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Switch Outlet Wiring for an Old House


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Install Home Electrical Wiring for a Wall Outlet: I’m installing an outlet off of a wall switch. I have no white wire to hook up to.

Identifying Electrical Switched Outlet Wiring

Electrical Question: I’m installing an outlet off of a wall switch. I have no white wire to hook up to. This is a very old house and I can’t get the outlet to work.

This electrical question came from: Rietta, a Handy-Woman from Michigan.
See more about Home Wiring for Michigan

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Rietta.

Electrical Wiring for a Wall Outlet

Application: Adding a 120 Volt 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.

Installing Electrical Wiring for a 120v Outlet

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2 Responses to “Switch Outlet Wiring for an Old House”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi River,
    Adding a Plug Outlet to an Existing Circuit
    When adding a plug to an existing circuit the additional wire should match the existing circuit wiring type and wire size or gauge. The same is true for the amperage rating for the plug, where the specification should be the same throughout the circuit. This will ensure the integrity and safety of the circuit.
    The Amperage Rating for a Receptacle Outlet
    Note: It is acceptable to install a 15 amp rated outlet on a 20 amp circuit, but it is not acceptable to install a 20 amp rated outlet on a 15 amp circuit.
    Mixed Wire Sizes and Circuit Amperage Ratings
    If it is found that a circuit has more than one rated wire type within the circuit, then the circuit breaker must be rated the same as the smallest wire type or amperage rating. It is best not to mix wire types or wire sizes within one circuit.
    Be Safe,
    Dave

  2. river says:

    I installed about two feet of white Romex brand wire to install a kitchen plug. After I installed the wire I found out that I should have installed 20 amp plugs instead of 15 amp plugs. Can I just change out the plug, or do I need to change the wire too? Can I just change out the plug or do I have to change the wire too. I was going to change just the plug but I am worried now about the wire too. It would be hard to change out the wire now. Is it OK to use the 20 amp plug or should I just leave it all alone, or what do you suggest I should do. Calling an electrician is not an option for me. To change the wire I would have to tear up the wall again. Everything is working fine now, I am just concerned that I did something wrong. Thanks River