Rigid outlets for Heavy cables

Many fans of high end power cables end up with very heavy cables plugged into very tight outlets in less than new outlet boxes. Whatever your choices in outlets and cables are you may find that you already have loose or recessed outlet problem, or are worried about the tabs on the outlet and drywall not lasting for many insertion cycles.

If you’ve ever replaced an old outlet with a fresh hospital grade outlet and felt it get mushy or make crackling sounds (from the drywall breaking) when you tried to insert your fresh cable you know what I’m talking about, or if you have some outlets which are proud of the face and some which are recessed this post is for you.

Hubbell makes a wall plate called Flush-Fit ($8 for 3)which is available from Amazon or Lowe’s (probably others).

I also use these little plastic screw spacers in some situations, where the metal plates won’t fit or for plain old light switches and outlets where I’m not expecting heavy duty use or where I have multiple outlets / switches in a single box. They are surprisingly effective and available at almost any hardware store.

I’ve used both while re-doing all the outlets and switches in and out of my home. I can recommend them from personal experience. Also, they make your outlets and switches look fresh because of the clean flush-fit result.


@testpilot Oh yes!! I can’t tell you how many of those Hubbell 3 packs I bought in this 17 year old home. I wish I had learned about the plastic one’s earlier as they are more economical and very good for light switches and my "normal" outlets.

The wall plates make an outlet absolutely confidence-inspiring and I don't think I'd put a high end (i.e. TIGHT) outlet into a box without one, if only to reduce the wear and tear on the drywall.

Thanks Erik.  I'm planning to replace a lot of outlets in my home soon--especially the ones the cleaning lady plugs the vacuum cleaner into.  and some are not very flush. 


@carlsbad2 You are welcome.  As you probably already know, Tamper Resistant is now a requirement for homes.  I use Eaton commercial/residential.  If you buy in bulk (10x) from Lowe's they are a little cheaper.

@carlsbad2 Also, same, the cleaning lady (i.e. me) had several outlets around the house which were probably spongy for that same reason.  Too much vacuuming.

I use the heavy duty Furutechs outlets and covers  from vh audio with their HD outlets which don’t give since it’s only one time spend a bit extra.

whatsoever ever .I put in a great 4 wire awg  dual awg 20 amp breakers and dual ground a common and a insulated isolated ground my Audiophile Electrician installed dead quiet ,

I’ve used the hospital outlets for a diy “power bar” that I put some filter caps in. 

They certainly grip well. 

Post removed 

I hope readers understand that I’m talking about reducing the motion of the outlet relative to the outlet box, not discussing improving the grip strength of any particular outlet. 😅

It seems some of you feel I have impugned the honor of your brand of outlet or AC cable and I worry I didn’t properly communicate that even the best outlets use metal tabs at the end to secure them against the drywall.  If that drywall is worn, damaged or missing then the outlet will move in the wall/outlet box and feel spongy. 

The higher the insertion force of your outlet and plug and or the heavier the cables are, the more it wears down the drywall each insert/removal cycle.  For those of us with older (i.e. not new) homes this can be a real issue all around the house and fancy outlets with tight grips make things worse.

The two accessories I recommended are just ways of supporting the drywall in one way or another to give the utmost confidence even to an old outlet box, anywhere in your home.

If you are still offended, we duel at dawn!

Nice work Eric! I have used them and they work well.

Now find me a simple plastic outlet cover with a cradle to support heavy power cords, that doesn’t cost a stupid $100, like this one or this one.

@erik_squires thanks, good item to bird dog! But for now I’ll just stick with my springy, slightly detached double socket, telling myself it imparts the same suite of benefits the Townshend socket isolator that hasn’t been invented would impart on my sonics

( 😆 ).


@mitch2 well at least Sonore is upfront about the origins of their plates so any buyer considering them can rationalize the price just reflects a 100% tax for avoiding purchase of a small personal 3D printer

( 😉 ).


OMG, I have been looking for ages to find something that brings the outlets forward from the box.  I have a bunch of add on outlets and poor do-it-yourself construction in this house that we recently purchased.  Often times the metal plates don’t do the trick because the drywall doesn’t fit close enough to the outlet box.

What I have been using to bring the outlet itself forward and fit flush with the outlet cover are the clear plastic mirror holders that used to be used in the 1970’s to hold unframed mirrors.  They don’t conduct any electric charge, but come in varying thickness. 

