How to extend electrical outlets

Written by shala munroe
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How to extend electrical outlets
Extend your electrical sockets quickly. (electrical socket image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)

If you need extra electrical sockets, or need them located in a different place on your wall, extending the wall outlet is a fairly simple process. Although you can purchase extension cords and power strips; they leave loose cords lying around that pose a tripping hazard. Install a new outlet without making any new holes in your wall. Your local hardware store should carry the materials you need for this quick project.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper
  • Wire tacks
  • Outlet extension kit
  • Wall outlet faceplate, with notch on outer edge

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Turn off the power to the outlet at the house's main circuit box.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the screws on the existing outlet's faceplate. Remove the faceplate.

  3. 3

    Locate the wires included with the outlet extension kit. There should be three long wires -- mostly covered by an outer jacket -- with a few inches of the coloured wires exposed. Strip several inches of the coloured insulation off the white and black wires, using your wire stripper. The copper wire will most likely already be bare.

  4. 4

    Attach the exposed end of the white wire to the existing outlet's silver screw. Unscrew the screw slightly, lay the wire behind it and tighten the screw again. Attach the black wire to the outlet's gold screw, in the same manner. Then, attach the copper wire to the green screw.

  5. 5

    Install the new faceplate over the existing outlet. This looks like a standard faceplate, but it has a notch on the side or the bottom, to allow a wire to exit. Screw it in place.

  6. 6

    Run the jacketed set of wires straight down to the top of the baseboard. Use wire tacks to fasten the wire to the wall. Lay the wire along the baseboard to the location of the new outlet -- fastening wire tacks about every 6 inches -- to hold the wire in place. Make sure to leave enough wire to run up to the outlet in its new position.

  7. 7

    Attach the three wires to the new outlet extension, by passing them through the hole in the bottom. Connect them exactly like the original outlet, with the white wire to the silver screw, black wire to the gold screw, and the copper wire to the green screw.

  8. 8

    Attach the metal rear plate of the outlet extension kit to the wall, using the included screws. Connect the metal outlet box to this plate. Screw the outlet portion -- the two three-prong receptacles -- into the metal box. Screw on the faceplate.

  9. 9

    Turn on the power to the outlet at the circuit box. Test the outlet by plugging in an electronic device.

Tips and warnings

  • Never manipulate an outlet without turning off the power first.

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