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You come back to trim out a house, and you discover the drywall guys have mudded in half your boxes — now you have to spend extra time digging out joint compound when you could be doing your job.  If you’d used SmartGuard protective plates over your boxes you wouldn’t be having this problem.

Cooper Crouse-Hinds’ SmartGuard clear cover plates protect residential and commercial electrical boxes from sheetrock mud, dust, and paint. The high-impact PVS plates can also serve as router guides when the drywallers cut holes in place.

SmartGuards will be available to cover single through five-gang sizes, ceiling boxes, 6″ lighting cans, and 14″ or 24″-wide breaker boxes.  They’ve also introduced a similar product called MetalGuard which is made of metal instead of plastic, so it’s more durable and can be reused.

We haven’t found these covers for sale anywhere yet, so we’re not sure how they’ll be priced.

SmartGuard [Capital Lighting and Supply]

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9 Responses to Preview: SmartGuard Electrical Box Protection

  1. Bob The Drywall Guy says:

    Hehehe, I love burying boxes on electricians who leave their wires hanging out, or install the boxes more then 1/2″ out from the stud (so it sticks out past the drywall). Those can seriously damage my mechanical finishing tools (if I’m not careful) and generally slow things down.

    Usually it’s a lackey’s job to clean out any boxes we may have filled.

    When I’m drywalling, I would hate to see these on the boxes as a “router guide” the outside of the electrical box makes a perfectly decent guide thank you, and I often stick a keyhole saw in the box to find an edge to router against. this would make things more difficult.

  2. heywood j says:

    as an eco-conscious electrician this bugs me. just another thing that’s gonna end up in landfills…are we all that frickin’ lazy that we can’t just do things the right way? yeah, occasionally you’ll run into an a**hole taper/mudder who decides to screw with you or be lazy (not counting Bob’s mentioning of electricians who mess things up for everyone else and make their job hell).

    usually sparkies get messed with when they don’t have a good relationship with the drywall guys and don’t communicate with them or give them respect.

  3. duck says:

    Since Bob the Drywall Guy likes burying the boxes ,the next time I will leave them live and we can watch you do a jig.

  4. David Bryan says:

    This looks like wishful thinking– the kind of thing that if you really need it, it probably won’t do much good. I learned a long time ago about the value of crafts respecting each other’s work, but a lot of people seem to never have had the opportunity to learn that. And I’ve seen plenty of correctly installed boxes mudded over and wires cut up by drywall installers in a big hurry. That don’t make ’em bad guys, you just get two out of three on price, quality, and speed. It does get aggravating when the folks you’ve gone out of your way to provide temporary lighting for mess your work up, though, and I’d highly disrecommend sticking a saw in a wired-up box.

  5. Eric says:

    An over-zealous roto-zip will easily destroy a very expensive (and difficult to repair) VGA cable in less than a second. While we’re very careful to suspend this type of cabling further into the wall, sometimes that’s not enough. These look pretty useful and I’ll be watching for the re-usable metal ones at our local supply outlets.

  6. Coach James says:

    Well, if it’s just a “lackey” that has to clean up the mess who cares. They don’t deserve courtesy or respect anyway right? (Insert sarcasm icon here)

  7. I know this is a year and a half late, but has anybody considered whether these satisfy OSHA’s requirement for covers on energized electrical boxes?

  8. Wade Bradley says:

    Use the Bradley Construction Blanks (BCB) instead. They are made from galvanized steel and fit flat over the opening of the box. Visit our web site http://www.bcbblanks.com for more information. They are also reusable!

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