How to Install a New Handy Box Electrical Outlet

Handy Box mounted on pegboard.
Handy Box mounted on pegboard. (Image: electric outlet image by Dawn Williams from

Installing a new handy box for a receptacle is an easy project, even for the beginner. Unlike a regular device box that requires you to cut an opening in the wall to mount it, a handy box mounts on the outside surface of the wall. Like the handy box itself, the wiring for handy boxes is, as a rule, also surface mounted. If this wiring is in such a location where it subject to damage, you will have to wire it using armored cable or enclose the wires in a conduit system-rigid conduit, thin wall conduit, or metal flexible conduit. Armored cable is the better choice when just installing one handy box because eliminates the need for specialized tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Handy box
  • 3/8-Inch drill/driver
  • Masonry bits
  • Plastic anchors
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdrivers
  • 12/2 Type AC cable
  • Two AC cable connectors
  • AC cable cutter
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Duplex receptacle
  • Black plastic electrical tape
  • Handy box duplex receptacle cover

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Mount the handy box in the desired location. If you're mounting it on a concrete, cement block, or brick wall, you will need to drill the wall using the appropriate size masonry bit (the one that came with the plastic anchor kit), drive in the plastic anchors, and screw the box to the anchors. If you are mounting it on a wood wall, select a spot over a stud and screw directly into the stud.

Battery powered drill-driver.
Battery powered drill-driver. (Image: drill image by Albert Lozano from

Remove a knockout from the side of the handy box. Drive it inward into a horizontal position with a screwdriver and hammer, then wiggle it back and forth with Lineman's pliers until it snaps free. Install a cable connector in the hole.

Masonry bit with plastic anchors.
Masonry bit with plastic anchors. (Image: drill and bushings image by JoLin from

Cut a length of cable to reach from the new handy box to the handy box where you are picking up the power for the new receptacle. Cut it long enough so that the individual wires will extend 6 to 8 inches inside each box.

screwdrivers (Image: screwdrivers image by Pix by Marti from

Turn off the circuit breaker controlling the receptacle you will be connecting to. Remove the cover plate and the two No. 6-32 "captured" screws securing the receptacle in the box. Pull the receptacle from the box.

Needle nose pliers, Wire cutters, and Lineman's Pliers
Needle nose pliers, Wire cutters, and Lineman's Pliers (Image: pliers image by Jim Mills from

Install a cable connector in this box as you did in Step 2.

Hammer (Image: hammer image by JJAVA from

Run the cable between the two handy boxes and secure in the boxes by tightening the clamping screws on the connectors. Support the cable between boxes with cable staples at intervals not exceeding 48 inches.

Adjustable wire strippers.
Adjustable wire strippers. (Image: pliers and wire cutters image by Albert Lozano from

Remove 3/4 inches of insulation from the individual wires. Make loops in the stripped ends using the needle-nosed pliers.

Black plastic electric tape.
Black plastic electric tape. (Image: adhésif noir image by Unclesam from

Attach the black wire and the white wire to the brass screw and silver screw respectively. Place the loops under the screws in a clockwise direction and tighten the screws.

Wrap the screw terminals with tape. Secure both receptacles in their boxes. Install the handy box covers. Turn on the circuit breaker.


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