When moving into a new house, it is quite easy for the finer details to be overlooked. Most often, one of these finer details is electrical outlets being placed conveniently. For instance, you might decide you would like your television placed on a wall that is opposite from where your cable connection and electrical outlet are located. Another example would be, you notice the outlets in the kitchen will not be enough. The ideal solution to your problem, is having electrical outlets installed where you believe they should be. How exactly does one go about installing new outlet to your new home?
Take caution, and never perform electrical work beyond your level of skill for everybody’s safety.
1. Electrical Permit
When performing any electrical work that is extensive in your home, including power outlet installation, a permit is required. You can obtain a permit from the local building department or field offices of the city in which you are located. In order to obtain a permit, you must be both an occupant and owner of the property if you are performing the electrical work. Any property that is intended for lease, rent, sale, or exchange, cannot have any electrical modifications or installations on your own. An electrical contractor that is licensed is required to do the work if you do not have plans to live in the home, or you do not own it.
If unsure about needing a permit, contact the City Planning Department. Keep in mind, any work you have done that is under a permit is required to be inspected within 24 hours of the works completion by an electrical inspector that is certified.
2. Restrictions and Rules of Electrical Codes
Most likely you will not need to know all of these codes and restrictions. Just need to know ones that detail where your new power outlets can be placed, and also how many. Before starting any home renovations that include electrical, it is wise to refer to the National Electric Code. This is from National Fire Protection Association. This will let your know the do’s and don’ts of completing your residential electrical wiring on your own, safely. Unfortunately, this can be a very costly manual, but individuals savvy with google can most likely find any information they try to seek. Listed are a few code highlights with regards to outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, and general rooms.
- No outlets can be placed face-up on a countertop.
- Only install ground fault current interrupter (GFCI) outlets. It is required that an outlet is placed within three feet of a sink basins outside edge.
- Outlets need to be placed on at least one 20 amp branch circuit that is separate. Reason being, devices that are high-powered like a hair dryer usually use these outlets.
- Any outlets on countertops need to be GFCI.
- No outlets face-up.
- Outlets over every countertop twelve inches or wider.
- There can be no outlet placed higher than twenty inches above the countertop. There are exceptions for physically handicapped persons and peninsulas and islands where it would not be possible.
- Any peninsulas or islands need to have at least one outlet installed.
- There must be at least two branch circuits that supply the outlets on the countertops.
- Every twelve feet there must be an outlet placed.
- General rooms use circuits that are 15 amps.
- There needs to be at least one outlet installed in a hallway that is more than ten feet long.
- Any wall space that is at least 24 inches wide, can have an outlet placed on it.
3. Consider Where You Want the Outlet Installed
After you are now familiar with a couple of guidelines, you can decide where you want the outlets to be placed. One thing to consider is how difficult it will be to get a conduit or wire in this new location. Some experts in DIY, state it is simple to add an outlet in the same wall on the other side due to being able to draw power from the source that is the same. If you are not able to do this, you also need to think about the power source.
If you want an outlet placed that will not be used much, but would be good to have, you may be able to get power from an electrical outlet circuit that is nearby. For outlets that will be used often, consider having a Rockwall electrician install a circuit that is dedicated to them before installing the outlets. Remember, always consult a licensed electrician prior to finalizing an outlets place.
4. Different Types of Outlets
Lastly, you need to decide what outlet type you are going to need. All electrical outlets are identical. There are GFCI outlets, AFCI outlets, standard outlets, and others. There are times when a specific outlet will be specified due to where it will be installed, by the National Electric Code.
- GFCI outlets protect much better against electric shock than a standard outlet will. It is required they are used in basements, outdoors, kitchens, and bathrooms.
- AFCI outlets protect against overheating (which can be very dangerous) that can possibly happen between and outlet and a plug. Due to the heat being able to cause an electrical fire, many rooms in the home are required to have them, such as bedrooms, dining rooms, family rooms, sunrooms, living rooms, hallways, and closets.
- Standard outlets are usually 15-amp duplex outlets. Ever since the 60’s, these outlets have been an American home standard. The two outlets each have a neutral slot(long), and hot (shorter) slot, and a grounding hole that is half-round.
As you have read, there is a lot of considerations and research that goes with planning a new outlet. However, after you have done all your homework you are sure to find it was worth it to be able to mount your new TV in the spot you prefer.