How To Wire An Outlet

Electricals outlets are quite easy to install but to safeguard it, the wire connections should be made with proper care. Otherwise, the wires coming out from an outlet can cause serious shock hazard or fire. This happens due to faulty connections and improper connections. To wire an outlet in your house, you need these items.

  • New outlet with a cover plate.
  • Non-Contact voltage tester
  • Cable ripper
  • Cutting Pliers or a Utility Knife
  • Wire Strippers
  • Scrap circuit cable
  • Wire connectors
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Phillips screwdriver

Steps That’ll Help You

Here are a few tips, given below by which you can get an idea about how to wire an outlet.

  • Switch off the circuit breaker of your home’s service panel to cut the flow of current to the circuit for having a new outlet. Now with the help of a non-contact voltage tester, test every wire to check if there is any voltage present on the wire.
  • If you are replacing an old outlet, then you need to do this. But if it is new then set up the circuit cable as per your need and cut the outer cover of the wire with a cable ripper. To do it hold the ripper over the wire and pull it towards the end of the wire. Now peel the covering away from the wire and cut it using a utility knife about an inch from where the cable is held. Trim the ends of the wire if necessary.
  • With the help of a wire stripper cut down 3/4 of the lining from the end of each insulated wire which is in the circuit box. However, if an old outlet is being replaced then make sure the ends of the wire have no scorch or nicks and are in good condition. If they are not then cut off the spoiled part first and then from its end, cut 3/4 of the insulation.
  • If there are multiple cables on the wire box, then try to install a pigtail. Take a scrap of the same nature of circuit cable and strip 3/4 of insulation from each wire by cutting them down to a length of six inches. Now use a wire connector to join the ground wires to the bare part of the copper wires in the circuit cables following the guide of manufacture. Continue the same with the black wires and then the white wires, so now you have one ground, one black, and one white pigtail.
  • Take a needle-nose pliers and on the end of every wire form a U-shaped hook. Now fit the U-shaped hook around the ground screw of the new outlet to keep the end of the wire on the right. To squeeze the hook more closely around the threaded shaft of the screw using the pliers. Tighten the screws with screw-drivers.
  • Using the same processes as used in connecting ground screw, bring the silver pigtail and connect it to the silver screw terminal on the outlet. Again take the black pigtail and connect it to the brass screw terminals on the outlet. If you want a standard outlet wiring, then you can connect the black wire on either brass terminal as they are interchangeable. In the same way, you can connect the black wire.
  • Tug each wire gently so to confirm that each wires connections are secured.  If they are loose then reconnecting and tighten it.  Now gently put the wires inside the box by bending it, try to bend at one two places but do not bend it sharply as it will damage the wires.  Now take the outlet and hold it against the box edge and lock it with a screw at the bottom and top.
  • Fix the cover plate of the outlet over the outlet by securing it to the box with one or two screws, as needed. Now switch on the circuit breaker so to restore power to the circuit. Take any electrical device and plug into the outlet to check if the outlet is working properly. Or buy a plugin the receptor to check if the outlet has power and is grounded properly or wired correctly.

And with these simple steps, you will be able to wire an outlet efficiently without any professional help. Think about all the money you will save.

Erin Emanuel