How to Wire a Double Outlet

What You'll Need
Multimeter or test light
Wire cutters
Wire strippers
Four-inch pieces of solid electrical wire (12 or 14 gauge, black, white, and bare copper)
Needle-nose pliers
Two outlet receptacles

If you want to install a electrical double outlet, you should know that it is a little different from a single one. However, the wiring is actually very easy and can be completed in just a few minutes. This simple step-by-step guide will show you everything you need to know, so let's get started!

Step 1 - Shut Off Power to the Circuit

Before you start, go to your home's main breaker box and shut off circuit that provides electricity to where you will be working. Once the power has been shut off, test the circuit with a multimeter or test light just to be sure there's no current flowing.

Step 2 - Prepare Wire from Circuit Breaker Box

Ensure that the junction box where you will be installing the new double outlet already has wiring that runs from the main circuit breaker. Trim the ends with wire cutters, and then use your wire strippers to remove about 3/4 of an inch of casing off of the wire that will be used to connect the new outlet. Use the needle-nose pliers to create a hook in the piece of bare copper wire that will be used to ground the new double outlet as well.

Step 3 - Install First Outlet Receptacle

After you have prepared the wiring in the junction box, install the first outlet by securing the black wire to the screw terminal with the brass colored screw. Attach the white wire to the silver colored screw terminal after, and then connect the bare copper piece of wire to the screw on the outlet that has a green, painted surface.

Step 4 - Prepare Short Wire Pieces

Locate the two short pieces of insulated electrical wire that you prepared earlier. Strip off about 3/4 of an inch of insulation on each end. Then, take the piece of bare copper wire and use the needle-nose pliers to once again create hooks on both ends that are 3/4 of an inch in length.

Step 5 - Install Second Outlet Receptacle

To install the second receptacle, you will need to insert the bare copper ends of the insulated wires into the first outlet and the second outlet. To do this, look for a small hole in the back of the first. Use the pliers to then insert the wire into the opening; the fit should be tight. Line up the wire with the same hole in the second outlet, and insert the other end into it. Repeat this for the second piece of insulated wire.

To connect the ground wire, start by attaching the first hook to the ground screw terminal on the second outlet. Then, loosen up the ground screw terminal on the first outlet and slide the second hook underneath the first one. Secure the ground screw tightly so that both wire hooks are held tightly in place.

Step 6 - Mount Receptacles and Cover

Now that the wiring to the receptacles is complete, install the wires on the mounting plates in the junction box. Then, place the cover plate over the two outlets, and secure with the retaining screw. Switch the power to the outlets back on at the breaker box and use your multimeter or test light once more so you can be sure the install was successful.