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How Do I Add An Outlet to Existing Electrical Wiring?

How to add Another Electric Outlet: Before tapping into an existing circuit to add power for an outlet the line must be verified that it is in fact an outlet circuit and not a line use for switching a light fixture or similar application.


Electrical Wiring for an Outlet

Electrical Question: I would like to add another electrical outlet.

Background: John, a Homeowner from Cape Coral, Florida.
See more about Home Wiring for Florida

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question John.

How to add Another Electric Outlet

adding an outlet

Application: Adding a 120 Volt Receptacle Outlet.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best if wired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of outlets that will be added and the access to the location for the new outlets.
Precaution: Identify the existing outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done through the local building authority, installed according to applicable local and national electrical codes, with a permit, and have the required inspections.

Check to Make Sure the Wiring will Support an Outlet

IMPORTANT: Before tapping into an existing circuit to add power for an outlet the line must be verified that it is in fact an outlet circuit and not a line use for switching a light fixture or similar application.

Let’s Review the Electrical Wiring Process for Wiring an Outlet

Electrical Outlet Wiring
outlet-wiring



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MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC: Adding Outlets, Outlets

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “How Do I Add An Outlet to Existing Electrical Wiring?”
  1. Kay says:

    I want to add an additional plug to the one single box on my half wall. I have the double box I need, but my wonder is: when I pulled the plug out sure it has the normal black/white wires that are hooked to the sides of the plug. But on the back there are 2 extra white wires and 2 extra black wire that are just inserted into the back of the plug, what are these for? Can I take one of each out of the back and hook them on a new plug on the sides of course and it would work? I have never seen a plug in this house with 6 wires to a single plug/outlet. Thank you for any help you can provide me with, Kay D.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Great Question Kay!
      The outlet box seems to be a junction for three set of wires. What we normally do in a case such as this is bring all of the wires of each color together to create a splice, and then add one wire that is connected to the outlet. Because an additional plug will be added, and additional wire will be needed as well. This can be tricky because there are so many wires for each color, however when the splice is made correctly it is much better than connecting all of the wires into the back of the outlet as it was before.
      Please see this example of How to Splice Electrical Wires.
      Keep in mind that it is essential to use the right size twist on wire connector for the splice, and the wires are stripped back and trimmed as seen in the example.
      I hope this helps you< Dave

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