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How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

Electrically-powered yard tools provide you with a way to get yard work done quickly and efficiently, while requiring less physical effort. The drawback to these tools is that they must be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to function, which can be an issue if you have an extremely large yard. You can solve this problem by installing a remote electrical outlet in your yard. Completing this project provides you with a source of power that doesn’t require you to drag long extension cords across your entire yard.

Get the utility lines buried in your yard marked so you don’t damage them while digging. You can do this by calling 811, which alerts your utilities to mark the lines at no cost to you.

Spray paint the ground to mark the path of the power line between the house and the location of the outlet. Begin the line near your home’s main electrical box, and avoid buried utility lines and immovable objects like trees when laying out the path. Keeping the path as straight as possible makes the installation process easier.

Dig a hole in the ground that is 6 inches wide and 18 inches deep where you’re installing the outlet.

Dig a trench along the spray-painted line between the house and the hole located where the outlet is being installed. Follow local building codes regarding the depth of the trench.

Pour 6 inches of gravel into the hole at the end of the trench. Tamp the gravel to compact it.

Cut a 3-foot-long post from a 4-inch-by-4-inch post with a circular saw. Wear safety goggles when cutting the post. Apply wood preservative to the end of the post where you made the cut to protect it from water damage.

Measure a length of electrical conduit to fit inside the trench and and cut it with a hacksaw. Follow your local building codes regarding the size and material for the conduit. Options include PVC pipe and rigid metal conduit. Lay the different sections of conduit onto the ground next to the trench. The end of the conduit near the house should be within 6 inches of the house, and the end at the outlet should extend about one-third of the way into the hole from the trench.

Connect a 90-degree elbow to the ends of the conduit sections near the house and at the hole for the outlet. The elbows are used to extend the ends of the conduit up out of the ground.

Assemble the conduit with the fittings required for the type of conduit you’re using. When attaching the sections with the elbows, position them with the elbows pointing straight up. Place the assembled conduit into the trench. Cover the end of the conduit inside the hole with tape to prevent concrete from falling inside it.

Mix a batch of concrete, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Fill the hole about halfway with the concrete. Place the post into the hole, with one side directly against the vertical conduit. Check the post with a level to ensure it is plumb, or vertically straight, on all sides and adjust if needed. Fill the rest of the hole with cement. Check the post for level and plumb again. Smooth the surface of the concrete with a trowel, and allow the concrete to set for the time specified by the manufacturer.

Remove the tape from the end of the conduit at the post. Feed an electrician’s fish tape through the conduit until it emerges on the other end. Attach an Underground Feeder cable to the fish tape, and pull it through the conduit by reeling in the fish tape.

Remove the knockout hole on the bottom of a metal outlet box. Screw a male adapter onto the hole, then slide the adapter over the end of the cable and the conduit. Place the outlet box against the post and screw it into position.

Cut away any excess cable — you only need enough to reach the top of the electrical box — and strip 2 inches of sheathing from the cable. Strip a half-inch of insulation from the black and white wires inside the cable.

Connect the cable to a ground-fault circuit interrupter outlet. Hook the black wire around the brass terminal screw on one side of the outlet, and tighten the screw. Connect the white wire to the sliver terminal screw underneath the black wire. Connect the ground wire to the ground screw on the bottom of the outlet. A GFCI outlet has a circuit-breaker built into the outlet to protect against electrical shorts caused by moisture seeping into the line.

Place the GFCI outlet into the outlet box and screw it into place with the mounting screws. Place the plastic cover over the outlet.

Backfill the trench. Hire an electrician to connect the circuit to your home’s main electrical box, which is required by most building codes for safety reasons. If the codes require that the electrician inspect the line, don’t backfill the trench until this is done.

