How to install an electrical socket in a brick wall

Written by danny donahue
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How to install an electrical socket in a brick wall
Always be sure your electric box and socket are rated for use outdoors. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

High fuel costs and concern for the environment have led many people to use electric tools and cars. There is always the question of where to plug your cords when you need an electric supply outside. Running a cord through a door or window leaves a small crack where your heating and cooling inside of the home will escape. This will drive up your utility bills quickly. Mounting an electrical socket on your exterior brick wall will provide a ready source of electricity without the energy loss and higher utility costs.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill with 6 mm by 30 cm (1/4 inch by 12 inch) bimetal and masonry bits
  • 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) paddle bit and 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) masonry bit
  • Outdoor electrical box
  • Construction adhesive
  • 90 cm (3 foot) piece of Romex wiring
  • Expansion foam
  • Caulk gun with 30-year silicone
  • Wet rag
  • Razor knife
  • Wire stripping tool
  • Outdoor ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place your outdoor electrical socket directly through the wall from an interior socket. Locate your breaker box and turn off the power to either that particular interior socket or to the entire home.

  2. 2

    Remove the face plate from the interior socket with your screwdriver. Place the face plate and its retaining screw in a safe place for the duration of the project. Remove the retaining screw holding the outlet to its electrical box in the wall. Pull the socket free from the box. Be sure the socket is out of the way and you have open access to the interior of the electrical box in the wall.

  3. 3

    Drill through the back of the box with your 6 mm (1/4 inch) bimetal bit. Continue drilling through the plywood sheathing behind the box. You will feel the difference in your drill when you have pierced through the plywood and into the blank space beyond.

  4. 4

    Switch to your 6 mm (1/4 inch) masonry bit and continue the hole through to the outside of the house. Switch to your 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) paddle bit and widen the hole in the plastic box and the plywood. Switch to your 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) masonry bit and widen the hole through the exterior of the house.

  5. 5

    Place the blade of your screwdriver against the centre of the punch-out hole on the back of your outdoor electrical box to punch the hole out. Apply a thick bead of construction adhesive around the hole on the back of the outdoor box and stick it to the wall. Be careful and line up the hole in the box with the hole in the wall. Press the box against the brick wall and hold it for two minutes to give the adhesive a chance to start to set-up.

  6. 6

    Slip the Romex wire through the hole, leaving 7.5 cm (3 inches) of the wire showing past the outer lip of the outdoor box. Twist the adaptor on the hose onto the receiver on your can of expansion foam. Turn the can bottom end up and shake it vigorously for 10 seconds.

  7. 7

    Place the open end of the hose against the hole in the back of the electrical box on the wall and press the button on the can to fill the hole in the wall with foam. Apply a bead of caulk from your caulk gun around the seam between the outside of the box and the brick wall. Smooth the caulk with your wet rag.

  8. 8

    Gently cut away 5 cm (2 inches) of the outer rubber armour from the Romex with your razor knife. Slip the wires into your wire stripping tool one at a time to remove 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) of rubber from each wire. Twist the positive and negative wire around their own screw on the outdoor GFCI as indicated by the manufacturer. Twist the bare ground wire around the ground screw in your electrical box. Tighten all three screws.

  9. 9

    Fasten the GFCI to the electrical box with the retaining screws provided. Place the rubber gasket into the groove on the back of the face plate. Hold the face plate into position on the electrical box. Install the retaining screws to hold the face plate in position.

  10. 10

    Use your wire snips to trip the excess Romex on the inside of the house leaving only 7.5 cm (3 inches) of wire hanging out of the box. Cut the sheathing and strip each wire. Connect the positive and negative wires to the screws on the side of the socket and the ground wire to the ground screw in the box. Push the socket into the box and install the retaining screws to hold it in place. Replace the face plate.

  11. 11

    Restore the power at the breaker box. Plug in the electrical cord of your drill to the outside and inside sockets to test them both after completing the installation.

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