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Identify Your Wall Plate Opening

Learn Terms to Correctly Order the Switch Plate Size You Need:

"Gang" refers to the WIDTH of your electrical box and therefore the WIDTH of the cover plate.

In this example, we show a "Toggle" plate (see #1 below) in 3 sizes/widths - 1-gang, 2-gang, and 3-gang:

Electrical Gangs Explained

  • A single gang (or 1-gang) box is only wide enough for 1 switch or outlet.
  • A double (or 2-gang) box holds 2 devices side by side.
  • 3-gang boxes are for 3 electrical devices.
  • And so on all the way up to 10 gangs.

Identify Your Light Switch Opening:

All plates below are shown in the 1-gang size, starting with a 1-gang "Toggle" plate (example #1).

Identify Toggle Opening

#1 Toggle Opening

Do your toggles look a little different? Perhaps they're mounted sideways or have a dimmer.

See more types of toggle light switches.

Identify Rocker Opening

#2 Decora Rocker Opening

These types of switches may also be called "Rocker" or "Paddle" switches. They also come as combination switches with more than 1 switch in a single device, which saves space in your electrical box.

Identify Despard Opening

#4 Despard Opening

Despard switches can be mounted horizontally or vertically. See more Despard examples here.

Identify Horizontal Toggle Opening

#5 Horizontal Toggle Opening

These sideways switches fit into the same opening as a plug or socket and flip side to side to turn lights and bathroom fans on and off.

Identify Low Voltage Opening

Find Your Low Voltage System

There are many types of older style low voltage light switches (some of which are shown here). Use the link above to identify your brand and find replacement parts.

Identify Your Outlet Opening:

Identify Duplex Outlet Opening

#6 Duplex Opening

Duplex outlets fit plates with 2 oval openings. They may be referred to as Duplex Receptacles, Sockets, Plugs or Outlets.

Be sure to differentiate between "Duplex" and "Block" or "GFI" outlets - shown next - which fit into a different plate.

Identify Block Outlet Receptacle Opening

#7 Block Outlet Opening

Rectangular outlets fit Decora Rocker switch plates and may be referred to as Block Outlets (or Block Receptacles) or Decora Outlets/Receptacles.

Identify GFI Socket Opening

#8 GFI / GFCI Outlet Opening

GFCI and GFI are interchangeable terms for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt.

These outlets feature reset buttons between the sockets.

Ground fault outlets are typical in kitchens and bathrooms near water faucets.

 

Identify Round Outlet Opening

#9 Round Outlet Opening

Single 20A round outlets fit plates with 1.4" round openings.

Identify Despard Outlet Opening

#10 Despard Outlet Opening

These 15A 125V outlets fit plates with smaller oval openings than Duplex outlets, and can be stacked to fit 3 outlets in a single plate.

Identify Your Dimmer Opening:

Identify Slide Dimmer Opening

#11 Slide Dimmer Opening

This is the same opening as #2 above for Decora Rocker switches.

Identify Rocker Dimmer Opening

#12 Rocker Dimmer Opening

These dimmmers fit the same opening as #2 & #9 above (Decora Rocker light switches & Slide Dimmers).

Identify Toggle Dimmer Opening

#13 Toggle Dimmer Opening

This is the same opening as #1 above for Toggle switches.

Identify Rotary Dimmer Opening

#14 Rotary Dimmer Opening

The round knob covers the rectangle toggle opening, so this is the same opening as #1 Toggle switches & #13 Toggle Dimmers above.

Identify Push Button Dimmer Opening

#15 Push Button Dimmer Opening

This is the same size  opening as Push Button switches (#3 above).

Types of Toggle Switches: 

Standard Toggle Switch Openings

Standard Toggle Opening

Whether your toggle light switch has a rim, no rim or dimmer, it will fit the standard toggle switch plate opening.

Identify Horizontal Toggle Opening

Duplex Horizontal Toggle Opening

This common type of horizontal toggle switch fits into the same oval openings as a duplex outlet.

May also be called sideways toggles.

Pay close attention to the base of the switch to see if it has the oval shape of a duplex outlet.

Identify Horizontal Toggles Opening

Decora Horizontal Toggle Opening

This (less common) style of horizontal toggles fits into the large rectangle Decora Rocker opening.

Be certain not to mistake this for the duplex horizontal toggle shown above this one.

Despard Toggle Openings

Despard Toggle Opening

These switches fit smaller oval openings. 

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