, you can customize wire molding boxes to hold switches, receptacles, data jacks, etc.
  • Low installation cost: You don’t have to drill or cut through walls to mount these boxes, which eliminates the labor and material costs of repairing the installation surface. Also, it cuts the installation time.
  • Compatibility: These boxes accommodate low-voltage, standard, and high-voltage electrical wires and accessories. They can also work with internet cables for data transmission. 
  • Aesthetics: In-wall electrical boxes are neater than the protruding types. But wire mold boxes are available in different finishes to blend in with the surrounding surface, and you can paint their outer layers. Also, some have thin profiles.

Types of Wire Molding Boxes

The typical wire molding boxes include the following.

By Compartment

  • Single-gang box: This wire molding box is the tiniest type because it can only accommodate a single switch, receptacle, or data jack.
  • Double-gang box: A double or 2-gang raceway electrical box is like two single-gang boxes because it can hold two receptacles, switches, or data jacks.
  • Triple-gang box: As the name suggests, this box has three compartments that hold a triple switch, receptacle, or data jack setup.

By Profile

  • Deep box: These boxes have an extended depth to give enough room for holding long or low-gauge wires, connector fittings, or thick electrical components.
  • Low-profile box: Unlike deep molding boxes, low-profile appearance boxes provide a neat installation because they don’t protrude too far from the wall. They come in handy in areas with limited space.
A ceiling-mounted electrical box for installing an electrical fixture

A ceiling-mounted electrical box for installing an electrical fixture

By Installation Area

  • Floor box: As the name suggests, these boxes are for floor installation. They have removable or hinged covers and are ideal for commercial applications to provide non-intrusive power or data access.
  • Outdoor box: You cannot use the regular wire molding boxes outdoors. But these units can withstand the elements, protecting the internal wiring components and electrical connections from shorting or corroding.
A wire molding box mounted outdoors to hold two receptacles (note the cover)

A wire molding box mounted outdoors to hold two receptacles (note the cover)

  • Poke-through box: Unlike the other surface-mounted units, this type fits inside the wall. It is more common in commercial and industrial applications to provide access to power, data, or communication cables when installed in concrete flooring.

Others

  • Surface raceway box: These boxes are part of surface cable raceway systems, which cover and protect cables when mounted on the surface.
  • Multi-service box: A multi-service unit houses multiple wire connections. For instance, it can accommodate power, internet, telecommunication, and video/audio connections in one box, making it suitable for multimedia environments, such as conference rooms.

Materials Used To Make Wire Molding Boxes

Wire molding boxes primarily have a metallic or plastic construction. Metal boxes can be steel or aluminum and are suitable for industrial and commercial applications due to their strength and durability.

Aluminum is also corrosion-resistant, so you can use boxes made using this material outdoors.

On the other hand, plastic raceway molding boxes are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and affordable, making them ideal for domestic installations.

A plastic junction box

A plastic junction box

How To Install a Wire Molding Box

Follow these steps to install a wire molding box.

Step 1: Switch Off the Power

Mains AC power runs at a high voltage and can cause fatal electrocution. So, cut off the power supply from the circuit breaker box before beginning the installation.

And use a tester to check if the electrical lines past the breaker have power flowing through.

But you don’t have to turn off the power if the project involves extending a data wire.

Step 2: Plan the Installation

Find a suitable spot for mounting the box and routing the wires. Mark this wire channel and the location for screwing the molding box.

Step 3: Mount the Wire Molding Box

Install this box on the marked spot on your ceiling, wall, or floor using screws. You might have to drill the surface before mounting, especially if dealing with a concrete surface.

Also, install the metal channel to cover and protect the wires (wire mold).

An electrician drilling holes to mount an electrical junction box on the ceiling surface

An electrician drilling holes to mount an electrical junction box on the ceiling surface

Step 4: Cut and Route the Wires

Cut the power, data, or telecommunication wire to match the length from the source to the box. Remember to factor in the required stripping on the ends for making electrical connections.

Next, route these wires through the wire mold and into the box. Leave enough space inside the box for connecting to the switch, receptacle, or data jack, especially if using a low-profile box.

Step 5: Install the Electrical Terminal Device

Whether it is an electrical outlet, data jack, or switch, mount it using the brackets and screws to the box. After that, mount the wire mold box cover above this device for shielding or protection.

Steel electrical outlet boxes for holding receptacles

Steel electrical outlet boxes for holding receptacles

Step 6: Switch On the Power

Reconnect the power supply in the circuit breaker box, then test the system. For data connections, plug the other end to the switch or router, then test if the link works.

Step 7: Finishing

Paint or customize the box if it seems off because it doesn’t match the surroundings to make it look better.

Wrap Up

Wire molding boxes give the advantage of simplifying electrical and data wire installations when retrofitting. Simplicity, in this case, means no tearing walls, low labor costs, and easy accessibility.

This box installation has the other benefits listed above, making it the best option for wiring expansion when doing modifications after construction.

That’s it for this article. Comment below to share your thoughts about these boxes and their surface mounting installation technique.

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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