How to Wire an Outlet and Add an Electrical Outlet


Remove those unsightly and even dangerous extension cords. If you already have an electrical outlet on the other side of the wall, you can add a new outlet fast and easily without pulling apart the wall. There aren’t any extra holes. There will be no need for time-consuming mending and repainting. We were able to center our TV against a wall in the family room that had no outlet using the method we explain here. We simply placed a new outlet in the family room, pulling power from the bedroom outlet, because there was already an electrical outlet installation on the other side of the same wall (facing into an adjacent bedroom).

You’ll need to locate a power supply.

This method only works if you can utilize an electrical outlet that is opposite, or nearly opposite, the location where you want your new wall outlet as a power supply. Follow the steps below to discover how to connect an outlet and whether you can safely use existing electrical outlets.

You can switch to a different electrical outlet if:

  • If a switch or outlet is connected to a circuit, the breaker or fuse is frequently blown. (Don’t aggravate the situation by adding another outlet to the circuit.)
  • The number of lights or electrical outlets that can be connected to a single circuit is limited by electrical rules. On a 15-amp circuit, you can usually have no more than eight lights or electrical outlets. Simply look at the number on the circuit’s breaker or fuse in your main electrical panel to ascertain its amp rating. To determine whether lights or outlets are on a certain circuit, turn off the circuit and test light switches and other outlets.
  • Kitchen and bathroom outlets must now be on separate 20-amp GFCI circuits, according to most electrical standards. Check with an electrical inspector before utilizing the method we explain here for how to wire a wall outlet in a kitchen or bathroom. A GFCI-protected outlet must be installed in a kitchen or bathroom. Do not use a kitchen or bathroom outlet to power your new outlet.
  • Depending on the inner volume of the box and the gauge of the wires, codes also limit the number of wires that can enter an electrical box or electrical receptacle. The methods for adding outlets we present here are based on standard wiring (14-gauge wire on a 15-amp circuit) and an 18-cu.-in. box (normal internal dimensions are around 2-in. x 3-1/4 in. x 3-in. deep). You can’t wire a new wall outlet as we illustrate here if the circuit is 20-amp, which necessitates thicker, 12-gauge wire, or if the present box is smaller than 18 cu. in. Unless you replace the old box with a larger one. The sizes of plastic boxes are stamped on the inside of the back of the box.

Always check with your local building inspector about the required box size. In most areas, you’ll need an electrical permit from your local building department to do this job. This contributes to a safe working environment.

Infographic created by Mendel Plumbing & Heating, Reliable Heating Service St Charles IL

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