  • The Family Handyman: How to Install Outdoor Lighting and Outlet
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Carson Barrett began writing professionally in 2009. He has been published on various websites. Barrett is currently attending Bucks County Community College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in sports management.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

Is your house short of electrical outlets? This is a common problem in older homes, where outlets tend to be few and far between compared to more modern residences. Fortunately, it is quite possible to install one or more additional electrical outlets. Learn how to add an outlet here.

First shut electric power off!

IMPORTANT: For your safety, before you start any electrical project or repair, it is essential that you shut the power off to avoid shocks or even electrocution. Trip the breaker of the circuit you will be working on and check it with a neon tester to make sure the power is off.

Access a power source

When you go to add an outlet, remember that not all of the wiring in your walls will have all the necessary wires for you to tap into to hook up a new outlet. But most outlet receptacles do have the necessary wiring (excluding switched outlets). Therefore, the most common power source to run a new wire from is an existing outlet.

Correlate screw colors and wire colors

Now you will need to correlate the screw colors on the outlet to the appropriate wire colors. The wires and screws must be color coded for universal use so there are no wiring errors. The chrome color screw will have the neutral wire, or grounded conductor (white or gray), attached to it. The brass color screw will have the hot wire (black or red) attached. The green screw of the outlet will be attached to the equipment grounding wire, which is a bare wire or a green wire. Most home wiring is complete with either No. 14 gauge or No. 12 gauge wiring.

Run a cable from the existing outlet

To add the new outlet, you will need to run a new cable between the existing outlet and the new outlet. Make sure you are utilizing the same size cable; the size is usually stamped on the wire. In most cases you will run the wire cable to enter the existing outlet’s electrical box. Strip away a minimum of 6 inches of wire inside the box and do the same when you get to the new electrical box location.

After you have run the wires to the new electrical box, you will need to connect it to the outlet. The black hot wire needs to be connected to the brass color screw, the neutral or white wire to the chrome screw and the bare wire must be grounded to the grounding screw on the electrical box and the grounding screw, or green screw, of the outlet. Once the wires are connected to the outlet, push everything into the electrical box. Then screw in your outlet and faceplate to complete the project.

To DIY or not to DIY?

Electrical work is a difficult and potentially dangerous project, suitable only for very experienced do-it-yourselfers. If you are at all unsure of your DIY electrical skills, hire a professional electrician to ensure the job is done right.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

Sometimes an electrical outlet is positioned in such a way that it does not work for your needs. Maybe an appliance or an electrical component that cannot be moved won’t quite reach the outlet. Or, your house contains floor electrical outlets that you wish were higher up a wall. Whatever the problem you are facing, there are ways to solve it. Extending a wall electrical outlet is not the same as simply plugging a power strip or a multi-outlet unit into an existing plug. That is certainly one option, but you can also physically extend the outlet, without cutting a long hole in the paint, plaster, and drywall.

Step 1 – Prepare to Start

At the main circuit panel, shut off the power to the outlet. That may mean you have to shut off power to an entire room, but it is for safety. Then, with a screwdriver, remove the faceplate of the outlet you wish to extend.

Step 2 – Add the Extension Wiring

The outlet extension kit should contain a cable with three wires: white, black, and bare copper. Strip back several inches of the cable’s jacket to expose the wires. On the existing outlet, there should be a silver screw and a gold screw, and a green grounding screw, and on the existing electrical box there should be a ground screw at the bottom of the box. First, attach the exposed white wire to the silver screw then the black wire to the gold screw, making sure that they are securely fastened. Lastly, attach the bare copper wire to the box’s ground screw and the receptacle’s green screw.

Step 3 – Run the New Wiring to the Extended Location

Run the new cable to the new location making sure to leave enough slack to comfortably wire the new outlet.

Step 4 – Secure the Faceplate Over the Existing Outlet

The existing outlet will need a new faceplate to accommodate the new wiring. An outlet extension kit should contain most of the pieces for the faceplate; otherwise, you might need to purchase one separately. Make sure it can properly be screwed into the wall while at the same time allowing for the new wiring to lead out of it.

