I need an outlet in a closet for a dustbuster and whatever. There is an
outlet in the hallway immediately on the other side of the wall. So I could
easily tap in right there and get a feed. What would be the best approach?
To connect an electrical box, it seems I have to cut a bigger hole in the
drywall than I need, to make room for nailing the box to the stud, etc.
I've seen the surface mount outlets - is that a good choice? I have a piece
of Romex cable - how to attach to the wires from the other outlet?
Get a so called "old work" box. You cut a hole the size of the new box.
There are butterfly tabs on the old work boxes the clamp the box to the
sheet rock when you tighten the mounting screws.
For attaching the wires to the existing outlet, turn off the power at the
panel box and just match the wire colors; white to white and black to black
and bare wire to bare wire.
Stop at Lowes or Home Depot and review the procedure with one of the
salepeople in the electrical department.
You can mount the box in the wall with the fasteners supplied with the box.
If you have neighbor, friend or relative that has done this kind of
installation he can show you in a few minutes.
If this is something that would normally be reckoned as a "closet",
like if it opens off a bedroom or looks like a linen closet or entrance
closet, I'll bet that a local inspector would prohibit outlets. Lights
in closets are permitted with a lot of restrictions - so far from
shelves, no pendant fixtures etc. But I don't think you're supposed to
have outlets. Too many folks deciding to leave hair driers on high all
day to dry their clothes.
Heck, I'm not sure the cheap transformer that charges your portable
vacuum is any safer than a 1500W heater. Every time I plug one of those
things in I just imagine it erupting into a ball of flames and molten
plastic. But I'm losing my faith in technology in my old age.
If you decide to proceed, the "old work" box is the way to go. Some
have wings that spring out to either side, some have tabs that swing
out on the top and bottom. Each kind needs an inch of room in the
direction of its wings or tabs; so the former kind cannot be put right
next to a stud. Find out where the studs are and make sure your new
hole is in the same stud bay as, but not directly behind, the outlet
from which you plan to draw power. You'll only need a couple of feet of
14/2 cable, which the hardware store ought to be able to sell per-foot;
for God's sake don't just cut up an extension cord.
Pick up a book showing the how-to of extending a circuit (which will be
one of the simpler tasks they show) and pay attention to "pig-tails"
and "cable clamps". If the old box is one for which you need a cable
clamp, you should be able to reach through the new hole to install it.
If you find the old wiring is Aluminum, stop immediately and call a
Chip C (chipc email@example.com) said...
There is no restriction, that I can find, in the Canadian Electrical Code
(Ontario Electrical Safety Code, 23rd Edition is my reference) on
receptacles in closets.
There are several rules governing receptacles in cupboards/cabinets
(26-710(i), 26-710(j), and 26-710(k))
There is mention in rule 26-712(a) that closets are exempt from the rule
requiring that no useable wall space can be more than 1.8 m (6') from
a receptacle. This does not ban outlets in closets, it just means that
it is not manditory to have one there.
In addition to this, our master bedroom closet has a storage closet off
of it that has two outlets in it. Our kitchen has a pantry closet with
an outlet in it (for a small deep freezer). The inspector did not have
a problem with any of these.
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
You don't need to cut a bigger hole. Get a box with the tabs that
turn to lock it in place, rather than the box that is nailed. When
you cut the hole, do so very carefully and be aware there may be live
wires and/or pipes. Surface mounts are better for concrete or brick
walls. Bare wire is ground, white wire is neutral, black wire is hot.
The smaller slot in an electrical outlet is the hot. Always open the
breaker to the cirucit you are working. Check your wiring for tight
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