ADJUSTABLE MOUNTING BRACKET
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
This application is a divisional application of Ser. No. 11/359,768, filed Feb. 23, 2006.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is directed to a mounting bracket for an electrical box or other electrical component. The invention is particularly directed to an adjustable mounting bracket for accommodating wall cavities of different depths between opposing walls. 15
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Electrical boxes are commonly mounted on various mounting brackets for securing the electrical box to a wall 20 stud or other support. The electrical boxes are dimensioned to support electrical receptacles, switches and other components and must be securely mounted to the wall stud. Many electrical boxes include a mounting bracket extending from one side of the electrical box so that only one side of the 25 electrical box is supported by the bracket. The opposite side of the electrical box often does not include a support so that some movement of the electrical box can occur during use.
To provide support of opposite ends of the electrical box, a number of brackets have been proposed. Typically, the 30 bracket includes a first member for attaching to a wall stud and a second member connected to the opposite side of the box so that both sides of the electrical box are supported to resist movement with respect to the wall.
One example of a prior support bracket is disclosed in U.S. 35 Pat. No. 4,399,922 to Horsley. The bracket as disclosed includes an extension arm bent at a right angle to a plate that supports the electrical box. The plate has one side edge provided with holes for securing the plate to a wall stud. The extension arm is formed on the opposite end and has a length 40 to contact a wall on the other side of the wall stud. The extension member includes a series of score lines that can be broken off for use with walls having different depths.
Another device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,732,356 to Medlin. This device also includes a plate member for sup- 45 porting an electrical box. The plate includes a first end portion for attaching to the wall stud and a second end portion having an L-shaped arm to contact the opposite wall. A separate extension plate is attached to the L-shaped arm to adjust the length of the arm for different depths between the walls. 50
U.S. Pat. No. 4,688,693 to Medlin discloses an outlet box stabilizer bracket having an extension formed at a right angle to the bracket to contact an opposing wall. The extension is cut from the bracket and bent from the bracket to form a central opening in the bracket. 55
U.S. Pat. No. 4,964,525 to Coffey et al. discloses an electrical box mounting bracket for connecting to a wall stud. The bracket includes a pair of side mounted support legs that are bent at a right angle from the bracket to engage the opposite wall. 60
Examples of other mounting brackets that contact the opposing wall are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,645,089 to Horsley, U.S. Pat. No. 4,533,060 to Medlin, U.S. Pat. No. 4,569,458 to Horsley, U.S. Pat. No. 4,572,391 to Medlin, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,603,789 to Medlin. 65
While the devices and brackets have been generally suitable for the intended purpose of supporting an electrical box,
there is a continuing need in the industry for improved support brackets and methods of producing the brackets.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is directed to a mounting bracket for supporting an electrical box or other electrical component. In particular, the invention is directed to a mounting bracket for mounting an electrical component to a wall stud or other support.
A primary feature of the invention is to provide a mounting bracket for an electrical box or electrical component formed as a unitary one piece member. In one embodiment, the mounting bracket is formed from a sheet material such as steel that can be folded to a shape to support the electrical box or electrical component.
Another feature of the invention is to provide an electrical outlet box bracket that is attached to a wall stud and is able to support an electrical box by contacting an opposing wall.
A further feature of the invention is to provide a bracket for supporting an electrical box where the bracket has a support plate to contact an opposing wall and where the support plate can accommodate wall cavities of different depths. One end of the bracket can be attached to a wall stud or other support member while the support plate supports the opposite end to resist bending of the bracket.
Still another feature of the invention is to provide a bracket for supporting an electrical box where the bracket includes a support plate and an integrally formed extension plate. The extension plate can be folded in a generally outward direction with respect to the support plate to contact an opposing wall to support the electrical box.
A further feature of the invention is to provide a bracket for supporting an electrical box and mounting the electrical box to a wall stud. The bracket has a support plate extending at a right angle to the bracket and has a length to contact an opposing wall to support the bracket and resist movement of the bracket and the electrical box with respect to the wall stud. An extension plate is integrally formed with the support plate and can be folded outwardly to an extended position for contacting an opposing wall in a deep wall cavity so that the bracket can accommodate wall cavities of different depths. The extension plate can be cut from the support plate and folded outwardly to form a central opening with the support plate. In another embodiment, the extension plate is at least one and preferably two legs cut from the support plate which can be folded outwardly. In preferred embodiments, the extension plate has a bendable locking tab that can be folded over a portion of the support plate to lock the extension plate in the extended position.
These and other features of the invention are basically attained by providing an adjustable outlet box mounting bracket formed from a unitary piece of stiff sheet material. The bracket comprises a front mounting panel having a central opening with a dimension to accommodate an electrical outlet box. A plurality of first openings receive screw heads for coupling the front mounting plate to the electrical outlet box. A plurality of second openings receive fasteners for mounting the front mounting panel to a wall stud. A stabilizing plate extends from the front mounting panel at a right angle and has a first end connected to the front mounting panel and a second end to engage an opposing wall surface spaced from a front wall a first distance during use. An extension plate is coupled to the stabilizing plate at the second end and is bendable from a first position to a second extended position extending away from the stabilizing plate. The extension plate has a first end, a second end and an outer end for engaging an opposing wall surface spaced from the front wall a second distance.