How to Install an Electrical Floor Outlet

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Sometimes an electrical outlet in the wall isn’t quite right for your electrical needs, and you need an electrical appliance or device plugged in to a floor outlet. This can occur more often in older homes, which were built in an era when there weren’t so many electrical appliances and devices available. Although you could reach for that power extension cable, you can remedy the situation by installing an floor electrical outlet yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Screwdriver
  • 14/2 Cable
  • Voltmeter
  • Wire nuts
  • Drill
  • Drywall saw
  • Pencil
  • Mounting screws

Determine which type of electrical outlet you need for your floor outlet. Electrical code requires that your floor outlet be a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacle if it will be installed in a garage, bathroom, or outside. They are also recommended for damp locations.

Cut a hole in the floor for the receptacle by measuring the size of the receptacle. Use a pencil or other marker to mark the dimensions on the wall where the receptacle will go. Drill a hole just inside the line, and then use a jigsaw or reciprocating saw to cut out the rectangular section of floor out. Check that the outlet box will fit into the hole.

Turn off the corresponding circuit breaker in your breaker box and run a 14/2 cable to the hole you just cut in the floor. The circuit breaker will depend on which circuit you’re running the power cable from. If you’re running from an existing circuit, turn off that breaker. Check with a voltmeter and ensure there’s no voltage present. Use wire nuts to splice into the cable. Keep like colors together. Wire nut the white wire (AC neutral) to white, the black wire (AC hot) to black and the green wire (ground) to green.

Feed the cable into the receptacle. Screw the mounting screws through the receptacles mounting holes and into the wall.

Use a wire stripper to strip a short length of plastic insulation from each end of the three wires at the end of the 14/2 cable. There should be enough bare metal wire protruding to wrap around the terminal screws.

Wrap the black wire (AC hot) clockwise around the bronze or copper colored terminal screw, the white wire (AC neutral) around the silver colored terminal, and the green wire (ground) around the green colored terminal. Tighten each screw securely.

Put the receptacle’s faceplate on and tighten the screws. Turn on the circuit breaker. Plug an appliance or an electrical device into the receptacle to test your installation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place your floor outlet near a wall to reduce any obstruction to foot traffic.
  • Make sure there is no voltage present when you're doing your installation. AC voltage is very dangerous.

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