Building a Home Office Series: Electrical Wiring – Wiring the Outlet

Woman sitting at an office desk
  • 8 hours
  • Advanced
  • 250
What You'll Need
Electric wire
Electrical box
Circuit breaker
Fish tape
Needlenose pliers
Wire stripper
Electric drill
Spade bit

This article picks up where Building a Home Office Series: Electrical Wiring – Part One left off, with the drywall being cut for the old-work box.

At this point, you will begin running the wire from the electrical panel to the home office. Do not connect it to the electrical panel yet; that is the last part of the job.

Running wire can be a difficult job if you have never done it before. You may need to use the drywall saw to cut additional holes in your walls or ceilings in order to get the wire run. Additionally, you may have to drill holes between the floors or through wall studs to get the wire from point A to point B. This is all dictated by your home's layout and how far away the electrical panel is from your home office. Using a non-metallic fish tape will be a great help if you have to run the wire over long lengths.

Once you get the wire run into the home office, run it so that about 12 inches of it comes out of the hole you cut earlier for the outlet box. Next, take your Romex strippers and strip away about 10 inches of the outer sheath of the wire. Cut off the split sheath and any paper insulators within. The three individual wires should now be exposed.

Remove one of the knockouts on the old-work box using your screwdriver. Loosen the clamp on the inside of the box located where you removed the knockout. Remove the other clamp entirely from the inside of the box. Run your wires through the knockout and the clamp until the sheathed section of the wire is inside the clamp. Then, tighten the clampdown to hold the wire in place.

Insert the old-work box into the hole and secure it in place by tightening the two side screws. Make sure it is held in place securely. Next, cut the wire coming out of the box so that six inches of wire is coming out. Use your wire strippers to strip about ¾" of insulation from the end of each wire. Use needlenose pliers to bend the exposed wire into a "U" shape.

Slip the ground wire under the ground screw on the new outlet and tighten the screw down. Connect the white wire to the silver screw following the same technique and the black wire to the bronze screw. Screw down any of the other screws that are not being used and wrap electrical tape around the outlet so all of the terminals are covered.

Carefully bend the wires back into the wall box and secure the outlet to it using the top and bottom screws found on the outlet's tabs. The outlet should be installed with the ground hole facing up, not down. This is a code issue that was adopted for safety reasons. Now, just install the cover plate and it's off to the electrical panel for the hook-up!