When remodelling your house, it may be necessary to move or add electrical sockets to improve accessibility to the electrical supply throughout the home. Replacing one outlet with another is simple, but installing a new outlet box where there wasn't one previously can prove tricky and dangerous if you do not take the correct safety precautions. Be prepared to spend a lot of time on your knees, or bent over, while installing a new outlet.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Fish tape
- Wire cutter
- Spade bit
- Wire stripper
Turn off the circuit breaker for the room where you will working. Turn off each breaker individually if the circuits are not marked in your breaker box.
Mark the location in the wall where you wish to install the wall socket. Measuring to the centre point of the wall is usually your best bet.
Cut a 1-foot length of fish tape at an angle, using wire cutters. Insert the end of the fish tape into a drill. This will act as a drill bit.
Drill through the floor and into the basement using the fish tape at the new outlet location. This hole acts as a marker, telling you where the wires for the wall socket must go.
Cut a hole in the wall roughly the size of your outlet box, using a jigsaw. Adjust the hole size so that the outlet fits in, then remove the outlet from the hole.
Drill a bigger hole through the floor, into the basement, at the outlet hole location, using a 1/2-inch spade bit. Feed fish tape through the hole.
Tie the wiring cable to the fish tape using string. Pull the wire up through the hole.
Strip the wire several inches down. Slide the exposed cable through your metal electrical box.
Wrap a piece of bare copper wire to the green grounding screw in the electrical box. Tighten down the screw using a screwdriver. Screw the electrical box to the wall using the screws provided.
Attach the white wire to the silver screw and the black wire to the gold screw in the outlet. Attach the bare copper wire in the wire set to the green screw on the outlet. Screw the outlet into the outlet box.
Attach the cover to the outlet. Restore power to the circuit.
Tips and warnings
- Check the local building code about whether you need a permit before working on electrical in your home.
- The outlet must be wired to the circuit breaker by a certified electrician. This is a legal requirement in all areas.
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