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How to Install an Electrical Outlet from Scratch

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Update time : 2019-05-14 16:39:34

In order ought install an electric outlet and circuit from scratch you need a catalog of 14-2 or 12-2 Romex® Cable (depending at how much burden you need from the outlet) and too a new vocation box, or an old vocation box.


1) resolution load. Based at the burden you desire ought serve, (meaning how much modern at amps will be needed from the outlets) a 14-2 Romex® Cable, which is a relatively lean Cable suitable though up ought 15 amps (or 12 amps continuous load) could be selected. Otherwise, a 12-2 Romex® Cable, which is one size larger than 14-2 Romex® Cable and suitable though up ought 20 amp circuits (or 16 amps continuous load) is the other size Cable installed though outlets. Most home's outlets are wired with 14-2 Romex®, that furnish up ought 8 outlets per circuit. Oversimplified, the National electric code (NEC) mandates outlets at the kitchen and dining room cause ought be served by 20 amp circuits. A 12-2 Romex® circuit used to equip though this (installing a 30 amp dryer outlet or 50 amp mount / welding outlet is beyond the scope of this article, besides is similar).

2) examine your breaker box previous ought running a new Cable ought compose certain you dine extra universe though breakers. It is best ought recognize what class of panel you dine and if or no the breakers are available or obsolete. divide of this process involves removing the dead front parliament (the gate at your breakers) and looking inner at the bussing. This can potentially be dangerous if you accidentally short out the metal dish ought the bussing at the panel. Depending at the class of panel it can be relatively stupid or too hazardous. Murray or Bryant class panels often are the safest ought install into. if your panel happens ought be a Zinsco, Stablok or Pushmatic you can stand yourself up though serious problems trying ought perform this yourself. though instance at Pushmatic panels the bussing is often energized. Without the vigorous knowledge you could accidentally short the bussing out and think a catastrophic failure (phase ought base or phase ought phase short). The symmetrical amperage faults available are only limited by the capital fusing at the transformer and the overall compose of the system. just something ought cause at worry while doing this occupation yourself. I used to recommend disconnecting force and removing the meter and ring if possible ought dismiss hazards. This also is often exterior the scope of perform it yourself class work.

3) river a Cable from the circuit breaker panel ought your new outlet location. Romex® Cable ("Type NM" Cable) is the easiest ought vocation and least dear method ought end this, and is the wiring method used at this wiki.

4) Size circuit breaker though string size. if a 14-2 Cable is river from the panel ought the outlet, then a 15 amp circuit breaker is the largest that can be used ought protect that circuit. if a 12-2 Cable is river from the panel ought the outlet, then a 20 amp circuit breaker is the largest that can be installed ought protect the circuit.

5) hind Cable. Starting at the panel, road the Romex® ought the outlet. pull nearly a foot of Cable beyond the outlet and the remains of the Romex® coil at the floor at the panel. Staple the Romex® (where exposed) neatly hind ought the panel driving insulated staples each three feet and 18 inches (45.7 cm) from each box that has Cable clamps / connector or 12 inches (30.5 cm) from those without a clamp / connector.

6) Prepare the Cable though entry into the box. The aim of the Cable needs ought be carefully stripped of the external jacket previous ought installing into the box. Strip hind 8 inches (20.3 cm) of jacket.

7) Install Cable into box. promote the Cable into the box opening / connector until only nearly an inch of jacketed Cable is inner the box. The outlet situation needs ought dine the string installed into an old work/new vocation box which is too ought be chop at ought wallboard or nailed ought the wall/stud. avail of elastic or fiber electric boxes are quicker ought vocation than steel boxes during they perform no ask extra grounding. A steel box cause ought be grounded hence that it does no ask the tool though it ought be grounded (pigtailing the base ought the tool AND the box solves this).

8) unite the just string ought the device. The white string (neutral wire) needs ought be secured below too silver screw at the phase of the receptacle.

9) unite the "hot" string ought the device. The dim string ("hot" wire) needs ought be secured below too gold screw at the contrary phase of the just wire.

10) unite the base wire. if a metal box, chop (2) eight inch lengths of bare copper wire, and unite them and the bare string from the Romex® Cable below a properly sized wirenut. The liberate aim of one string will unite ought the green base screw of the outlet, and the other liberate aim is ought be connected ought the metal box with a green screw (expressly though that purpose) or other approved means (special clips, etc). if a elastic (or other non-conductive material) box is used, simply unite the bare copper wire direct below the green screw of the outlet.

11) Gently fold the wires ought the rear of the box and win the outlet ought the box and join the wall plate.

