How To Add An Outlet For Kitchen Appliances

10 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Many kitchen appliances are sold with very short power cords that won't reach the floor level outlets that are found in many homes. Luckily, it is very simple to add a higher outlet to an existing floor level outlet.

What you will need:

Outlet and cover plate

You can buy both for less than two dollars in a discount or home improvement store.

Outlet box

This will be installed inside the wall for the new outlet. Be sure to buy the type for finished walls, which attaches with two screws that turn plastic flaps on the top and bottom of the outlet box to secure it inside the wall. New construction outlet boxes have two nails that attach the box to a wall stud. You don't want that type for this project.

Hole saw or razor knife

You will need to cut a hole in the wall for the outlet box. If you are cutting into drywall, a razor knife should be sufficient, but a hole saw will be needed for harder surfaces.

Electric wire

Check the circuit breaker that controls the power to the floor outlet from which you will power your wall outlet. If the breaker is a fifteen amp breaker, you will need fourteen gauge wire. A twenty amp line will require twelve gauge wire. It is very important that you use the correct wire. Overheating and fire could result from using thinner (and less expensive) wire than required.

You will only need enough wire to reach between the outlets and to connect the wire to the outlets, so a couple of meters should be sufficient.

Wire cutter/stripper

This will be needed to cut the wire and strip insulation from the ends for connection.

Preparing the location for the new outlet

You will begin by tracing the outline of the outlet box in its intended location. Trace the opening, because it is the widest point of the box. The cover plate is bigger than the opening of the outlet box, and will cover the edges of the box.

Cut the hole along the trace pattern using your razor knife or hole saw, depending on the wall surface.

Break off one of the lower two corner punch-outs of the outlet box, then place it inside the wall. Tighten the upper and lower screws until the box is secured inside the wall.

Removing the old outlet from the wall

The first and most important step of the entire project is to turn off the breaker that supplies power to the floor level outlet. When this is done, remove the tube cover plate screw and then the two screws that hold the outlet inside the outlet box. Next, remove the outlet box by loosening the upper and lower screws. 

Break off an upper punch-out in the back of the outlet box.

Wiring the new outlet

Begin to feed the wire throughout the punch-out hole in the upper outlet box until it appears in the opening for the floor level outlet. Pull it through the upper punch-out of the old outlet box and replace the box inside the wall.

Use the wire stripper to remove three centimeters of insulation from each of the three wires inside the plastic sheath. Attach the wires to the lower section of the outlet, black wire to gold terminal, white to silver terminal, and green or gold to green terminal.

Install the outlet inside the box, and restore the cover plate.

Cut the wire at the new outlet, leaving several centimeters outside the outlet box. Strip the insulation form the individual wires in the same manner as before, and attach them to the upper part of the new outlet in the same manner as before.

Install the outlet into the outlet box, then attach the cover plate. Turn on the breaker and clean up your mess, and you're finished. If you have any questions, contact an electrician.