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How Do I Add An Outlet to Existing Electrical Wiring?


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

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.

  • I tied into an existing line to add an outlet.
  • I connected all white to white, black to black and ground to ground.
  • The outlet does not work.
  • Do I have to make different wire connections?

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.

  • It should be understood where the cable comes from and where it is leading to.
  • Once the line is verified it should be checked for available amperage capacity.
  • If the new outlet is going to be used as a convenience outlet then the added load may be allowed, however if the new outlet will be powering a microwave oven then the added load will most likely overload the circuit and cause it to trip off.
  • Most all microwave ovens require a dedicated circuit.

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

  • Identify the circuit.
  • Check for available power capacity.
  • Install the splice or tap in an accessible junction box.

Electrical Outlet Wiring
outlet-wiring

  • Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home

  • Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home.
  • See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.



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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.
« How Outlets Switches and Fixtures Should be Wired How to Wire into an Existing Light Switch »

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