Step 5 – Install Electrical Outlet

The new electrical outlet will not be inside the wall. Instead, it will be attached to the outside. Affix an exterior metal plate to the wall with screws. To this you will attach the exterior wire box, but before you do, run the three wires-in-one into the new wire box, connecting them in the same order as before: white to silver, black to gold, and copper to green.

Step 6 – Affix the New Outlet and Faceplate

Once the new outlet is wired, secure it inside the already-secured wire box, carefully tucking the new wiring inside. Attach the faceplate to the new wire box; then, using tacks or large staples, or preferably screwed in plastic clamps, fasten the extension wire to the wall or baseboard, making sure it cannot be easily tugged free.

Return the circuit breaker for the outlet or room to the ON position and test the extended outlet to make sure it works properly.

As long as you are satisfied with having an extended outlet outside of the wall, this is an easy method to install one. Your other option is to tear into the wall and extend the outlet through the studs to create another in-wall outlet.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

Splicing a new receptacle in the middle of a run is simple.

Whenever you work with electricity, whether it’s a simple project or not, it’s best to know exactly what you’re doing before you start. That said, adding an electrical outlet isn’t that complicated. If you have an existing run, it won’t take a lot of your time. Furthermore, it’s safer to add an electrical outlet than it is to pack a store-bought power strip. Power strips can increase the risk of fires if not used correctly, especially if you have multiple high-intensity electronics attached to them.

Here we have an ideal situation—the drywall on one side of the wall has been removed and the wiring is exposed. But, save for installing a new electrical box, the process is largely the same (check out “How to Install an ‘Old-Work’ Electrical Box” to see how to install a new box when the drywall is intact).

Then, remove the outlet and detach the wires.

Install the box for the new outlet, remove the “incoming” wires from the old box, and run them into the new one.

Then, cut a new length of the same-gauge cable to run between the new outlet and the old and feed it to the boxes, leaving about 8 in. of new cable in each box.

The cable needs to be secured to the studs, typically with wire staples, within 12 in. boxes that include cable clamps, or within 8 in. of boxes without cable clamps. When adding a new outlet without removing the drywall, there’s no requirement to secure the new cable to the studs.

To wire the new box, splice the wires from the new cable onto the old, along with pigtails that will connect to the new device. It’s best practice to cut the old exposed copper off the old wires and strip a fresh length to attach to the terminals.

Once the wires are connected (bare copper to the green screw, white to any silver screw, and black to any gold screw), fasten the receptacle, and repeat the splicing and connection process in the old box.

To finish, turn the breaker on and test both outlets to make sure everything is wired correctly.

More on Electrical:

Four Worry-Free Wiring Repairs – For nonelectricians, wiring repairs can be dreaded tasks. With the help of electrician Brian Walo, however, even beginners can consider tackling a few basic wiring repairs. Walo cautions that working with electricity can be dangerous and that it is important to be patient and to follow a few simple rules.

How to Install an Electrical Subpanel – To install a subpanel, an electrician shows how to pull the cables to the panel, or load center. He then works step by step through landing the grounds, the subfeed, and the neutrals, before installing the breakers and landing the hots. A series of photos shows the systematic process.

How to Wire a Switch Box – For this “Building Skills” article, veteran electrician Brian Walo describes how to wire a switch box. After stressing the importance of neatness and logic in the wiring process, Walo goes step-by-step, starting with running and labeling cables, and then bringing cables into the box.

How to Wire an Instagram-Worthy Electrical Subpanel – Neatness counts, both for impressing clients and for future service.

Master Carpenter: How to Wire a Bathroom – In this video series, electrician Cliff Popejoy explains how to run the rough electrical wiring for a bathroom. He’ll explain the necessary procedures for attaching outlet, switch and fixture boxes, tricks for running and stapling cable and last, how to prepare the boxes. Learn how to wire a bathroom here.

