How to Install a Recessed Receptacle

Written by raul avenir
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How to Install a Recessed Receptacle
A flat-screen TV shoud be mounted flush with the wall. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A recessed receptacle refers to electrical sockets that are less conspicuous than ordinary outlets. The faceplate of a recessed outlet is set deeper into the wall than the faceplate of a regular outlet to avoid plugs and connectors from protruding above the wall surface. This method of mounting receptacles allows an appliance or furniture, such as a flat-screen TV, to be placed flush with the wall. Except for the size of the wall opening, installing a recessed outlet involves the same procedure as installing an ordinary outlet.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Stud finder
  • Drywall saw
  • Wire stripper
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Slotted screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Shut down power to your home by flipping the main circuit breaker switch to its "Off" position. Check the appliances inside your home to make sure that there is no more power. Do not proceed to install the receptacle unless you are absolutely certain that the power is off.

  2. 2

    Determine the spot where you wish to mount the recessed outlet. Locate the studs that run along the spot with a stud finder. Choose a spot that is between the studs. Using the template supplied with the recessed outlet, draw an outline of the wall opening required by the receptacle on your chosen spot. Create the opening on the wall by cutting along the outline with a drywall saw.

  3. 3

    Pull the wires running from the circuit breaker out of the wall. Strip off 1/2 inch of insulation from the tip of each wire with a wire stripper. Wrap the white (neutral) wire clockwise around the silver terminal screw on the outlet with needle-nose pliers. Wrap the green, or bare (ground), wire around the green terminal screw and wrap the black (hot) wire around the brass terminal screw. Tighten each screw firmly to secure each connection with a slotted screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Tuck the wires carefully into the wall and push the outlet into the opening. Tighten the swing-out clamps to attach the outlet securely to the wall. Screw on the faceplate of the recessed outlet. Turn on the main circuit breaker and plug an appliance into the outlet to test it.

Tips and warnings

  • Use recessed receptacles with swing-out clamps to install a receptacle in existing drywall.

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