How to Reroute Electrical Outlets

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Electrical outlets are found throughout nearly all homes. They provide the power to appliances, electronics, and other items in your home. Electrical outlets are either 120 volts or 240 volts, with 120 volts being more common. Sometimes an electrical outlet may need to be rerouted. This involves removing the existing outlet and relocating it and the wiring to a new location. For a person with ample home improvement skills, it will be easy to re-route electrical outlets.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Drywall saw
  • Electrical wire
  • Drill
  • Wire staples
  • Hammer
  • Wire stripper
  • Drywall
  • Drywall mud
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Turn off power to the electrical circuit by turning off the breaker in the circuit breaker panel.

  • Unscrew and remove the electrical outlet wall plate cover. Unscrew the outlet from the electrical box and pull it out of the box until you can gain access to the outlet terminals. Remove the wires from the outlet terminals.

  • Open up the drywall around the electrical box to see where the wire feeds from. Depending on where you want to reroute your outlet to, you may need to add an entirely new wire feed from its source location. However, if you are moving the outlet in the direction of where the wire comes from, you'll simply have to cut the wire shorter.

  • Remove the electrical box and disconnect the electrical wire from the box. Install the box in the new location.

  • Reroute and connect the electrical wire back to the electrical box. You may need to drill holes through the wall studs to pull the electrical wire through. The drill bit size will vary depending on how large your wire is. Secure the wire with wire staples. Consult local electrical codes and ordinances to ensure the electrical circuit is wired to code.

  • Repair the drywall as necessary. Apply drywall mud, sand, and paint the wall before connecting the outlet.

  • Connect the electrical wiring to the outlet. The hot (black) wire connects to the brass terminal, the neutral (white) wire connects to the silver terminal and the ground (green) wire connects to the green terminal.

  • Screw the outlet to the electrical box and screw the outlet wall plate back on.

  • Turn the power back on to the electrical circuit. Your newly rerouted outlet should now have power to it.

Tips & Warnings

  • The power needs to be off to the electrical circuit when rerouting the outlet. Failure to do this can result in an electrical shock and/or possible electrocution.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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