What is a Gang Box?

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  • Written By: Gregory Hanson
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2019
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The term gang box has two distinct and largely unrelated meanings, although both relate to construction work. A gang box can be a large tool box that is used by several or all members of a work crew. In electrical work, a gang box is a metal or plastic box used to securely hold electrical components.

A gang box toolbox has only a few special characteristics. These boxes are often left on a job site, so durability and security are important in their design, as they need to be able to endure a good bit of abuse and be difficult to break into. These boxes are usually shared by at least a few workers and are usually larger than ordinary tool boxes so that they can store all the needed tools and supplies.

A gang box used in electrical work is one of the various types of box used to safely enclose wiring and other electrical work. This type of gang box will usually be referred to by the number of mounting points for switches or receptacles that it contains. Gang boxes are commonly found in sizes ranging from one to three gang, although larger boxes are not unheard of. Modern electrical practice generally limits the number of individual switches or receptacles that can be installed in a gang box to one per gang, although some exceptions to this rule exist.


Some gang boxes, designed for use primarily with non-metallic sheathed cable, are made of plastic. This type of gang box is the most common in modern residential construction, primarily because of its low cost and ease of installation. This type of box requires the use of a separate ground wire.

Metal gang boxes can be used for almost any type of electrical work, and are more common in older construction, commercial construction, or areas where the electrical work might be exposed to damage, as the metal boxes are much tougher than their plastic counterparts. These boxes come in the same basic sizes as plastic boxes, although metal boxes are often manufactured in such a way that one side of the box can be removed and another box added to create a larger box, making the metal boxes more versatile in some situations. When electrical work is installed using armored cable or metallic conduit, the conduit or cable, combined with the metal boxes, can often legally serve as a ground path without the use of a dedicated ground wire.


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