How to Install a Washing Machine Outlet Box

Updated February 21, 2017

Setting up or installing a new washer may require the installation of a new electrical box. The good news is your washer will run off the power from a standard 110 volt electrical socket. This will cut down the cost of needing to buy special plugs or outlets as you would with a dryer. For a new install, you will need to run power from the circuit panel to the area where the washer will be located. You also will need to install a GFCI outlet as an added safety measure, since the electrical socket will be around water.

Locate the area where the washer will be situated. Measure up 48 inches from the ground and make a mark on the wall. Hold the outlet box up to the wall with the bottom side of the box on the mark. Trace the outline of the shape of the box onto the wall. Using the saw, cut out a hole in the wall, following along the outline.

Drill a hole in the top of the wall, from the attic, over where the outlet will be mounted in the wall. Be sure to drill the hole in the same wall cavity as where the outlet will be located.

This hole is where you will feed the wiring down to the outlet box. The other end of the cable will be connected to the main electrical panel in the steps to follow. The main circuit panel will supply the power to the outlet through this electrical cable.

Using the attic, will allow you to more easily run the wiring from the main circuit panel over to the new outlet, rather than attempting to run the wiring through existing walls and studs.

Feed one end of the electrical cable down through the hole, from the attic, to the hole where the outlet will be and have an assistant pull about six inches of wiring out the hole.

Turn the main power switch to the circuit panel to the "Off" position.

Using the screwdriver, remove the screws on the front panel and remove the cover panel off the main circuit panel.

Feed the other end of the electrical cable, from the attic, down through the existing service hole into the top of the main circuit panel.

Have an assistant pull about two feet down through the top of the circuit panel box and out the front.

Strip about six inches of the outer sheathing off the cable, using the wire strippers. This will reveal three interior wires inside the cable. Two insulated and one bare. Strip about one inch of insulation off the two wires.

Repeat this step to the other end of the cable coming out the hole for the outlet.

Install the circuit breaker in the circuit panel by locating an open slot and then slide the two U shape clamps on the bottom of the breaker over the pins on the circuit panel until you hear it pop and is locked into place.

Connect the black (wire) to the brass screw on the new circuit breaker, connect the white wire to the bus strip running down the centre of the panel, and connect the bare wire to the ground strip at the bottom of the panel. Connect them using the screwdriver to clamp the wires under the screws and tighten them to a snug fit.

Replace the cover panel back over the circuit panel and affix it with the screws and screwdriver.

Punch out one of the knock out holes in the back of the electrical box, using the screwdriver. Run the wiring through the hole and pull it out the front.

Insert the box into the hole and affix it in place using the included screws and screwdriver to tighten them down.

Connect the wiring to the GFCI outlet using the screwdriver and the following connections: connect the black (hot) wire to the brass screw, the white (neutral) wire to the silver screw, and the bare (ground) screw to the green screw on the outlet. Tighten the screws to a snug fit.

Push the wiring into the box and attach the outlet to the box using the included screws and screwdriver. Install the cover plate over the outlet and secure it with an included screw from the kit.

Turn the main breaker switch to the "On" position and the new breaker for the outlet to the "On" position. Plug in the washer and test for power.


Be sure to consult a licensed electrician before beginning any electrical work. Never attempt to work on any electrical lines, without first turning the power off.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil/pen
  • Sheetrock saw
  • Drill
  • 1/2 wood drill bit
  • Electrical wiring (12-2)(30 to 50 feet)
  • GFCI outlet kit
  • 110 volt 20 amp circuit breaker
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Billy Brainard graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Trinity College. As the department chairman he was responsible for creating and writing the curriculum for 7-12 grade students. Currently he writes for eHow and works part time helping employees by creating and writing resumes to help in their job search.