A plug socket, or receptacle, typically connects to the main fuse box, or electrical panel via standard AWG wires that run from the panel to the receptacle to form an electrical circuit. Electrical circuits in the U.S. are commonly 120 volts AC. Wiring an electrical circuit is a dangerous task that requires qualified training and prior experience. Learn the basics of installing a 120-volt circuit to understand how an electrician performs the task.
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Things you need
- Utility knife
- Electrical receptacle (120 volts)
- Outlet box (surface mount)
- Electrical cable
- Cable staples
- Diagonal pliers
- Wire stripper
- Long-nose pliers
Open the electrical panel inside your home and turn off the main circuit breaker. The main circuit breaker always has the highest amperage among all circuit breakers inside the panel, and it is typically located at the uppermost position inside the panel.
Unscrew the cover of the electrical panel, using a screwdriver. Plug a 120-volt circuit breaker into an empty slot on the panel board. Twist the terminal screw at the end of the breaker counterclockwise with a screwdriver to loosen it.
Locate the wall where you wish to mount the receptacle, and mount the single gang outlet box (surface mount type) on the wall, using a screwdriver. Punch the knockout hole on top of the outlet box, using long-nose pliers.
Remove 50 mm (2 inches) of cable sheathing from the tip of the electrical cable with a utility knife. Strip off 12 mm (1/2 inch) of insulation at the tip of each inner wire with a wire stripper. Insert the tip of the cable through the hole on top of the receptacle box and pull down the cable from inside the box by about 150 mm (6 inches).
Loosen each terminal screw behind the receptacle and hook each wire clockwise to its corresponding terminal screw on the receptacle in the following arrangement: white wire (neutral) to a silver terminal screw, black wire (hot) to a brass terminal screw, and green or bare wire (ground) to the green terminal screw. Mount the receptacle onto the outlet box and cover the receptacle with its faceplate.
Run the electrical cable from the receptacle to the electrical panel. Use cable staples every 305 mm (12 inches) to attach the cable onto surfaces. Pull the cable from inside the electrical panel, and cut it with diagonal pliers after allowing about 600 mm (2 feet) of extra cable.
Remove 600 mm (2 feet) of covering from the tip of the electrical cable with a utility knife. Strip off 12 mm (1/2 inch) of insulation from the tip of each exposed wire with a wire stripper. Divert the black wire to the terminal screw at the end of the 120-volt breaker. Divert the white wire to a terminal screw on the neutral bar. Route the green or bare wire to a terminal screw on the ground bar.
Insert the black wire into the slot under the terminal screw on the 120 volt circuit breaker. Insert the white wire into the slot under the terminal screw on the neutral bar. Insert the green or bare wire into the slot under the terminal screw on the ground bar. Tighten all terminal screws with a screwdriver to secure all connections.
Replace the cover of the electrical panel, and turn on the main circuit breaker. Turn on the newly installed 120-volt circuit breaker, and plug an appliance into the receptacle to test the connection.
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