How to Wire an Outlet and Add an Electrical Outlet (DIY) | Family Handyman

How to Wire an Outlet and Add an Electrical Outlet (DIY) | Family Handyman

How to Wire an Outlet and Add an Electrical Outlet (DIY) | Family Handyman

How to connect a plug outlet

you will need to find a power source

This technique only works if you can use an outlet as a power source that is opposite, or nearly opposite, where you want to put your new outlet. To determine how to wire an outlet and whether you can safely use existing outlets, follow the list below.

you can use another electrical outlet when:

  1. If a switch or outlet is on a circuit that often blows its breaker or fuse. (Don’t make things worse by adding another outlet to the circuit.)
  2. Electrical codes restrict the number of lights or electrical outlets that can be connected to a circuit. you generally cannot have more than eight lights or electrical outlets on a 15-amp circuit. To determine the amperage rating of a circuit, just look at the number on your breaker or fuse in your main electrical panel. turn off the circuit and test light switches and other outlets to determine exactly which lights or outlets are on a given circuit.
  3. Most electrical codes now require outlets in kitchens and bathrooms to be on circuits 20 amp separate gfci. so before using the method shown here on how to wire a wall outlet in a kitchen or bathroom, check with an electrical inspector. if you add an outlet to a kitchen or bathroom, it must be gfci protected. do not power your new outlet from a kitchen or bathroom outlet.
  4. Codes also limit the number of wires that can enter an electrical box or electrical receptacle, depending on the interior volume of the box and the gauge of the the cables. the outlet addition methods shown here are based on the most common wiring (14 gauge wire on a 15 amp circuit) and 18 cubic inch wire. box (typical inside dimensions are approximately 2 in. x 3-1/4 in. x 3 in. deep). if the circuit is 20 amps, which means thicker 12 gauge wire, or if the existing box is smaller than 18 cubic feet. in., you cannot connect a new wall outlet as shown here unless you replace the existing box with a larger one. plastic box sizes are stamped inside on the back.

Always confirm the required box size with your local building inspector. In most regions, you need an electrical permit for this work from your local building department. this helps ensure safe work. These are the 8 most common violations of the National Electrical Code.

watch this video to learn how to install an electrical panel in any room of your house:

work safely

Before tackling any part of this project, turn off the circuit at the main electrical panel by turning off the breaker or removing the fuse.

Before touching bare wires or the terminals of a switch or outlet, use a voltage tester on all wires to make sure there is no power. If you have older cloth-insulated wiring, call an electrician for safe connection recommendations. With wiring from an outlet like this, there’s usually no ground wire, and it’s hard to tell the hot wire from the neutral, because they’re both encased in black insulation.

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