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Electrical Wire and Cable

Installing Surface Mount Wall Outlets

What kind of surface conduit can I use to run power from a wall outlet to a light fixture? Installing Surface Electrical Conduit for Wiring a 120Volt Outlet and Light Fixture.

Home Electrical Wiring Video

Hooking Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
for Backup Power

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Electrical Wiring for Wall Outlets
Electrical Question: What kind of surface conduit can I use to run power from a wall outlet to a light fixture?

I would like to retrofit an overhead light by using some type of conduit from one of the room wall outlets that is pointless to use since what ever that is plugged into it will get in the way since the area is a traffic area.

This home electrical question came from: Ken, a Handyman in Canada.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electric wiring question Ken.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

Application: Wiring a 120Volt Outlet and Light Fixture.
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 fixture and 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 Surface Electrical Conduit for Wall Outlets

Electrical Outlet Wiring

Wiring Electrical Outlet for the Home

See how wiring electrical outlets for the homes is wired and installed.

Wiring a Light Switch

Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Home Electrical wire

Electrical Wire for the Home

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

Home Electric Code


Electrical Code Articles

Electrical Code Directory

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Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

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, Handy Women, and Electricians
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
Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

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.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Installing Surface Mount Wall Outlets”
  1. Marianne says:

    Trying to install a metal surface mounted GFCI. Could only get the GFCI cover plate for a double gang metal surface box-ok, no problem. turns out, the holes to mount the receptacle are not threaded so the screws won’t secure it. I guess I have to use nuts. Also I will have to cut off the threaded holes for the standard plastic cover plate. Who designs this stuff? They could have just put the cut out diagonally and made smaller holes to accommodate the screws. How is this supposed to be done? I can’t figure out how this is a GFCI cover yet that is how it is labeled. I’ll send pictures if you tell me how to submit them.

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Marianne,
    Sorry to hear you are having problems with your GFCI outlets. Keep in mind that there are several brands of GFCI outlets, and it would be best to make sure the GFCI outlet and cover is compatible with each other, and compatible with the box where the outlet will be installed.
    FYI – Asking an Electrical Question using the links found on all of the pages of the site will enable you to attach photos.

    I hope this helps you,