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Hi, Safety First – Call in an Electrician, or go on a course to learn how to do it!

alt=”FrugalFamilyTimes.com” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> FrugalFamilyTimes.com 3 days ago

Another vote for hiring an electrician. It’s too dangerous to do without knowing exactly how. 🙂

alt=”Ann|The Apple Street Cottage” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Ann|The Apple Street Cottage 3 days ago

Here’s a link, but if you’re not familiar with electricity, call an electrician.

alt=”Homeroad” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Homeroad 3 days ago

Electrical outlets should only be added by trained Electricians. Can you use a strip outlet with a serge protector? https://amzn.to/3AtksyA

Please get a licensed and insured electrician in to do this. Safety first. They maybe willing to let you watch them do their task and explain to you what they are doing and why.

Houses are built and inspected before the walls get covered so the inspectors can make sure everything is up to code, especially electrically.

As a temporary alternative consider a strip outlet with a surge protector.

alt=”Vimarhonor” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Vimarhonor 3 days ago

Go to sleep might have some information. If it’s something above your comfort and experience level —-professional help should be contacted.

alt=”Seth” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Seth 3 days ago

There are several electric code requirements you need to be aware of before attempting to do this project. Yes, on the surface it may seem like an easy DIY project with plenty of Youtubes to show you how and sometimes it is easy. But, if you have never done it before, please do it under the supervision of someone who knows what they are doing and can teach you how to do it properly and safely. Every situation is different. Also be aware that your insurance company may not cover a loss due to improper wiring by a homeowner.

I would not try this unless you know how to work with electricity- you need to call in someone that knows the codes and what they are doing to keep from burning your house down by trying to DIY

If you need to ask hire an electrician. Electricity is not something to play with. If you feel capable do your research. Look at videos, and different sites before tackling a job like this. You can even get advice in the electrical department at Ace hardware or Home Depot.

alt=”Mogie” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Mogie 3 days ago

Inside or outside?

Unless you have done this before call a pro. I have a very healthy respect for electricity after hubby was shocked because he didn’t turn the power off when running a wire in the wall for a clock.

alt=”Lindsay Aratari” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Lindsay Aratari 2 days ago

I’d call an electrician

Will hire an electrician

alt=”Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom 2 days ago

Here is how to add an electrical outlet anywhere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CY3MsI97zg

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

alt=”Kathy Gunter Law” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Kathy Gunter Law 2 days ago

I would highly recommend hiring this to be done. Without a good electrical knowledge, you could cause a fire. I would take a hard look at everything that needs to be done and have a few items taken care of at one service call.

That said, if you have other outlets nearby, you can add one by splicing into the wiring between two existing outlets. YouTube videos are abundant on the subject. They also have a version that “bites” into the wire but I am a bit wary of those.

alt=”Betsy” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Betsy 2 days ago

Hi Brenda: Unless you’re a contractor or electrician, have a professional do it. You don’t want to mess with electricity at all. Make sure the worker is licensed, bonded and insured. Ask to see his/her license. If it has someone elses name and he/she says he/she is working under their license, throw them out. You want someone who has their own license. And, if you need to pull a permit, let them do it. Don’t ever pull a permit for work you are not qualified to do. If you do and something goes wonky, you’re on the hook for the work and the insurance company won’t cover any repairs. Also, when you do hire someone, if you have another outlet or something, have them do it while they are there, it’ll be cheaper since they are already there./

Check local regulations for restrictions and permit requirements before beginning electrical work. Per the NEC, the number of conductors allowed in a box are limited depending on box size and wire gauge. Calculate total conductors allowed in a box before adding new wiring, etc. The user of this information is responsible for following all applicable regulations and best practices when performing electrical work. If the user is unable to perform electrical work themselves, a qualified electrician should be consulted. How to Read These Diagrams

This page contains diagrams to add a new electrical outlet to an existing circuit. Arrangements are included to use an existing receptacle circuit or lights and switch circuits as the source for a new wall outlet.

