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How to Wire Electrical Outlets

July 9, 2013 |

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We are DIYing our moms a Duplex in Alaska! Check out our progress so far as we owner build a home, step by step. Read the Momplex blog here.

posted by Ana White

Well, I was really hoping to have new decking to show you today.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

But the weather turned on us halfway through our decking project .... and one thing we know about living in Alaska is you have to pick your battles, and taking on Mother Nature rarely works out for us.

So we decided to put our decking project on pause, and move inside.

As much as we want to start throwing flooring down and putting trim up, building kitchens and closet systems, there's one thing we decided we should do first.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

Install the electrical outlets.

Not nearly as fun, but it has to be done at some point, and having power accessible throughout the finishing stage will make work much more convienent and efficient. And once we put flooring down, we'll have to be much more careful about protecting the floor.

Hiring an electrician can be as much as $100 an hour, so as much as we dread installing the hundreds of outlets throughout the Momplex, DIY is the answer.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

First step is to go down to the electrical panel and flip the breaker for the circuit that we are working on.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

Even with the breaker flipped, you can double check with an electrical tester to make sure the circuit is dead.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

Then we gather up tools. A drill isn't necessary, but when you've got a few hundred outlets to put in, can save some time. We use wire strippers, wire cutters, and a screwdriver.

Having a stool will save your back. It's been two days of steady electrical outlet installation up at the Momplex, so sitting at the right height can really help.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

We've got the wires all neatly tucked inside the boxes following the drywall finishing stage. The wires are all pulled out of the box.

Remember this?

Last winter we already stripped the romex wire so we are one step ahead here.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

So the romex wire is stripped and three wires are inside the boxes.

The bare copper wire is the ground. The black wire is the hot, and the white wire is the neutrel.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

The ground is neatly placed back inside the box, with just a little left out.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

And then it's time to work on the white neutrel and black hot wires.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

The Ram strips off the protecitve plastic coating at the end with the wire strippers.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

And then uses the wire strippers to make a hook shape with the exposed end.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

White neutrel wire done ....

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

And the same is done with the black hot wire and the copper ground wire.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

The black hot wire is hooked around the gold (or brass) screw.

If you are wiring your own outlets, note that your outlets may be different from the ones we are using and you should read through manufactures instructions.

How to Wire Electrical Outlets

Hook the wire so that the open end of the hook is to the right so when you tighten the screw, it tightens the wire down. 

Tighten the screw.

The second screw is also a hot and can be used for daisy chaining multiple outlets together according to your electrical plan.  Here, we just have a single black wire, so this screw can be simply tightened.

White is neutrel and pairs with the silver screws.  As we did with the black hot, the white neutrel is hooked around the silver screw

And then the screws are tightened down, securing the wire to the outlet.

The bare copper ground wire goes to the green screw.

The ground wire is hooked around the green screw and the green screw is tightenend.

Then the outlet is secured to the box with screws.  

And then the face plate is screwed on over top.

One down ......

A few hundred to go!

Where's my "I'd rather be decking" shirt?

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yurra-bazain's picture

Phew, a few hundred!

One of the first jobs we tackled in our above garage apartment after removing the carpet and tacking strips was replacing the electrical outlets. Thankfully for us, our count was only 12 at the time. Are you all doing the lighting switches too? Those are a little more intimidating, at least to me. :/

Yvonne @ sunnysideup-stairs.blogspot.com

posted by yurra-bazain | on Tue, 2013-07-09 20:23
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WitchyMama's picture

hehe, American power points

hehe, American power points always look like cute little faces to me.

I have never tried to do anything electrical, infact I am pretty sure in Australia it is actually illegal to do any electrical work unless you are a licensed electrician.

posted by WitchyMama | on Tue, 2013-07-09 22:33

Looking great!

Wow! I can't believe how close you are getting! I love seeing all the progress being made! How soon does winter hit? What more needs to be done on the outside? Great job!

~Tara

posted by potatogal224 | on Tue, 2013-07-16 09:08

So many?

Really, hundreds of outlets? Why so many? Are there ten per room or something?

posted by andreac | on Tue, 2013-07-30 17:33

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