Moving a Receptacle Outlet

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Wire and Relocate an Outlet: Extending Electric Wiring to Relocate a Receptacle Outlet, Splicing New Wires to Existing Outlet Wires, Extending the Electrical Circuit Wiring from an Existing Outlet.

Guide to Moving an Outlet

Electrical Question: I have an outlet near the floor and I am installing a TV in the kitchen, so I would like to move it up and over to the left.

  • In order to do that I will have to drill through a stud.
  • I opened up the receptacle and noticed that both screws are being used, there is not a switch near this outlet.
  • The closest is for the outside light next to the sliding door.
  • I did this before, but I had one set of screws that was open.
  • I’m not sure if I can add to this outlet.

I also thought about just moving this outlet all together, but if I do I will have to splice the wires that are in the box to extend them, and if I do that, do I splice them inside the existing box and then put a blank plate on it?

Thank You for any help.

This electric wiring question came from: Christi, a Homeowner from Cumming, Georgia.

Dave’s Reply:

Thanks for your home electrical wiring question Christi.

How to Wire and Relocate an Outlet

outlet electric wiring

Application: Moving and Wiring a Receptacle Outlet.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
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 electrical wiring for additional outlets should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Extending Electric Wiring to Relocate a Receptacle Outlet

  • Splicing New Wires to Existing Outlet Wires
    • A splice of  new circuit wires to existing wires is made inside an Accessible  Junction Box as follows:
      • Match the wires together which are of the same color.
      • Strip off the insulation of each wire about an inch.
      • Twist the wires together in the clockwise direction.
      • Trim off the wires evenly.
      • Place a wire connector onto the spliced wires.
    • If an outlet will be installed into this junction box, then an additional wire is added to each spliced set of wires to provide a pigtail wire which would then be attached to the appropriate receptacle screw terminals.
    • IMPORTANT: This process applies only to dedicated outlet wring that is not a part of switched outlet circuit, or wiring that is part of a multi-circuit cable wiring.
  • Extending the Electrical Circuit Wiring from an Existing Outlet

    • If the wiring is to be extended and the existing receptacle is to be removed then the spliced wires should be contained inside the existing receptacle box and spliced together as described above.
    • A blank cover plate would be installed onto the accessible junction box.

More about Wiring Electric Outlets

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Wiring Electrical Outlet 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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  • This example will show you how its done step by step and shows how to make a junction box splice and the related electrical codes.

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  • Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.

Electrical Junction Boxes

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  • Home electrical wiring is the installation of electrical wiring.
  • One very important component is the electrical junction box that will be used for the electrical wire.
  • The type and size of the home wiring electrical boxes will depend upon the circuit size, application and its location.

Learn How to Wire it Right with my
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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.


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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Moving a Receptacle Outlet”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi James,
    There are cut-in boxes that are available for this exact application which include mounting brackets that use the drywall to secure the box into place. Please refer to the Electrical Junction Box page which explains several type of electrical boxes and enclosures and the typical applications they are used for.
    I hope this helps,

  2. James Sherritt says:

    I need to add an electrical outlet box to a location where there is no stud to attach a box to. After making a cutout in the drywall can a outlet box be installed just into drywall with out additional support?

    Thanks, James


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