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Installing an outlet in 1940s home with only one set of white/black wires

Installing an outlet in 1940s home with only one set of white/black wires

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  #1  
Old 11-06-13, 03:09 PM
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Installing an outlet in 1940s home with only one set of white/black wires

Hi, thank you in advance for any advice. When we moved into our 1940s home there was an open electrical box above the fireplace with one black and one white wire. A painting was covering it so it wasn't noticed during inspection. It would actually be very helpful if I could install an outlet there for a flat screen tv.

Is it possible to just use one set of wires? I would ground the outlet to a screw attached to the metal box. Would both plugs work or does Home Depot sell one plug outlets?

Thank you so much, I have changed many light fixtures so I am hoping this is something that can be done myself.
 
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Old 11-06-13, 03:22 PM
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Is it possible to just use one set of wires
Of course. That is all that is ever needed. (If you have a second cable it powers the next receptacle.)

I would ground the outlet to a screw attached to the metal box
Just because the box is metal doesn't mean it is grounded.

Using a multimeter, preferably analog, measure the voltage between black and white. (A non contact tester will not work for this.) Next check for voltage between the metal box and each of the wires.
 
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Old 11-06-13, 04:26 PM
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Ok, thank you. Every tutorial I saw had 2 black and 2 white wires attached to the outlet so I was a little confused.

Thanks for the info on the metal boxes possibly not being grounded. I think I'll call an electrician since I'd hate to ruin my tv just to save a little money on an electrician.
 
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Old 11-06-13, 04:58 PM
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Nothing in the info you have indicated you could do anything that would harm your TV. This may be a simple DIY job but if your not comfortable doing the work an electrician is the best choice.
 
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