Wiring a New Outlet to Another Outlet

To add a new outlet to a group of receptacles already in place, splice the new wires to one set of wires on one of the existing outlets. Run 2-wire cable from the existing receptacle to the new outlet location.

In this diagram, each receptacle is wired to the next using the terminals to pass the voltage along so each has 4 wires, not including the ground, connected to it. To provide voltage to the new outlet, disconnect both black wires and both white wires from the existing receptacle. Splice both existing black wires together with the black wire running to the new outlet and a short pigtail wire to connect back to the existing receptacle. Splice the white wires in the same way. Also, splice the ground wire from the new cable with the other ground wires in the outlet box.

Wiring Diagram for a New Outlet Off a Light Switch

This diagram shows the wiring for a new outlet added from a light switch. The switch must have an always-hot wire for the source and a neutral wire must be present for the return path. This receptacle can not be added to a switch wired as a loop to control the light.

Here the hot source is spliced with a pigtail back to the switch and to the black wire on a new, 2-wire cable running to the new outlet. The neutral is spliced in the switch box to both the existing light and the white neutral wire to the new location. Lastly, the new ground wire is spliced with the other ground wires in the switch box.

Wiring a New Switched Outlet From a Light

Here a new receptacle is added to an existing light fixture circuit creating a new switched outlet. The source for this circuit it at the light switch. The connections are made at the light fixture by removing the black and white wires from the light. The new outlet wires are spliced with each of these existing wires along with a pigtail wire to connect back to the light terminals. With this arrangement the new outlet will turn off and on with the light fixture.

Wiring a New Outlet to a Light Fixture

This circuit diagram shows the wiring for a new receptacle outlet connected at an existing light fixture where the source hot is at the ceiling box. A switch loop with an available neutral wire is used to control the light which complies with NEC 2011 requirements.

New 2-wire cable runs from the light fixture box to the new outlet location. The source hot is spliced to the new black wire and to the black switch loop wire. The neutral is spliced with the new white wire and a pigtail back to the light neutral terminal. The new ground wire is spliced with the existing ground wires in the ceiling box. With this arrangement the new receptacle is always hot.

Wiring a New Outlet Off a 3 Way Switch

In this diagram, an outlet is added to a 3 way light circuit where the source comes in before the switches. It is not controlled with the switches but is instead always hot. New 2-wire cable runs from the source 3 way switch box to the new outlet location.

The source hot wire is disconnected from the circuit at the switch box and the new black wire for the outlet is spliced in. Likewise, the neutral for the new outlet is spliced with the circuit neutral wires. The new ground wire is spliced with the other existing ground wires in the switch box. This addition has no effect on the existing 3 way switch circuit.

by The Hosts

Adding an outlet behind a wall mounted TV is a straightforward job you can do on your own with just a few tools. This intermediate-level project will walk you through how to run electrical cable inside your wall, extending the circuit of your current outlet to a new one directly behind your TV. It’s inexpensive, quick, and will give your TV a clean, professional look. Here’s what you’ll need:

TOOLS

  • Circuit Tester
  • Stud finder
  • Drywall Jab Saw
  • Flat-head Screwdriver
  • Wire Stripping Tool
  • Utility Knife
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Cable Ripper

MATERIALS

  • 1-Gang Old Work Box
  • 14-2 or 12-2 Cable – Plastic Sheathed & Non-metallic
  • Wire Connectors
  • Duplex Outlet
  • Outlet Cover Plate

When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear. Throughout the video, we’ll alert you regarding when you should and should not use the safety gear.

Before you begin, please note that you should never hide your TV’s electrical cord in the wall. Doing so is a fire hazard in violation of the National Electrical Code.

