• In this video, This Old House master electrician Allen Gallant explains how to add electrical outlets.


    1. Turn off power to the room where the new outlet will be installed
    2. Measure to find location of new outlet
    3. Drill down through floor and into basement at new outlet location
    4. Measure over from drill bit poking into basement to locate the nearest stud bay
    5. Cut hole for new outlet box in baseboard or wall
    6. Drill down through outlet box hole and into basement with extended spade bit
    7. Feed fish tape down hole, attach electrical cable to tape, then pull cable into the room
    8. Strip the outer insulation from the cable
    9. Pull cable into electrical box; tighten cable clamp
    10. Wrap bare copper wire around green grounding screw inside of box and tighten screw
    11. Screw electrical box to the wall
    12. Attach white wire to silver screw on outlet
    13. Attach black wire to brass screw on outlet
    14. Attach bare copper wire to green grounding screw on outlet
    15. Wrap electrical tape around outlet to protect wire connections
    16. Screw outlet to the electrical box; install cover plate
    17. Have licensed electrician connect cable to existing circuit or to main electrical panel
    18. Turn on power and test the outlet
    See products and services from this episode.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Like piecing a puzzle together; lots of kneeling and standing; uses basic tools.
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    Video Directory

    Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • drill
        Drill/driver ½ inch drill
      • spade bit
        Extra-long 5/8-inch spade bit
      • fish tape
        Fish tape
      • lineman's pliers
        Lineman's pliers
      • wire strippers
        Wire strippers
      • flathead screwdriver
        Slotted screwdriver
      • flashlight
      • Jig saw or drywall saw
        to cut hole for new outlet

      Shopping List

      1.Nonmetallic electrical cable

      2.Metal electrical box

      3.Electrical outlet

      4.Outlet cover plate

      5.Electrical tape

      6. Canvas drop cloth or old blanket

      To protect the floor