How To Add An Extra Electrical Outlet – Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home improvement, home improvement and DIY. Tried, True, Trusted Family Counseling
How to Wire an Outlet There are some electrical jobs that should be left to a professional, but you can replace an outlet yourself as long as you take the proper precautions. Read on to learn how to do your job safely.
How To Add An Extra Electrical Outlet
In other words, working with electricity is dangerous. If you are considering a complex or sophisticated project, we sincerely recommend that you hire a licensed electrician. However, there are a few simple electrical repairs and upgrades that are suitable for DIYers on a budget who are willing to proceed with great attention to detail. You can also replace an old or damaged outlet or replace it with a USB wall outlet by following these tips. The task is simple. Be safe by taking proper precautions and carefully reading the steps on how to connect the outlet before you start.
Clever Ways To Hide Kitchen Outlets
A word of caution, though: Before doing any electrical work on your home, it’s a good idea to check your local building codes to make sure your project is within the scope of what your homeowner is doing. Do you need help? An expert can help. Get a free, no-obligation project quote from a licensed electrician near you. Find Pro +
There are tasks that are in the hands of an experienced DIYer and others that are better left to the pros. How can I tell the difference? A few common situations are outlined below to give you an idea of what homeowners can deal with (depending on local restrictions, of course) and what they may need to entrust to an electrician.
If you want to add an electrical outlet, but doing so requires running a new cable between the location of the new outlet and your home’s electrical panel, you should consult a professional. A licensed master electrician is required because building codes often require permits for new electrical work, and in many areas of the United States only professionals can obtain the required permit. In other areas, homeowners can plug in more outlets with their own permit after passing government-managed tests.
In most cases, you can connect one outlet to another. In fact, if you have an outlet on the opposite wall where you want to add it, the task can be very simple. In this situation, you can usually cut new openings, install electrical boxes, and add new outlets without running wires through studs. You will need to use the pin finder to locate the pins on either side of the old receptacle and place the new receptacle into the same pin bay.
Types Of Electrical Outlets Found In Homes
If you are looking for multiple outlets in one location, it is also possible to replace an existing duplex outlet that only requires 2 outlets with a quad outlet that requires 4 outlets. This can also come in handy in kitchens and bathrooms where you can’t cut into a workshop or two outlets.
In either case, it’s important to have enough capacity in the circuit to accommodate the extra draw. For a 15 amp circuit, the maximum is usually 8 outlets or lights. Outlets that are larger than that may draw too much current through the breaker.
Old fashioned 2-wire plug connections are not grounded and are dangerous in the event of an electrical fault. Without an electrician, it is safe to convert a 2-prong outlet to a 3-prong outlet if the electrical box the outlet is in is metal and the cables feeding into the box are shielded. If these conditions are met, the box provides ground fault protection (even if the outlet is not). How do you know if your electrical box is compliant without opening the wall? Simple: use a voltage tester. Insert a pin into the shorter exit slot (“hot slot”) then press another screw into the screw holding the faceplate. If the tester lights up, the electrical box is grounded. You can go ahead and convert two wires into three. your electrical box
If it’s grounded, you can still convert it to a 3-wire outlet, but your replacement should be a ground fault circuit breaker or GFCI (the type of outlet that has a red button on the front).
Wiring A Switch And Outlet The Safe And Easy Way
Over time, electrical outlets can start to look dirty or dirty, or the plastic can crack, making the outlet unsafe to use. It’s important to learn how to replace electrical outlets safely and efficiently to keep electricity flowing where it’s needed. Fortunately, when it comes to electrical projects, replacing an outlet is the simplest.
Be sure to turn off the outlet you are replacing before proceeding. Go to your home’s electrical panel and turn off the breakers associated with the circuits supplying power to those outlets. After turning the power off from the outlet, use a voltage tester to double check that it is actually off. Insert the tester probes into the two top exit slots. If the tester lights up, the electrical panel has been switched on incorrectly and you should try again. Continue trial and error until you are sure the outlet is no longer receiving power.
Don’t have a voltage tester? A lamp can be used instead, as long as you know it will work. If you plug the lamp into an outlet and it doesn’t light up, you can safely continue. This method is inherently more risky, so use it only as a last resort. Need help with electrical work? An expert can help. Get a free, no-obligation project quote from a licensed electrician near you. Find Pro +
Remove the cover from the socket faceplate. Most faceplates have a screw in the middle. The board is easily removed by removing the screws. Then unscrew the mounting screws securing the outlet to the electrical box. Finally, carefully remove the plug from the container.
Tapping Into An Existing Outlet
You can now see three wires going from the wall to the outlet. If the wire is attached to the screw on the outlet, loosening the screw will loosen the wire. If the wire is winding through the hole in the back of the receptacle, press the release slot and pull the wire out, assuming the wire will not unplug on its own. Get rid of old plugs.
You are now ready to connect your replacement. First connect the neutral wire (white) to the silver screw on the side of the outlet. You must orient the hook end of the wire so that the curve of the wire is clockwise (the same direction a screw turns when tightened).
Attach the hot (black) wire to the last remaining gold screw on the socket housing.
Carefully reconnect the wires to the electrical box, then secure the outlet to the box using the top and bottom mounting screws. Finally, place the faceplate into the socket and lock it into place.
Don’t Have Enough Power Outlets? Here’s What You Can Do
Return to the electrical panel and restore power to the outlet you just replaced. Test the device with a voltage tester to verify that the outlet has been installed successfully.
Sometimes you will find that you really need another outlet. You may need to set up a new gadget or entertainment device or set up a workspace. You can often solve this problem by wiring the new outlet from the old outlet on the opposite side of the wall where you want to install the new outlet. This project is a bit more complex, but can be done by the safety-minded DIYer.
– 4-in-1 screwdriver – Voltage tester – Needle nose pliers – Lineman’s pliers – Wire stripper – Drywall saw – Power cord – Socket – Remodel box (also known as old work box)
Before doing anything else, be sure to turn off the power from the current outlet. Check the power outlet with a voltage tester, then go to the electrical panel and turn off the appropriate breakers. Reconnect and try again making sure the power is off. After verifying that the power is off, it’s a good idea to put black electrical tape over the switch to prevent someone from carelessly turning it back on.
How To Move A Light Switch Or Electric Outlet
Place the electrical box in front of the drywall you plan to install. Trace the sides of the box with a pencil and cut the marks with a drywall saw.
Return to the current outlet. If it’s been a while since you closed the breaker, try the outlet again to see if it’s still off. Then remove the faceplate and remove the screws securing the outlet to the box. Carefully remove the plug and hang it on the side so you can access the back of the box.
Push the new wire through the hole in the back of the box and pass enough wire through the wall to reach the new outlet with an extra foot. thread through
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