Having a socket in the wall directly behind devices, such as a wall-mounted flat-screen television, allows you to hide the wires rather than letting them hang down the wall.
Whether you call it a plug, receptacle, or outlet, you can always move it if it isn’t in a handy spot. The electrical code may not apply to interior wall plugs in your area, so you can move one up a finished wall to a more convenient spot.
In our guide, you can learn more about moving an outlet to a more convenient location. By the end, you’ll see that moving electrical outlet isn’t as challenging as it appears and is something you can do as part of your home improvement jobs.
Can I Move An Electrical Outlet?
There’s no denying that electricity may be hazardous, with potentially disastrous results if something goes wrong. Most people understand that house electrical repairs should be left to the professionals. However, many still believe that moving an electrical outlet is less harmful and can be done independently. (Learn How To Wire A Photocell To Multiple Lights)
How To Move Electrical outlet Step-By-Step
Moving an electrical outlet to a new location on the same wall, or to a different wall entirely, may appear to be a straightforward task:
- The electricity must first be turned off. Before beginning work, technicians frequently carry voltmeters to double-check that the outlet is turned off.
- The outlet’s new site must be adequately prepared. This includes carefully marking out where the outlet will go and cut off the indicated area with a keyhole or drywall saw.
- This phase entails either relocating or running a new wire. If the wire can be moved and rejoined, or if a new wire is required, experienced technicians will know.
If the existing wire does not need to be changed but is too short to reach the new outlet, new wires will have to be extended from the old outlet to the new one.
- The wire is fed through one of the cut-in box’s wire feeds and placed in the wall where the hole was created. Phillips head screws are used in each corner to keep the box flush with the wall, and they are tightened until the wings catch the drywall.
- The wire is linked in a specific orientation to the outlet’s receptacle. The black wire will be connected to the hot screw, while the white wire will be connected to the neutral screw and the copper wire to the ground screw. All are held to the corresponding wire nut in the outlet box.
The outlet is screwed into the cut-in box, and the receptacle is covered with a cover plate.
- Finally, screw the blank plate into the old electrical box.
Why You Need An Electrician for Moving An Electrical Outlet?
Not every person will feel comfortable moving an electrical outlet, as many things can go wrong during the process.
Here are a few reasons it could be best to use an electrician for this job.
You Remain Safe
Qualified electricians assure the safety of your outlet, preventing electrical fires or damage to your home’s wiring.
They Stick To Code
Trained electricians are familiar with the local electrical codes and will ensure that your electrical wiring complies with them.
Many local ordinances mandate the installation of at least one GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet in moisture-prone regions.
Electricians Know How Breakers Work
Electricians will connect your outlet to a circuit breaker with sufficient capacity to manage the load. The circuit breaker’s job is to interrupt the current flow as a problem is detected. Besides this, you’ll need a dedicated outlet for most major appliances, such as dryers and stoves.
How Much Does It Cost To Move An Electrical Outlet?
It could cost as little as $50 to relocate it. However, it could cost as much as $200 because of minimum fees, additional wiring, or other issues for this home improvement task. Much of the work and cost are dictated by the distance the socket must be moved.
How Do You Reroute An Electrical Outlet?
Here you can find the steps you need to take on how to move an outlet box to another location.
1. Prevent Drywall Damage
Many home improvement tasks need the relocation of a light switch or electric outlet from one area to another or even to a different wall.
It’s a relatively simple process until the new wire hits the first wall stud. The main issue of this job is to keep drywall damage to a minimum.
2. Turn Off Power in the Electrical Panel
When working with electricity, the primary concern must always be safety. Working on a live circuit is never a good idea, and you should always cut off the power at the circuit breaker.
Sometimes the circuit-breaker designation on the electric-service panel is incorrect. If this is the case, turn on the light switch or put a lamp into the outlet.
Rep until the light goes out, label the proper circuit breaker for future reference.
Turn off the circuit breaker for the rest of the project.
3. Remove Switch or Outlet Wall Plate.
Loosen the mounting screws and carefully remove the item from its
electrical box without touching the connections inside.
Double-check the circuit’s voltage with a multimeter set to VAC. Assist with a probe on each wire terminal. (Learn How Many Lights On A 15 Amp Circuit)
Never let it get to zero. And if not, turn and disable the circuit breaker that powers it.
Note the current device’s wire placements. This is very useful when working on GFCI outlets.
