How to Easily and Properly Install an Electrical Outlet

When you are remodeling yourself there are some tasks that may seem a bit daunting, that are really, once you do them, quite easy to achieve. One such task for me, was putting a new electric outlet into the wall. Now, a task that I once faced with more than a tad of trepidation, I feel confident in completing on my own, and in sharing how to do, with others.

For the job you will need the following:

Drill

Drill bits

Screwdriver

Screws

Level

Pencil

Tape Measure

Gloves

Steel guard plates

Staple gun

Voltage Tester

Romex cable

Box clamps

Electrical outlet you want to install and the appropriate accompanying equipment (ask when making the purchase to ensure you have all you will need for the particular type of outlet you have chosen)

Decide where it is that you want to place your new electrical outlet. A great tip to know here is that the job will be easier if you choose the last outlet in the run, which is typically the one furthest from your service panel. This way you will have less wired to connect together in the end.

Now you want to shut off the power. Even if you are certain you have turned off the power in the correct location, you still will need to run the voltage tester here to ensure all power is temporarily dead to the source.

Take off the faceplate for the outlet. Unscrew the outlet from the box so that the wires and clamps are now exposed.

Get your level and pencil out and mark a line from where the existing outlet is to the place on your exposed wall stud where you will be placing the new one.

Drill a hole in the middle of each stud that goes through the line you just penciled in.

Screw your steel guard plates on the narrow section of each stud (the skinny part that is facing you). Make sure it is placed over where you have drilled your holes. These plates serve as protection to your wires from penetration from the outside in, once the wall is intact.

Measure the distance from where you are putting in the new outlet. Add ten to twelve inches to that measurement for play (slack) and then cut that amount from your Romex cable.

Take your outlet box and screw it on to the wall stud. You want to make sure the box is flush with your wall stud and your wall board. It is going to be mounted on the side of the stud to be so.

Take your Romex cable and run it from any of the existing holes in the box. Use your box clamps to clamp the cable. Now put your cable into an outlet that has already been in place (and previously in use). Make sure to leave a little slack and clamp it into place.

On each end of wire, peel back the covering so that you can see a bit of the exposed wires. Your black wire will go to the brass outlet clamp and the white wire will go the silver outlet clamp. Your green wire will wrap around the screws in the back of your outlet box. The green wire is your grounding wire.

You will have some loose, hanging vertical cable going up from the box, parallel to the wall stud. Staple that into place in several places with your staple gun.

Turn your power back on to test your outlet.

Use your voltage tester to make sure you are getting the correct amount of power to your new electrical outlet.

Turn the power back off (you may think skipping this step won’t matter, but with electricity you must take every precaution, always, for safety reasons, so do not skip this step).

Screw the receptacles to their new electrical outlet box and use screws to attach the faceplate.

You have now completed the job and can turn your power back on and enjoy your new electrical outlet.

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