I needed to move my electrical plug higher to support a SubZero refrigerator. When I tried cutting the drywall I noticed there's a wood wall right behind it. I don't think it's a gypsum board. it's more like PARTICLE BOARDs and not stud like. The house was built in 2007 in Fairfield CA. Is this being used like a gypsum board? And why was it done this way behind a refrigerator. The frig is also next to a double oven.
Is it safe to cut to make an outlet box? How do I know there isn't a stud behind it? My stud finder has deepscan but I can't locate a stud.
It is safe to cut into it - just going to be harder than cutting into drywall. While it's not too common, sometimes plywood or OSB is added in rooms that will have cabinetry (baths & kitchens). This gives a greater area of something stronger than drywall to hang cabinets to. Hopefully you are talking about OSB (large wood flakes) and not particle board (looks like sawdust bonded into sheet form)
There will still be studs behind the wall, probably set 16" on center - this will give you 14-1/2" space between studs. If you are raising this outlet straight up, then you should be fine. If you search near the old outlet, you should find a stud right next to the outlet on one side. Try sliding a knife blade to the outside of the receptical box on either side - whatever side hits an obstruction will have the stud. You can install your new outlet box directly in line with the old one or to be safe move is a few inches away from the stud. While you will be using an old work box, with the extra thickness of the wall you will need to screw it directly into the wall rather than use the two tabs. Since you do have that solid wood surface, screwing it in will make for a nice installation.
I'm thinking that board goes behind more than just your refrigerator. It's possible/probable that it's there for structural support as an anti sway preventer. Unless it's there because the builder made a mistake, it was required by code for earthquakes and as a sway preventer in general. They get installed and nailed as per specifications and get inspected to make sure they're installed and nailed correctly.
To move the electrical is ok, check the Subzero specs to move the electrical where it is needed. You may have to use the existing box location as a junction box to extend new wires to the new location, or just cut off existing wires or pull and move them, whatever is needed. And don't forget about the same thing with a water supply for the ice maker.
But cut up that board as little as possible, it's most likely there to protect your home -- unless the builder just had a mistake and he used the boarding as a shim.
Also, you can remove sheetrock to help you see where the studs are. Look for the nails in the boarding to show you the studs behind. Since you're putting in a Subzero, your sheetrock repair doesn't have to be pretty since it will all be hidden by the new refrig.
Click on this link, check under Lateral Bracing: Lateral bracingThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Re-mdlr,
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