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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.

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

More about Wiring Outlets

Electrical Outlet Wiring
outlet-wiring


» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.


  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.





Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

« How Outlets Switches and Fixtures Should be Wired How to Wire into an Existing Light Switch »


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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