STEP ONE

Turn off circuit. Start by shutting off the power associated with the circuit you’ll be working on. While doing this, check the amperage on the breaker. A 15 amp circuit will require cable containing 14 gauge wire. A 20 amp circuit will require cable containing 12 gauge wire. Plug a circuit testing into the outlet you’ll be working on to make sure the circuit is cut.

STEP TWO

Locate new box. Your existing outlet box will be nailed or screwed to a wall stud. Use a stud finder to determine if the existing box is nailed to the right or left of that stud. The new box will be installed above the existing box, but on the same side of the stud.

Keep the remodel box you’ll be using, sometimes called an old work box, at least one inch away from the stud. The box has two wings that will open inside the drywall to clamp it in place.

STEP THREE

Cut new hole. If your new box includes a template, use it to trace cut lines on the wall. If a template isn’t available, trace the face of the box on the wall. Cut the hole with a jab saw. Go slowly, being careful not to hit any existing wires or pipes running behind the same wall.

STEP FOUR

Push cable. Unscrew and remove the cover plate from you existing outlet. Disconnect the two screws attaching the outlet to the box. Then carefully pull the outlet out. The box will have one or two cable holes at the top. Each will be covered by a plug or a tap. If the box is metal, you’ll see a metal clamp. Loosen the clamp screw. If it’s plugged, punch out the plug for one of the holes with the tip of the screwdriver. You may have to tap the screwdriver handle with a hammer to do this. If the box is plastic, pry open one of the holes.

To prevent snags, crimp about an inch of the leading end of the new wire before pushing it through the existing box. After doing this, place the new cable through the hole and push it up. Pull the cable through the hole. This step can be a little tricky and may require some persistence.

STEP FIVE

Prepare existing outlet. Middle-of-run outlets have two black wires and two white wires. For these outlets, disconnect one white wire and one black wire by loosening the terminal screws. End-of-run outlets feature just one black wire and one white wire. If you have an end-of-run outlet, leave these wires connected intact.

STEP SIX

Prepare ground wires. If your existing box is plastic, disconnect the bare ground wire from the green terminal on the outlet. If your box is metal, you’ll see a short bare wire connected to a green grounding screw in the back of the box. Be sure to check the packaging of your wire connectors to make sure they’re designed for the number of wires you will be connecting as well as the wire gauge you’re using.

STEP SEVEN

Prepare wires in existing box. Use a cable ripper to slice the sheathing on the new cable. Peel the sheathing back and remove it with a utility knife. Connect the new cable’s bare wire to the other bare wires with a wire connector. If necessary, replace the connector with one designed for more wires. Use a wire stripper to remove ¾ of an inch of insulation from the new black and white wires.

STEP EIGHT

Connecting wires in existing box. If only one white wire and one black wire are connected to the outlet, go to step nine. If two white and two black wires are connected to the outlet, skip to step ten.

STEP NINE

Making end-of-run connections. For a plastic box, cut a six-inch length of bare wire to use as a pigtail. Use needle nose pliers to twist one end of the pigtail with the bare ground wire you disconnected from the outlet and the bare ground wire from the new cable. Secure the connection with a wire connector. If your box is metal, you’ve already connected all the bare wires.

STEP TEN

Making middle-of-run connections. Cut three six-inch pieces of wire, one white, one black, and one bare to use as pigtails. Strip ¾ of an inch of insulation from each end of the black and white pigtails. Using needle nose pliers, twist one end of the white pigtail with the white wire you disconnected from the terminal and the white wire from the new cable, making sure the exposed portion of each wire is the same length. Secure the wires together with a wire connector.

Repeat this step to connect the two black wires to the black pigtail and if the box is plastic, two bare wires to the bare pigtail. If the box is metal, you’ve already connected all the bare wires.

STEP ELEVEN

Reconnect old outlet. Use needle nose pliers to bend a hook on the end of each disconnected wire in the box. Connect the white wire to the unused silver outlet screw, the black wire to the unused brass screw, and if it’s not already connected, the bare wire to the green screw. Fold the outlet wires carefully into the box. Reconnect the outlet to the box and reattach the cover plate.

