Need to install a new outlet.

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  #1  
Old 06-06-12, 09:19 PM
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Need to install a new outlet.

I'm looking to install an outlet in a linen closet upstairs. Above the linen closet is in the attic. In the attic is a light fixture that has a light which is controlled by a pull string(light bulb in a small fixture affixed to a box). Anyway, I'm pretty handy, but I want to make sure what is the best way to go about this? ie: wire type etc.....
Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-07-12, 03:09 AM
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What else is on the light circuit? What is the load that will be plugged in?
 
  #3  
Old 06-07-12, 06:07 AM
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Ray pretty much asked the critical questions.
If (doubtful) the light is the only thing on that circuit, You should be good to go.
 
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Old 06-07-12, 07:09 AM
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I'm looking to install an outlet in a linen closet upstairs.
Receptacles inside closets are rare. What are you planning to plug into it?

I want to make sure what is the best way to go about this? ie: wire type etc....
The wire type is Type NM-B, commonly called "Romex," 14-2/G on a 15A circuit or 12-2/G on a 20A circuit. It must be supported, by staples or by passing through a framing member, within 12" of each box and not less than every 4' along its run between those two points - except where it is being fished through a bay in a finished wall.
 
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Old 06-07-12, 09:16 AM
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To all that responded, thanks. To be honest, I am not sure what else is on that circuit. The outlet will have a transformer plugged into it to power a WIFI enabled thermostat. The reason I would like it in the closet is because it is directly behind the wall where the STAT is located. I would like to throw this out there to make it possibly easier. I have access to a light switch that is pretty much right next to(opposite side of 2*4 wall) the place where I want to put the outlet. That light switch is always on(powers the TV). So, my question is can I some how tap into the power there and have an outlet? Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 06-07-12, 09:37 AM
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I have access to a light switch that is pretty much right next to (opposite side of 2*4 wall) the place where I want to put the outlet. That light switch is always on (powers the TV). So, my question is can I some how tap into the power there and have an outlet?
The switch position doesn't matter. What matters is whether there is a complete circuit in the switch box. It sounds like that switch controls a receptacle, or one half of a duplex receptacle, since you say it controls the power for the TV.

Switches that are installed to control the power to a receptacle are often wired with a switch loop between the receptacle and the switch. In a switch loop, the white wire in the cable is re-purposed and re-designated as carrying line voltage. There is therefore no neutral available at the switch, and no complete circuit.

The quick way to check is to kill the power and pull the switch. If you see only one cable in the box, with its black wire and its white wire connected to the switch, it's a switch loop. If you see more than one cable and the wires connected to the switch are black or red - but not white - then you may be looking at a complete circuit that you could use to power your new receptacle.
 
  #7  
Old 06-07-12, 09:59 AM
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Just looked in the box. The switch has two black wires to it only. The two white wires are tied together in the box. There is also a ground in the box(metal). Thanks!
 
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Old 06-07-12, 10:15 AM
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The switch has two black wires to it only. The two white wires are tied together in the box. There is also a ground in the box(metal).
Then it can be used. You will need to determine which black on the switch is hot by diconnecting the blacks and measurinf between each black and the whites with a multimeter, test light, or solinoid tester but not a non contact tester.

If the breaker supplying the switch is 15 amp use #14. If it is 20 amp use #12.

The white of the cable to the new receptacle to the other two whites.

Connect the black hot to new receptacle black and a pigtail.

Connect the pigtail and other existing black to the switch.

If box is metal connect all grounds to a pigtail and connect the pigtail to the box.

If the box is plastic connect all grounds to a pigtail and connect the pigtail to the switch.
 
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Old 06-07-12, 11:15 AM
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Ray,
Thanks. First,Ii have a test light(the one that tells you if thee is power present), will that suffice? Next, it is a 15 amp breaker. Little confused on the pigtail thing. I know what it means, but never did that before. Picture? Thanks!!!
 
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Old 06-07-12, 11:45 AM
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Yes a test light is fine if you mean the kind that has two probes that you touch to the bare wires.

A pigtail is simply a short length of wire (~6" long) the same size as the other wires it is being connected to. Usually just a wire from a scrap piece of cable is used but it could be THHN/THWN or a ready made pigtail that include a wirenut such as in the picture below.
 
