Ideas That Work: Dealing With Grout and Tape Solution

By Anton Mikec | Feb 15, 2017
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Every month, we pick the top Ideas That Work submitted by you, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR readers. These ideas can't be found in any code or guidebook and are only learned or devised through years of experience and thinking, "There's got to be a better way to do this!" Please remember, the ideas presented in this article are for consideration only. Before using such ideas, make sure codes and safety standards have been fully adhered to.

Now, without further ado, here are this issue's Ideas That Work!

Grout stopper

Recently, while we installed junction boxes for electrical equipment in grout-filled masonry walls, the weight of the grout pushed unused concentric knockouts and grout into the box even though we applied duct tape. This was at a correctional facility, and many boxes needed to be installed in the walls. To address this, we installed 18-gauge sheet metal cut approximately 1½ inches wide and of sufficient length to cover all unused knockouts. We used double-sided duct tape to keep it in place and fluorescent-colored duct tape for a visual cue that this “grout stopper” was installed. This eliminated the grout from entering the electrical box.

Eric Branning
Fort Wayne, Ind.

Staying in its place

This idea is for when I measure undercabinet lights to the center of the cabinet, keeping it straight to the wall, then holding the fixture to mount it. (This is all while leaning over the base cabinet.) I put two pieces of double-stick tape on the back of the fixture, which holds the fixture in place so the mounting screws can be installed and wired without moving from my marks.

Scott Kenny
Holden, Maine

IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA that has saved you time or money on the job, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR ­readers would like to hear about it. Be sure to include a good photo of your idea—hand sketches are often hard to interpret. Note that some similar ideas are submitted by more than one person. In these cases, the one that is more clearly written and includes a photo is given precedence. Send your letter and photo to Jack Pullizzi, Ideas Editor, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, 3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5372, e-mail [email protected], or use the online submission tool at


Each published author in Ideas That Work receives a $50 American Express gift card from ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. In addition, each month’s FIRST PLACE winner will receive a $100 gift certificate from Zoro, to be used at

DISCLAIMER: The ideas presented in this article are for consideration only. Before using such ideas, make sure codes and safety issues have been fully adhered to. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR disclaims any liability from your use of these or any other ideas. ­ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR reserves the right to reprint the words herein at its discretion.

About The Author

Anton Mikec is the Ideas That Work editor for Electrical Contractor magazine. Contact him at [email protected].

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