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Do I Need An Electrician To Move An Electrical Outlet?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

There’s no doubt that electricity can be dangerous, with potentially shocking consequences if things go wrong. Most people have realized that you should call a professional for home electrical repairs, but still think that moving an electrical outlet is less dangerous and can be DIYed. At Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric, we understand wanting to save money where you can, but some jobs you should leave to the licensed electricians; and here’s why.

Moving An Electrical Outlet

Moving an outlet to somewhere different on the same wall, or to a different wall entirely, can appear to be a straightforward process:

  • Step 1

    First, the power must be turned off. Technicians often carry voltmeters to double-check that the outlet is off before they begin working.

  • Step 2

    The new location of the outlet must be prepared correctly. This includes marking out where the outlet will go, and carefully using a keyhole or drywall saw to cut out the marked area.

  • Step 3

    This step involves moving the wire or running a new one. Experienced technicians will know whether the wire can be moved and reconnected, or if a new wire is needed.

    If the existing wire doesn’t need to be replaced but is too short to reach the new outlet location, new wires will need to be run from the existing outlet to your new one. Creating a solid connection between the two wires requires proper training; otherwise, you could run into one of several electrical problems that come from DIY home wiring.

  • Step 4

    The wire is pulled through one of the wire feeds in the cut-in box and mounted in the wall where the hole was cut. To get the box flush with the wall, Phillips head screws are used in each corner and tightened until the wings catch the drywall.

  • Step 5

    The wire is connected to the outer shell of the outlet (the receptacle) in a specific orientation. The black wire will connect to what is known as the hot screw, the white wire will connect to the neutral screw, and the copper wire will connect to the ground screw. The outlet is screwed into the cut-in box, and the cover plate is put on over the receptacle.

  • Step 6

    Lastly, the blank plate is screwed into the old electrical box.

Why Do I Need An Electrician For This?

The internet is full of ‘helpful’ websites that walk you through the process of moving an electrical outlet, but most of them fail to mention how this DIY process can go wrong. Some electrical projects should not be attempted by anyone who hasn’t been trained in the area.

You need a qualified electrician to do this specific job for you because:

  • They Ensure Your Safety

    DIY electrical projects are notoriously dangerous because they are done by people who haven’t learned the safety checks that need to be performed after every installation or moving of an outlet. Qualified electricians ensure the safety of your outlet – keeping you from electrical fires or damaged wiring throughout your home.

  • They Stick To Code

    Trained electricians know the local electrical codes inside and out, and will be sure your electrical wiring meets these codes.

    Many local ordinances require at least one GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interruption) outlet to be installed in moisture-prone areas.

  • They Know Your Breaker

    Electricians connect your outlet to a circuit breaker that has high enough capacity to handle the load it will need to.

    Circuit breakers are automatically operated electrical switches that are designed to protect electrical circuits from being damaged by the excess current which can occur from an overload or a short circuit. When a fault is detected, the circuit breaker interrupts the current flow.

    The majority of major appliances, such as dryers or stoves, need a dedicated outlet.

  • They Know Electrical Systems

    Qualified electricians like those at Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric, have years of experience in the field and know what else to look out for when doing an outlet installation. Often, electrical problems begin long before you can see them – so electricians will determine if there is other work required while doing the outlet installation, such as updating the wiring or installing a new circuit or circuit breaker. This not only saves you money by having just one call-out fee but keeps your home safe from electrical problems.

If you need to move an electrical outlet, contact Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric – trusted in Florida for reliable service since 1983.


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