STEP TWELVE

Install new box. As you push the box into the drywall opening, pull the cable through a hole in the bottom of the new box. Engage the clamp wings by tightening the two screws behind the drywall. Tighten until the box is secure.

STEP THIRTEEN

Install new outlet. Remove the sheathing from the new cable inside the box. Strip ¾ of an inch of insulation from the black and white wires, making hooks on all three. Connect the bare wire to the green outlet terminal, connect the black wire to one of the brass terminals, and the white wire to one of the silver terminals. Fold the wires into the box. Screw the outlet to the box and install the cover plate with the screws provided. Turn on the circuit breaker connected to your new outlet and use your circuit tester to confirm your new outlet is live.

Plug your TV back in, and enjoy a wire-free view!

Looking for great tools to help get your project done? Shop Stanley , Black & Decker and DeWALT for everything you need!

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Two years ago when Adam and I planked our kitchen we had no idea what to do around the outlets and switches. We ended up just cutting the planks around the current outlets and leaving them like that. It never really bothered me…but I never liked it either. The great thing about being a serial DIYer (or a DIY blog reader!) is that you are always learning new things, and while planking the boy’s room I learned that no one expects you to leave your outlets cut around and unfinished looking. In fact, there is a really easy fix for it.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

First thing you’re going to want to do is turn off power to the areas you will be working on. I know y’all know this, but I have to stress it anyway….you must be SO EXTREMELY careful with anything electrical because if you do it wrong it can kill you. Literally.

So this is our breaker box. What I did was flip on the overhead light in the boy’s room and switch off the assigned breaker, which caused the light to go off.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

Good to go, right? No so much. I went and grabbed a lamp to double-check everything. I plugged in a lamp and it came on, which meant the outlets still had power going to them. So I went back to the breaker box and looked around…turns out the outlets in that room are on a different breaker than the switches.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

This is why double and triple checking is so important. My breakers are labeled correctly, but I assumed that everything in their room would be on the same one….which isn’t the case. (I don’t have one, but buying a voltage tester is a good idea.)

Here is the secret to flush outlets…this little plastic doodad called and electrical spacer (or outlet extender).

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

I bought mine at Home Depot – but I had to drive to three different ones to find them (you can’t buy them online). Every employee looked at me like I had two heads when I tried to explain what I was looking for, and finally a heroic fellow customer knew what I was talking about and found them for me. You can also buy them on Amazon, they are really overpriced but you don’t have to go on a scavenger hunt to find them.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

Anyway, each section of the spacer is a 1/8 inch, you just snap them together until you find the right depth and cut off the excess. BTW, by “find the right depth” I actually mean do a long series of guess and check while using your teeth to repeatedly snap and unsnap them.

Next you place the spacer between the two screw holes and screw it tightly in place.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

Although, if you added enough depth the original screw won’t be long enough, so will have to buy longer ones.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

Here’s the outlet at the new level, that black abyss behind it is the spacers.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

The final step is to add the outlet cover. I purchased new ones that are 3/8 inch larger than normal so that all the edges will be hidden. If you plan ahead and cut your planks (or beadboard, or tile) accordingly you can use the same covers…we didn’t plan ahead though.

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

These new covers are also supposed to be unbreakable, which is nice considering I’ve broken my fair share by screwing them in too tightly. I know, I know…just call me Muscles.

Here is the outlet now, it looks so much cleaner than it did before. Now to do my kitchen and dining room!

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

UPDATE – A reader sent me the following comment, I wanted to share since I wouldn’t want to recommend something that’s a potential safety hazard.

