An outlet may not always be where you need it to be. When this happens, you may have to rearrange your space so you have access to an existing outlet or use an extension cord.

The final option is to add a new outlet to the space where you want it. It’s always wise to leave all electrical work to a trained electrician.

The Importance of Hiring a Professional Electrician

When it comes to making any electrical updates in your home, it is crucial that you find an expert so you know the job is going to be completed correctly. There are several things to consider, such as local building codes and any potential fire hazards, and without the right training and experience and choosing the wrong company could result in a liability.

Having the proper permitting is also a requirement, so don't leave your upgrade or renovation to just anyone!

Steps an Electrical Contractor Follows to Add an Outlet

Here are the steps an electrical contractor follows when adding a new electrical outlet to your home.

1. Determine Where an Outlet Can Be Added

The first step that an electrician will take when adding an electrical outlet is determining whether an outlet can be added where you want it. Building codes must be followed when adding an outlet. Outlets cannot be added too close to water sources or gas lines.

Additionally, an electrician must ensure that adding an outlet will not overload the circuit or fuse in the room, or your circuits and fuses will constantly be popping or breaking. And shutting off the power to the main panel is one of the most crucial steps because there is no safe way to complete this project with any electrical currents running in the area.

2. Cut a Hole in the Wall

Once it’s determined an outlet can be added, an electrician will use an electric stud finder to determine exactly where to position the outlet. Using an electric box as a guide, they will then draw the shape of the box on your wall and cut out the drywall. This hole is where your outlet will be placed.

3. Locate an Existing Outlet

Once they are inside of the wall, an electrician will find the nearest existing outlet. Sometimes it is to the right or left of the new outlet, while other times it is behind the new outlet.

4. Feed in New Wires and Connect Them

Once the electrician has located the nearest outlet, they will turn off the power. The electrical wires will also be stripped of insulation before they are attached and will then feed wires through the nearest outlet and connect them to the new outlet. Feeding the wires through the existing outlet allows your new outlet to draw power from the existing power source. Electrical tape will also be applied to the exterior of the box.

5. Mount the New Electrical Box

After the wires are fed through, they will be fed into the electrical box. The wires will then be connected and the electrical box will be mounted. The entire panel will be shut off to de-energize the system and once it is turned back on, you now have a new outlet.

Understanding New vs. Old Outlets

The outlets in your home are not any different from any other part of the house because they will wear down. There's always the potential for damage or simply being outdated, and understanding the difference between new and old outlets can be crucial.

In most older homes, the electrical outlets have only two openings without an attached ground. And although there are adapters available to utilize them, they are not meant to be a permanent solution. Replacing the old outlets is critical because they were engineered for a different type of system. You also need to consider that the wiring may have never been replaced, so you are dealing with a potentially hazardous situation.

If you find that you need a replacement and are considering calling an electrician, you may want to look at the rest of the outlets you have in your home and get those updated at the same time.

Harrison Electric Has Your Safety In Mind

Do you wish you could have an electrical outlet somewhere in your home where there is not already one? Here at Harrison Electric, serving the greater Twin Cities metro area, we can help you add new electrical outlets to your home.

Contact us today to get a free estimate or to schedule a service appointment.