How to Add a Receptacle From a Junction Box

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Things You'll Need

  • Receptacle

  • Electrical box

  • Electrical wire

  • Electrical wire twist locks

  • Electrical tape

  • Pencil

  • Hammer

  • Wire cutters

  • Wire strippers

  • Screwdriver

  • Drywall saw

  • Measuring tape

  • Stud Finder

  • Electrical meter/tester


Safety always should come first and never attempt to work on any electrical wiring without first contacting a licensed electrical contractor. Always follow all manufacturer guidelines to prevent shock or death. Be sure all electrical wiring always adheres to your local building codes.

Remodeling or updating your homes electrical components can be challenging, yet rewarding. Knowing how to add a receptacle from a junction box is important in completing your project right, and completing it safely. There are many types and colors of receptacles to choose from that will fit most any home's interior or exterior decor. Be sure to follow the appropriate building codes for your area as you begin your electrical project.


How to Add a Receptacle From a Junction Box

Step 1

Locate the junction box that will be used to join the receptacle too, and turn off all power routed to that box. Carefully remove the cover lid to the junction box with the screwdriver and use the electrical meter/tester to determine that all power is off at the end of the wires as they terminate in the junction box. Follow all the manufacturer directions for the electrical meter/tester you have.

Step 2

Determine the location on the wall that you want the receptacle to be placed. Use the stud finder and measuring tape to find the nearest stud. Most studs will be located approximately 16 inches on center from each other. Mark with the pencil the center of the stud at the location where you will be placing the receptacle. Move about 1/2 inch to the right and carefully use the saw to make a whole in the wall large enough for the electrical box to fit through and attach to the side of the stud.


Step 3

Strip off 1/2 inch of the insulation at the ends of the electrical wire to reveal a black, white and green copper wire. At the junction box, locate the main wire coming from the main breaker box and disconnect any wire nuts in place to reveal the copper ends of those wire. Locate the black/red (hot)wire and connect it using the wire twist locks to the black wire of your electrical wire to install. Locate the white (neutral) wire and connect that with the white wire using the electrical twist locks. Finally, locate the green (ground)wire in the junction box and connect that with the green in the same manner as above. Using the electrical tape, tape each electrical twist lock to ensure that no contact is inside the junction box with other wires or the box itself. Replace the cover lid on the junction box.


Step 4

Measure the distance from the junction box and down the wall to the location of the hole for the receptacle. Add one to two extra feet so that wire is not pulled too tight or will scrap any nails in the wall or ceiling. Cut the wire at the appropriate measurement and feed it down the wall to the hole and pull about one foot out of the hole to allow access.

Step 5

Strip the ends of the wire to again expose the three copper wires. Pull the wire through the box and mount the box to the side of the stud using the included screws or nails. Make sure the front of the box is just flush with the inside front edge of the drywall.


Step 6

Looking at the front of the receptacle, then attach the black (hot) wire to the screw on the top right side. Again looking at the front of the receptacle as a reference, attach the white (neutral) wire to the screw on the top left side. Locate the green screw on the side of the receptacle and attach the green (ground) wire. Check each connection and make sure the screw is snug tight.

Step 7

Push excess wire back through the box and into the wall and mount the receptacle to the box using the included screws and following the manufacturer's directions. Mount the receptacle cover plate over the receptacle using the single screw in the middle of the plate. Turn the power back on to the junction box and using the electrical meter/tester, carefully test the receptacle for power following the manufacturer guidelines.


references & resources

Billy Brainard

Billy Brainard graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Trinity College. As the department chairman he was responsible for creating and writing the curriculum for 7-12 grade students. Currently he writes for eHow and works part time helping employees by creating and writing resumes to help in their job search.