Nearly every home in America has 110v electricity pulsing through its outlets and fixtures to power the home. In order for that system to work, the electricity must run from the main circuit panel to every room of the house. When each outlet is attached to the main power source, you have access to plug in your phones, computers, televisions, lamps, and other electronic devices.
Whether you’re building a new home or doing some rewiring, wiring plug outlets is bound to be part of the job. Here are some pointers to get you headed in the right direction. Before you begin, make sure that the power is turned off to the particular circuit you are working with. This article assumes that you have easy and direct access to the framing of the building, so no retrofitting is required.
Step 1 - Wire the Circuit Breaker
If it is not already done, wire the 15 amp circuit breaker into the main panel of your home or building. This is done much like the outlet itself. The breaker will have three wires coming off it: black, white, and bare or green. Attach the white wire to the neutral terminal of the circuit bay, the green or bare to the main ground screw or terminal, and the black wire to the hot terminal. You have to strip back a few inches of the each wire’s insulation before you can do this.
Step 2 - Mount the Outlet Box
Wherever you want the outlet to be located, mount the plastic outlet box to a stud at least 18 inches off the floor. Plastic outlet boxes come with nails already set; you just have to drive them in. The box should not be flush with the stud, but rather protrude the width of the drywall so the cover plate will be flush with the painted surface of the wall.
Step 3 - Run Romex to the Outlet Box
From the 15 amp circuit, run enough 14/2 Romex cable to reach the outlet box. Make sure there is slack enough for it to be properly secured to studs, sills, and rims of the frame. Use the staple gun and carefully attach the cable to the middle of the studs, drilling holes in them where you need to pass the wire through. Do not puncture the cable with a staple or you will have to replace it.
Step 4 - Wire the Outlet
Once the cable has reached the outlet, pop open one of the tabs in the outlet box and feed the Romex through six inches. Strip the outer insulation off of it for about 4 inches and separate the three wires inside. Strip 1 inch of insulation off of the black and white wires. To the green screw on the outlet, attach the bare or green ground wire. To the silver screw, attach the white wire. To the brass or gold screw, attach the black wire. To properly attach the wires, curve the exposed wire over into a hook shape and loop it over the screw with the end going over it in the direction it will be turned to tighten. Tighten the screw making sure it secures the wire.
Check your connections and secure the outlet into the box with the provided screws. Turn the circuit on and check the power. If it works, you have just successfully installed a 110v outlet.