Light switch and pocket door

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Old 10-03-16, 06:47 AM
J
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Question Light switch and pocket door

I have a small bathroom. A light switch is in the wall next to the door. The wall is a standard 3 1/2" - 4 1/2" thick. The door is on hinges. Because of space limitations, I would like to change the door to pocket door which slides into the wall where the light switch box is now located. Is it permissible to do that? ....If I buy a "thin" / "slim" box to house the switch and wiring in place of the box and switch that is there now? Or, do electical and building standards require that no electrical wiring or switches be installed in the section of a wall that encases a pocket door? Would appreciate your guidance. Thank you.
 
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Old 10-03-16, 06:49 AM
M
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Not an electrician but I don't ever recall seeing any electrical device along a pocket door track. You do realize that the wall needs to come down in order to install a pocket door ?
 
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Old 10-03-16, 06:51 AM
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Depending on the number of wires in the box a shallow box may not have enough room. Can you tell how many wires are in the box?
 
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Old 10-03-16, 06:55 AM
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The proper location for a switch would NOT be on the pocket side that the door slides into, it would be on the LATCH side of the door, or the adjacent wall if there is a corner and no room.
 
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Old 10-03-16, 07:06 AM
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You may have a chance with a shallow box with wings, like this one:

1-Gang 18 cu. in. Shallow New Work Electrical Box-SNO18-6R - The Home Depot

In theory you will have 1 1/4 inch to work with (3/4 pocket door studs plus 1/2 sheetrock). But there is normally a little more room due to clearance to the door. But it would be close. And box fill will be a problem if you have several cables entering the box.

I do agree with X that you would be better off moving the electrical to the jamb side.
 
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Old 10-03-16, 07:10 AM
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There is no reason the switch cannot be on the pocket side, but it does complicate things like the routing of cables and the need to keep box fill down.
 
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Old 10-03-16, 07:31 AM
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I've put switches on the door side of a pocket opening. You need to use a very shallow box with only one cable and a switch in it. The rest of the circuit will need to be wired to accommodate that limitation.
 
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Old 10-03-16, 10:54 AM
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Not saying it cant be done... just saying people expect switches to be in standard locations. Nothing worse than having to search for a switch that isn't located in an intuitive location.
 
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Old 10-04-16, 06:53 AM
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I put a pocket door in a bathroom and had to run new wire over to the jamb side. Not because of box fill limits or cable routing problems but because I knew I could never install a dimmer or timer in a shallow box. I wanted some nice features in the bathroom.
 
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Old 10-09-16, 05:19 PM
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Thanks to everyone who answered.
Yours was the best reply and makes the most sense.
There is a three-way switch in the box's present location (since there is a switch at a second entrance to the bathroom from a different room).
So, I guess I'll leave the box where it is and will make the pocket door recess into the wall on the other side of the doorway. (I had hoped that I could avoid doing that, because that wall on the other side of the doorway is specially decorated, and I would have preferred not to disturb that. We'll have to remove the decorative features while the wall is being revised).
 
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Old 10-09-16, 06:18 PM
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FWIW, I have successfully installed a pocket door from one side, with minimal damage to the wall on the opposite side. There were a couple of divots from sheetrock compound popping loose over nails as I cut them to free the studs, but otherwise no damage. It takes longer of course, but it's doable. If your sheetrock is screwed to the studs it will be harder, as screws are harder to cut than nails. An oscillating multi-tool is a real help if you decide to attempt it.
 
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