The wire set from the circuit breaker must connect to the “Line” terminals on your GFCI outlet. The new wire connections will match the old.
The black wire links to the outlet’s “Hot” or “Live” terminals, while the white wire connects to the neutral side.
3-way switches require a “Traveler” wire beside the active wire where the traveler wire connects both 3-way switches.
Choose the correct wire type and size. 15-amp outlets and switches require 14-gauge wire.
A 20-amp gadget requires 12 ga wire. Wires labeled 14/2 NM-B with ground comprise two insulated strands of 14-gauge wire and one uninsulated, enclosed in a non-metallic shield.
Prepare New Light Switch or Electric Outlet Location
Determine the approximate position of the new switch or outlet on the wall. The exact location is determined by the mounting style of the box and the position of the wall studs. For example, some boxes install in a hollow region, while others attach to a stud bay. Measure the stud distance with your tape measure.
Using an electronic stud-finder or rapping on the drywall. You can spot the hollow region between the wall studs.
Make a trace of the hole and cut it out. Then, against the wall, place a high-voltage remodel box and trace the box’s outline using a pencil.
With a utility knife, cut a box shape, and use a saw to cut the hole.
Remove the drywall cutout and check inside the hole to ensure no obstructions. Remove enough drywall for the mounting bracket if the box is mounted on a stud.
Install Your New Wire
The new wire’s path is determined by the distance between the existing outlet and the new outlet.
Simple applications, like when the boxes share the same stud, only need a short piece of wire. However, issues arise when drywall is up and you need to cut in box onto another wall.
Usually, you do this by drilling holes in the wall’s top plate and running the new wire through. For wires that run between wall studs, open the drywall and drill a hole in the bracing for the electronics wire to pass through.
Remove a drywall portion above the box. Pull the cable down to the box from the wall space. Loosen any existing wire clamps on the outlet box and push six inches of wire inside the box.
Drill into the new outlet’s stud space. With a light socket, replace wit=ring in the attic. For example, a room with an eight-foot ceiling and a new light switch would require 6.5 feet of cable.
Cut the wire where needed and feed the wire through the stud space and the top plate. Then, remove the cable from the new outlet’s drywall hole. (Read Ground Wire Size Chart)
How Do I Move An Outlet A Few Inches?
- Turn the wall plug’s circuit breaker off.
- Disconnect devices from the socket and test the plug with a voltage tester. It will sign an alarm if there is still power in the wall plug.
- Remove a single screw holding the wall plate and then remove the two screws attaching the plug to the electrical box.
- Loosen the screws on the electrical plug. Pull the side plug wires off.
- Mark your new electrical plug’s height above the old one on the wall.
- Push a single-gang electrical box against the wall and use this as a template on the wall where to make the new opening.
- Use a jab saw to cut the drywall opening for the new plug.
- Measure the distance with your tape between the old and new plug locations. Then, add 12 to 18 inches for your new wiring connections.
- Use wire cutters to cut a 12-2 non-metallic electrical cable to your measurement.
- Feed your cable through the pre-cut hole in the top of the plastic electrical box. If the original box is metal, cut a box in it before running the cable up the wall.
- Use a screwdriver to open the electrical box opening. Then, protect your electrical cable from the sharp metal edges by inserting an electrical hole rubber grommet.
- Push the cable up the wall until it appears at the new wall opening. Insert the cable into one of the renovation box’s pre-cut holes.
- Insert the box into the wall aperture. Tighten the two screws on the box’s lip to the drywall.
- Remove the cable sheath to reveal three electrical wires inside the insulation.
- Using wire strippers, remove 3/4-inch insulation from either end of the white and black electrical wires. In addition, the remaining bare copper wire is the ground wire. Ground wires are essential as they stop short circuits and electrical shocks.
- Inside the original box, pull and twist to join the two white, two bare copper, and two black wires.
- Join the wires with an orange wire connector and attach a single-gang blank wall plate to the original electrical box with the supplied screws.
- Using needle-nose pliers, make little hooks in the three wires inside the new wall box.
- Hook the black wire around the plug’s black or copper terminal screw and the white wire around the silver terminal screw. The bare copper wire should wrap around the green terminal screw. Tighten three terminal screws.
- Attach the plug to the new box using the two screws removed from the original plug.
- Reconnect the wall plate and turn on the circuit breaker to deliver power to the new plug.