While building my china cabinet, which will house my toaster, I realized that we need to install an electrical outlet. This was easy to do because there was an outlet lower on the wall, that the china cabinet was going to cover. I simply relocated that electrical outlet wiring to the new location. Pulling wires gets us into a whole other topic so lets just focus on rewiring an ugly outlet. Let’s say you have an ugly, old rose colored outlet and you want to switch that out to a pretty new white one. Here’s how to go about wiring an outlet!
Electrical outlet wiring
Step 1: SHUT OFF YOUR POWER SUPPLY!
First things first, go to your breaker box and flip off the power to the location in question. A circuit breaker finder is a handy tool for finding the right breaker! Make sure there really is NO power to your wires. Then proceed. 🙂
Step 2: Pull electrical cable into junction box
If you’ve cut out a new location, pull the electrical outlet wiring into and and install new junction box. If you’re replacing an old receptacal, cut wires freeing the old receptacle! Whichever scenario works for you.
After finding your wiring and moving it into the junction box that will hold the electrical outlet. The wires will be bundled and wrapped, you will need to carefully cut and liberate the bundled wires. There are normally 3 wires, a black, a white and a copper. The copper one is usually surrounded by paper insulation, just rip that off and then separate the 3 wires.
Step 3: Strip the wires to expose the ends
Using my electricians multitool , about half an inch down gently squeeze severing only the plastic sheath around the wire and pull upwards exposing the wire, do this for both the black and white wrapped wires.
Step 4: Loop the exposed ends into a hook
Wiring an outlet
Next, grab the ends of the exposed wires and loop them into a hook like formation. Do this to all three wires, including the copper (ground wire).
Step 5: Connect the wires to the outlet
The electrical outlet itself is generally color coded; the Green screw is for the copper (ground) wire, the Silver screws are for the white wires and the Gold screws are for the black wires.
Hook the electrical outlet wiring around their assigned screws and gently pinch the loop closed to ensure that the wire won’t slip off.
Using your screw driver, tighten the screws to the electrical outlet and make sure they are snug. You do not want any loose wires. Do this for all 3 screws.
Step 6: wrap electrical tape around the screws
This is not required everywhere but I always do it as an added precaution. Wrap electrical tape around the electrical outlet, covering all of the screws and wires. This is especially important with metal junction boxes. If the “hot” screw touches the metal box — SPARKY! And if you ever decide to pull the outlet out for any reason, there is less risk of you touching a live wire and being shocked.
Step 7: Place the outlet into the junction box
Carefully push the wires back into the junction box and smoosh the outlet in too… It can be frustrating trying to get all the extra wire folded up out of the way and still have room for the outlet but you want to be as gentle as possible. The copper wires shouldn’t be kinked into sharp folds or bent back and forth because they can be easily broken. Just be as careful as possible while shoving all that stuff into the small box! 🙂
Step 8: Secure the outlet to the box
Secure the outlet in the junction box with the supplied screws.
Step 9: Attach Face Plate
Once the outlet is secured you can attach the faceplate. Then turn the power back on make sure your new outlet works. You can even use an outlet tester for the added assurance that you did it all right. If not, it’ll clue you in to what went wrong!
If all is well, you can now enjoy your toast! You just accomplished the task of wiring an outlet! ;-D
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