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Adding A New Electrical Outlet (Receptacle) In Your Home

Part 1b

All electrical boxes that have a receptacle will have live power, although some may have one of the outlets connected to a wall switch.

Note: The closest device, may not be the easiest or most convenient device to connect to.

It is impossible to give a definitive routing and power access methodology as there are so many possible locations that will have live power and an infinite number of locations where you are planning on placing the new receptacle within your home.

However, there are some common things to consider:

  • All connections must be made in an electrical box with a cover plate (or light fixture).

In some cases it makes sense to install two additional electrical boxes in order to obtain enough cable to make the connections, as shown in Figures 5 and 6.

electrical cable between two electrial boxes

Figure 5 - A live power cable currently strung between two electrical boxes. It may not be convenient to access either electrical box, but it may be convenient to splice into the center of that existing cable.

splicing into cable between two electrical boxes

Figure 6 - By adding two new electrical boxes and a piece of cable, you are able to make the connection to the cable for the new receptacle.
  • The wire connections in the new electrical boxes are quite simplistic. Using wire nuts:
  • Connect all the blacks together.
  • Connect all the whites together.
  • Connect all the bare copper ground wires together
  • Turn the power off to the circuit in question before splicing in the new boxes and cable.
  • If you are locating the outlet on a wall above an unfinished basement or a basement that has a suspended ceiling, in many cases obtaining the live power from a ceiling box in the basement is the most convenient method.
  • An unfinished attic is also a good location for obtaining un-switched live power.
  • You cannot place an outlet between two other outlets and expect to have enough cable in the wall to make a connection through to a new electrical box to a new outlet.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4