How to Wire a Double Outlet

Lead Image
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20
What You'll Need
A multimeter or test light
Wire cutters
Wire strippers
Four-inch piece of black solid electrical wire
Four-inch piece of white solid electrical wire
Six-inch piece of bare copper wire
Needle-nose pliers
Two outlet receptacles
Screwdriver

If you want to install an 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 the Circuit Breaker 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 ground screw at the bottom of the electrical box along with another piece of bare copper wire about 6" long. The bare copper wire can next be looped and secured around the outlet's green ground screw but leaving enough of it to reach the same screw on the next receptacle.

Step 4 - Prepare Short Wire Pieces

Cut a piece of black and a piece of white electrical wire about 4" long and strip off about 3/4 of an inch of insulation on each end of both wires. With a pair of needle-nose pliers create hooks on all four ends that are 3/4 of an inch in length.

Step 5 - Install Second Outlet Receptacle

To install the second outlet, use the black short wire and secure each end to the brass-colored terminal on each receptacle, the do the same with the white short wire but this time connecting to the silver-colored terminals. To connect the ground wire, take the piece of bare copper wire hanging from the first outlet in Step 3 and secure it to the green ground screw on the second outlet.

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.