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How to remove OLD switch box (1910s-1950s?)?

6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

I'm a n00b trying to install a bathroom exhaust fan. Part of this requires me to install a timer switch next to the existing light switch. The old switch box doesn't look like it's made for me to attach a new metal switch box to the side of it. I'm trying to remove the previous switch box but I don't know how. My house was built in the early 1900s (I'm in Los Angeles) and some additions were made somewhere along the way, so I'm unsure how old this switch box is, but it's sometime after electricity was invented. :oP

The switch box appears to be attached to 3 flanges (first picture). The flanges come from some metal plate somehow attached to the stud. There are also 4 holes at the back of the box (you can see 2 of them in the second picture), and the box seems to be nailed through the lower left hole. Nailed to what? I'm not sure exactly, but I think some wooden board about the size of the switch box. I can see it peeking out below the box and it's definitely not the interior of the other side of the wall because I can see there's space behind/around it. So I guess the back surface of the box is nailed to some piece of wood that's attached probably to the stud.

Anyone familiar with this old style of switch box that can give me some hints as to what's the least destructive way to remove it?


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