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  1. mills82
    Offline

    mills82 EF Member

    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Good afternoon all,

    I have begun changing the socket plate in the kitchen and am finding it extremely difficult to blindly mate to machine screw into the thread.

    Please can someone offer advice or tips?

    Thanks!

    Andy
     
  2. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    Practise.
     
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  3. Wilko
    Offline

    Wilko Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    Are the threads in good condition ? Perhaps try putting the screws through the backbox thread without the face plate to convince yourself they do actually work, or not.
     
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  4. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Business Name:
    None
     
  5. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Business Name:
    None
    Use a longer screw, not trying to be clever either, sometimes the existing screw only just catches so a longer screw, may solve your problem
     
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  6. mills82
    Offline

    mills82 EF Member

    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Threads are good and screw into the box well when no faceplate is there.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Gavin John Hyde
    Offline

    Gavin John Hyde Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Somerset
    Business Name:
    Sulis Electrical Services Ltd
    If you are still having trouble, get a rethreading tool like this...Draper Expert Rethreading Tool 3.5 x 0.6mm - https://www.toolstation.com/shop/p58127?searchstr=rethreading%20tool
    And buy a pack of long machine screws like these Electrical Screw 3.5 x 75mm - https://www.toolstation.com/shop/Electrical/d190/Electrical+Accessories/sd2620/Electrical+Screw/p74658
    With these longer screws you can use the extra length to get it started in the hole whilst still being able to see it going in. makes life a bit easier. You can cut them to fit easy enough if they are too long. Quite often if using the existing screws they will have thread that has been worn from the back box so dont screw in as well. new ones often have decent thread that bites in well and holds firm a lot easier. Quite often these days i dont even try to use a lot of the existing ones, you get a sixth sense for whether they are any good or not. I go straight for the new ones and quickly trim to size.
     
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  8. Gavin John Hyde
    Offline

    Gavin John Hyde Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Somerset
    Business Name:
    Sulis Electrical Services Ltd
    makes me think its a length issue then as once the plate is on with the wires aswell that it might be putting pressure on. try the longer screws i linked to as you will be able to get the screws in a cm or so before the faceplate gets too close to the wall and see whats happening in the back box.
     
  9. Wilko
    Offline

    Wilko Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    Pic?
     
  10. littlespark
    Offline

    littlespark Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Careful using longer screws. You might nip the cables in the box where the original screws didn't... And they may be so long that they reach the back of the box, and are stopped from going in. That's when you need to cut them down.
    Easy tool for that is the thin cheap crimpers. Theres a 3.5mm threaded hole you put the screw through when the crimpers are open... Cut them back, then unscrew... It keeps the thread good on the screw rather than just cutting them with pliers or a hacksaw.
     
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  11. 123
    Offline

    123 Electrician's Arms

    Pet hate of mine is cutting 3.5 screws. Fine if it's done correctly and well, which I find about 99% of the time it isn't. The badly cut screw then ruins the backbox thread, which makes changing faceplates a job well up on the hate list.

    FWIW I carry 25mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm M3.5 Screws. And just to be sure, extension studs as well.
     
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  12. Adam W
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    Adam W Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Bournemouth
    Extension studs.
     
  13. telectrix
    Offline

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    i cut mine with the 3.5mm cutting hole on my NWS cutters. no problems with bad threads.
     
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  14. JK-Electrical
    Offline

    JK-Electrical Politically Incorrect Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Business Name:
    JK Electrical
    Like yourself, I also carry all the different sizes of screws plus extension studs. But in spite of this I still have to ocassionally cut screws to size. This is where a pair of CK VDE combicutters are a must. They'll easily cut through M3.5 and M4 screws and leave a straight edge every time.
     
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  15. littlespark
    Offline

    littlespark Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    and if you completely strip the thread, just force in a wood screw :confused:
     
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