But these spaces your have identified are the bomb!  I order a pack and will start fixing all my funky outlets.

My power cables were really sagging in the outlets so I bit the bullet and bought the Shunyata cable cradles.  Yep, pricey, but I could not find anything that worked.  At least THAT problem is solved.

Thanks Erik

@pgaulke60 You are welcome. If you find any back-stabbed outlets while you do you should probably replace them too.


Protip:  When you fold those plastic tabs you end up with one side open and the opposite closed.  Put the closed side up against the body of your outlet and the open towards the screw.  That way the plastic tabs and screws are held in place while you reinstall the outlet. Otherwise it feels like you need 4 hands.

@mitch2 Oh, never saw those cable cradles before. A better option, IMHO is the 90 degree hospital grade plugs. They can be rotated to any angle, so pointing 45 down lets them avoid leveraging the plug out of the socket and leaves room for another below it.  They also save a lot of floor space.  I replaced the plug on my Furman voltage regulator and was able to snug up bass traps to the wall in front of the socket.

I have found that they do greatly increase the insertion force required due to the extra thick pins, hence the recommendation for outlet supports.  When I first tried inserting it I found the outlet, which I previously thought was fine, had too much play in it when I tried using it.

They don’t have to be babied to stay in. Not sure what the maximum cable thickness is though.

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the Tweek.

I began replacing my old outlets with new 'hospital grade' outlets last year. 

These plates look like a simple fix for recessed outlets, and the larger force-distribution effect is real bonus (fewer dry wall issues).  My order arrives tomorrow.


BTW, if your box is too recessed from the drywall you may need an "outlet box extender" instead.  If your outlet screws are too short this is probably the way to go. 

Cablesupportplate by John Bring. Not sure if they are still around. Shunyata may make something similar. Much of the outlet strain is relieved. 

Post removed 

@jea48 - The two outlet screws should be to ground, not neutral. :)

To avoid confusion, the metal plate hsould NOT touch any of the side screws on an outlet. 😀

Post removed 
Post removed 


I had looked at the John Bring interview with TAS and S’phile show report, but apparently John’s his 3D printer is out of business because the website goes nowhere.


Nice 90-degree plug but unfortunately I own too many audiophile-approved power cords to go changing plugs 😎

I could be mistaken, but read that Sonore may have grabbed the reins? I remember mine were about a buck and made of carbon fiber. 

@mitch2  I hear you, I do think there would be a market for uber cables with 90 degree plugs though.  They save a lot of floor space.

Post removed 

The Viborg outlet and integrated cover looks... funky.  I don't see the usual mounting screws, but there are a pair of side screws so the whole assembly (outlet and cover) seem to screw into the drywall??

Honestly I'm not even sure that's legal.  AFAIK, the outlet MUST screw into an outlet box.

Next, and I know I'm the only one on A'gon who cares, outlets must be tamper resistant in homes as well, not sure this is. 

I'm a big fan of the Viborg bananas but this one..... I have nothing but questions.

Post removed 
Post removed 

Idk, naim swears that their intentionally loose iec sockets on their equipment sound better...


I appreciate the effort but no, I didn't buy one. In addition to looking "funky" as Eric described it, it also looked heavy. 

If you have $100, you can still purchase the Sonore Power Cord Support or the Shunyata - Cable Cradle Wall Plate.  Audiophiles have spent more on stupider stuff so maybe not such a bad deal.

I have a spare one of the 3D printed duplex cable support plates that I am not using if you want to buy it. 

Thanks for the topic, erik_squires...

I have had excellent experience with a version of Furutech's GTX-D (R) receptacle and GTX Wall Plate for several years now.  Their non-magnetic Stainless Steel Conductor Spring System "keeps a firm grip yet won't damage male connector blades or their plated surfaces."  This has proven precisely so, the mechanism remaining buttery smooth, yet grips solidly.  Yes, there is substantial initial cost, but, amortized over time and adding great sound were well worth it.  I elect to purchase through The Cable Company to avoid black market goods and also take advantage of their "frequent flyer program" savings.  I suppose one must qualify...I've no business affiliation with either company other than the purchase of their goods. 

Paying attention to every aspect of building a system leads to gratifying refinement.  Onwards!

More Peace      Pin            (bold print for old eyes)