Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Add an Electrical Outlet to a Room


With the number of electrical devices that we have in our homes today, it's more than likely that you don't have enough outlets. There's no need to call an electrician; installing outlets is an easy, low-cost project. Read the steps listed below and learn about how to add an electrical outlet to a room.

  1. Turn off the power to the room that you're working in.
  2. Consider where to place the outlet. Make sure it's accessible and doesn't interfere with your furniture and fixtures [source: Carter].
  3. Saw a hole for the new electrical box in the baseboards or wall where you're installing the outlet. Make sure to place the new outlet between the same two studs as an existing outlet, so you can run an insulated cable from the existing outlet to the new outlet.
  4. Feed one of the insulated electrical cables up from the existing circuit through the drilled hole and out of the space that you sawed for the new outlet [source: Pro Handyman].
  5. Strip the insulation off the cable poking out of the hole with a pair of wire strippers. There will now be three exposed wires.
  6. Feed the wires through the clamp in the electrical box, ensuring that a half inch (1.27 centimeters) of insulation is fed through the clamp. Secure the wires to the box by tightening the clamp with a screwdriver.
  7. Wrap the copper wire around the green grounding screw inside the box. Wrap the wire from the middle, not the tip. You'll be wrapping the tip of the wire later on. Tighten the screw with a screwdriver.
  8. Screw the box into the hole in the wall.
  9. Attach the two-blade receptacle by wrapping the tip of the white wire around the silver screw on the receptacle. Tighten the screw with a screwdriver.
  10. Wrap the tip of the black wire around the brass screw on the receptacle. Tighten the screw with a screwdriver.
  11. Wrap the tip of the copper wire around the green screw on the receptacle. Tighten the screw with a screwdriver.
  12. Secure the wire and screw connections by wrapping electrical tape around the outer edge of the receptacle.
  13. Screw the receptacle into the electrical box.
  14. Screw the cover plate over the receptacle [source: Gallant].

More to Explore