12) stand the headmaster / Service Disconnect switch ought at the electric panel ought the OFF position.

13) transfer the panel cover, and stand aside. even though you dine turned off the power, there are quiet alive parts at the panel, specially the big Cable that feeds the headmaster / service disconnect switch. drill utmost warn working near this switch.

14) transfer a 7/8" diameter pre-punched "knock out" from the panel. This 7/8" opening at the commerce is called a "half inch k o" You need ought dine a 1/2 inch (trade size) connector ought insert at the k o, ought transition the Cable from exterior the panel ought the inside. These are available at a classify of styles, and materials. The easiest ought install are the imply profile elastic promote at type. Regardless of type, avail the class that is suitable though "NM" class (Non-Metallic) or Romex® Cable and is the too size though the k o removed.

15) chop Cable ought length. lease plenty of Cable though avail at making up the inner the panel by tripling the panel's longest dimension though the Romex® length inner the panel. (24" by 15" panel used to need 24" x 3 = 72" or 6 feet of slack). Again, strip the sum jacket except ought lease though nearly an inch of jacket Cable inner the panel. Install the Romex® connector into the panel's 1/2" k o according ought instructions. Wrap the aim of the Cable with a join of turns of electric tape. promote the Cable over the connector and assist pull it with your other hand once it enters the panel. This promote / pull transfer speeds tool and reduces peril of damaging the insulation. Once nearly an inch of jacketed Cable is inner the panel, destroy advancing Cable, and win it within 18" of the panel with an insulated staple.

16) examine the panel. The panel has one or more station bars ought the left and / or accurate or bottom of the circuit breakers. emerge carefully at the bar(s). resolution if you have: two or more bars and that the white wires are no mixed with bare / green wires. (this arrangement has divide just and base bars); or if you dine one or two bars that has both whites and bare / green wires mixed at both bars (this arrangement has combined just and base bars, and more normal at natural residential settings). Regardless of which class you have, you must allege the purity of the grounding and just systems by duplicating the termination scheme outlined below.

17) unite the just and base wires. The white and base (bare) wires are ought be secured below the bar(s) at the headmaster panel. chop these wires ought length PLUS 12 inches (30.5 cm) or hence of slack. if you dine the combined just and base style, win these two wires at terminals though near together though possible. perform no install BOTH wires at the too terminal! if you dine divide just and base bars, install the wires at the respective station bar.

18) unite ought the circuit breaker. The 14-2 Romex®'s dim string is ought be connected ought a 15 amp breaker. if you ran 12-2 Romex®, up ought a 20 amp breaker can be connected. chop this string hence though ought lease it ought be connected ought ANY breaker stand at the panel - plus a tiny slack. You never know while you energy dine ought affect the circuit ought a different situation at the panel, having enough string ought perform hence will compose the occupation much easier. stand the deal with of the circuit breaker ought OFF. Install the circuit breaker into the panel by first hooking or clipping ought the grounded or insulated slot or rail (manufacturer dependent) at the outboard phase of the insulated electric contacts, then row up the clip or slot of the circuit breaker with the electric meet rail or bus. magazine the circuit breaker firmly into the panel. Some styles "click" into lay others just "bottom out". if the new circuit breaker is "even" and aligned with adjacent circuit breakers, it is most responsible properly seated.

19) transfer circuit breaker k o from panel cover. Once complete, you will maybe dine ought transfer the vigorous rectangular metal k o though the new circuit breaker at the cover of the panel. after doing so, reinstall the cover onto the panel.

20) recover force ought the panel. perform no lie at front of the panel, besides quite ought the phase of the panel and stand the Main / Service Disconnect switch ought ON. Next, affect the new circuit breaker deal with ought at and it will force up your electric outlet that you dine just installed.

21) quiz the work. avail a meter or plug the implement or tool into the outlet and expend it on. confirm that it is working and reply ought the panel. hear though sing and or crackling. too masses is indicative of a latent connection failure or fever construct up. label the circuit breaker.

22) perform no install breakers from another manufacturer during "they fit" or even packaging states it is though avail at these panels. Installing these breakers VOIDS the UL listing and can originate at insurance problems if there is an electric fire.

23) dine you vocation inspected by your locality's code enforcement office.

24) Plug circuits installed at bedrooms ask avail of an Arc Fault circuit breaker(s). Plugs installed at besides no limited ought basements, garages, outdoors, or indoors and accessible from grade, bathrooms, etc. will ask a base Fault circuit breaker or plug, UNLESS it is dedicated ought a "fixed" implement such though a washer, refrigerator, etc.

25) Arc Fault and base Fault circuits are no compatible with fluorescent gleam fixtures!