I’m not sure your fix is ‘safe’…Electrical boxes must be flush to the wall surface if the wall surface is a combustible material. Boxes recessed behind combustible materials like wood present a fire hazard because the wood is left exposed to potential heat and sparks. Your box is recessed inside the wall which allows the outlet to potentially in contact with the wood of your plank board. You should instead use a electrical box extension which is easily inserted inside the existing box and clamps to the outside of the plank board…of course using your extra long screws to screw into the original box. Then put on the large faceplate. The only time you can use the plastic pieces you bought are if you are extending through a non-combustible surface (tile, concrete, sheetrock, plaster) and even then you can only extend up to 1/4″.

Hi, Safety First – Call in an Electrician, or go on a course to learn how to do it!

alt=”FrugalFamilyTimes.com” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> FrugalFamilyTimes.com 3 days ago

Another vote for hiring an electrician. It’s too dangerous to do without knowing exactly how. 🙂

alt=”Ann|The Apple Street Cottage” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Ann|The Apple Street Cottage 3 days ago

Here’s a link, but if you’re not familiar with electricity, call an electrician.

alt=”Homeroad” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Homeroad 3 days ago

Electrical outlets should only be added by trained Electricians. Can you use a strip outlet with a serge protector? https://amzn.to/3AtksyA

Please get a licensed and insured electrician in to do this. Safety first. They maybe willing to let you watch them do their task and explain to you what they are doing and why.

Houses are built and inspected before the walls get covered so the inspectors can make sure everything is up to code, especially electrically.

As a temporary alternative consider a strip outlet with a surge protector.

alt=”Vimarhonor” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Vimarhonor 3 days ago

Go to sleep might have some information. If it’s something above your comfort and experience level —-professional help should be contacted.

alt=”Seth” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Seth 3 days ago

There are several electric code requirements you need to be aware of before attempting to do this project. Yes, on the surface it may seem like an easy DIY project with plenty of Youtubes to show you how and sometimes it is easy. But, if you have never done it before, please do it under the supervision of someone who knows what they are doing and can teach you how to do it properly and safely. Every situation is different. Also be aware that your insurance company may not cover a loss due to improper wiring by a homeowner.

I would not try this unless you know how to work with electricity- you need to call in someone that knows the codes and what they are doing to keep from burning your house down by trying to DIY

If you need to ask hire an electrician. Electricity is not something to play with. If you feel capable do your research. Look at videos, and different sites before tackling a job like this. You can even get advice in the electrical department at Ace hardware or Home Depot.

alt=”Mogie” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Mogie 3 days ago

Inside or outside?

Unless you have done this before call a pro. I have a very healthy respect for electricity after hubby was shocked because he didn’t turn the power off when running a wire in the wall for a clock.

alt=”Lindsay Aratari” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Lindsay Aratari 2 days ago

I’d call an electrician

Will hire an electrician

alt=”Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom 2 days ago

Here is how to add an electrical outlet anywhere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CY3MsI97zg

How to add an electrical outlet to a wall

alt=”Kathy Gunter Law” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Kathy Gunter Law 2 days ago

I would highly recommend hiring this to be done. Without a good electrical knowledge, you could cause a fire. I would take a hard look at everything that needs to be done and have a few items taken care of at one service call.

That said, if you have other outlets nearby, you can add one by splicing into the wiring between two existing outlets. YouTube videos are abundant on the subject. They also have a version that “bites” into the wire but I am a bit wary of those.

alt=”Betsy” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Betsy 2 days ago

Hi Brenda: Unless you’re a contractor or electrician, have a professional do it. You don’t want to mess with electricity at all. Make sure the worker is licensed, bonded and insured. Ask to see his/her license. If it has someone elses name and he/she says he/she is working under their license, throw them out. You want someone who has their own license. And, if you need to pull a permit, let them do it. Don’t ever pull a permit for work you are not qualified to do. If you do and something goes wonky, you’re on the hook for the work and the insurance company won’t cover any repairs. Also, when you do hire someone, if you have another outlet or something, have them do it while they are there, it’ll be cheaper since they are already there./