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Old 06-07-12, 11:46 AM
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First,Ii have a test light(the one that tells you if thee is power present), will that suffice?
That is a non-contact voltage tester, the one Ray advised you not to use. You can try with it by separating the wires as much as possible and capping each black wire before turning the power back on, but it's not a reliable as the testers he listed. Here's the drill:
  • Turn the power off at the breaker
  • Pull the switch and disconnect the two black wires
  • Straighten the ends of the black wires and twist a small wire nut on each
  • Push the black wires as far apart as possible - all the way back to where they enter the box
  • Turn the power back on and see if your tester will only flash and chirp for one of the black wires
  • If so, mark that wire "panel feed"
  • If not, go buy one of other testers and test each black wire to its own neutral
  • Mark the one with power "panel feed"
Here's the pigtail detail. After you've added the cable for your new receptacle:
  • Splice all three grounds together with a fourth 6" - 8" piece of ground wire - a pigtail - to bond to the box or the switch
  • Push the ground splice to the back of the box but leave the pigtail leading out the front if it needs to go to the switch
  • Splice the three white neutral wires together, trim and cap the splice and push it to the back of the box
  • Splice the "panel feed" black wire, the black wire for the new receptacle and a 6" - 8" pigtail together, trim and cap the splice and push it to the back of the box with the pigtail hanging out the front
  • terminate the ground pigtail to the switch it the box is plastic
  • terminate the black pigtail and the remaining black wire to the switch by bending and crimping each of them around one of the screw terminals and tightening it down - don't use the the stab-in holes on the back of the switch
 
  #12  
Old 06-07-12, 02:47 PM
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Thank you very much guys, I think I got a grip on it. I will update this thread when I tackle the project!
 
  #13  
Old 06-09-12, 08:08 AM
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Quick question. On the new outlet, where do the wires go? Thanks!
 
  #14  
Old 06-09-12, 08:25 AM
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Black to brass, white to silver and bare to green ground screw. Each wire bent, crimped and tightened to a terminal screw. No wires stabbed into the back.
 
  #15  
Old 06-09-12, 09:49 AM
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And always loop the wires around/under the terminal screws in a clockwise direction--that way the connections will tend to tighten on themselves (instead of the opposite, which you don't want) as the screws are tightened.

And of course, cut the power before messing with things. Ouch hurts.
 
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Old 06-09-12, 10:08 AM
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Oops! Forgot to say "clockwise!" Yes, always around a screw, and always clockwise, unless the device has clamp-back (NOT stab-back) terminations available.
 
  #17  
Old 06-11-12, 06:30 PM
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Mission accomplished. Thanks everyone. I have an outlet tester and it indicated proper wiring. Also, in order to find the feed, I cut the power, separated the wires. I then turned the power back on, and tested each wire. One was DOA and the other had power; the panel feed. All hooked up and good to go. Thanks again!
PS: Only problem I encountered was the metal plate in the back of the outlet, I was unable to fully seat the screw, but it was snug. THANKS!!!!!!!
 
  #18  
Old 06-11-12, 06:45 PM
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PS: Only problem I encountered was the metal plate in the back of the outlet, I was unable to fully seat the screw, but it was snug.
Can you explain more fully?
 
  #19  
Old 06-11-12, 06:52 PM
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In the back of the metal box there is a screw with with a plate that holds the wires to the rear. I was not able to fully screw the screw, but it is snug. Nothing is moving in there. Thanks!
 
  #20  
Old 06-11-12, 08:17 PM
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Okay, you mean the cable clamp so all would seem to be fine.
 
  #21  
Old 06-12-12, 05:55 AM
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He took power from an existing switch box. He didn't just tap into Romex.
 
  #22  
Old 06-12-12, 06:51 AM
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Thanks Matt. I thought he grabbed a cable and cut it.
 
  #23  
Old 06-12-12, 02:26 PM
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First, thanks to everyone, much appreciated. Also, based on one of the last posts, I want to make sure I'm in good shape. THANKS!!!
 
  #24  
Old 06-12-12, 03:10 PM
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Yeah you're good. pcboss misunderstood where you tapped into power. As long as you did it in that switch box, it's ok.
 
  #25  
Old 06-12-12, 04:57 PM
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That makes me feel better, THANKS!
 
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