Why is an outlet box outside of the wall?


A wall outlet is a wall-mounted electrical receptacle that provides a point for consumers to plug in various electronic items. Wall outlets provide flexible access to electricity for use with a wide variety of components. Some come with special features designed for specific applications, like devices used in wet environments. It is typically easy to relocate wall outlets as well as to add more to meet household needs, although homeowners may prefer to hire an electrician to do this work.

The design includes one or more electrical sockets designed to accommodate plugs of the most common type used in a region, with a cover to limit exposure to the interior wiring. Older outlets may lack a ground, while newer ones should be grounded in accordance with the electrical code. Some include ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) technology, which cuts power to the outlet in the event of a ground fault. This type of outlet is most commonly used in wet areas where there is an...

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Mistake: Box too small

Too many wires stuffed into a box can cause dangerous overheating, short-circuiting and fire. The National Electrical Code specifies minimum box sizes to reduce this risk.

Solution: Install a larger box

To figure the minimum box size required, add up the items in the box:

1 - for each hot wire and neutral wire entering the box

1 - for all the ground wires combined

1 - for all the cable clamps combined

2 - for each device (switch or outlet?but not light fixtures)

Multiply the total by 2.00 for 14-gauge wire and by 2.25 for 12-gauge wire to get the minimum box size required in cubic inches. Then choose a box with at least this much volume. Plastic boxes have the volume stamped inside, usually on the back. Steel box capacities are listed in the electrical code. Steel boxes won't be labeled, so you'll have to measure the height, width and depth of the interior. Then multiply to find the...

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It is a false premise. Most UK socket-outlets are double. Although switched socket-outlets are in the majority, unswitched sockets are readily available, perfectly legal, and not uncommon. There is a misconception that the switch has something to do with safety, but the only real safety function for a switch was in the days of DC mains supplies.
When a plug is removed from a DC socket there is a tendency to arc, to combat this, early British plugs were equipped with enlarged discs to shield the hand from the arc flash during withdrawal, these were termed "handshields". Later, the incorporation of toggle switches (with "snap action" and double break mechanisms greatly reduce arcing), in sockets became a common way of combatting the problem. The switch was set on only after the plug was inserted, and off before withdrawal. To improve this still further there were a number of interlocked socket-outlets developed in Britain, these would not allow plug insertion or withdrawal...

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Want to light up the night sky with more Christmas lights than your neighbor, but just can't stand the sight of those extension cords? Need a better place to play a radio for an outdoor party? Why not just create a new outside wall outlet box for the exterior of your home? It's easy!

If you have ever looked at a wire used in interior wiring situations, you will have noticed that the wires have a plastic covering called the insulation. When it comes to exterior lighting for your outdoor landscaping, the wires need to be protected even more. Thus, there is more to outdoor lighting than simply having a good wire cover. Before you begin any electrical project, you will need to check with your local authorities on any construction building codes or permit requirements.

With outdoor wiring, everything must fit together exactly. In most situations heavy duty gaskets are used to seal the electrical boxes to insure that no water penetrates the boxes. In addition, the new...

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Do you need extra outlets, and you'd rather plug into a wall? Power bars are unsightly and who wants extension cords snaking all over the floor? Besides, these can be fire hazards as well as overly attractive to small children.

Maybe you are changing the location of the TV or installing an over-the-range microwave, or maybe you bought a new computer desk. Whatever the reason, there isn't a handy outlet for the equipment and you need one. This is when it becomes necessary to add a new plug-in by wiring it into an existing one.

This article will walk you through not only the mechanics of putting a new electrical outlet into the wall, but also running the wire and tapping into the existing circuit. The tools and materials will be discussed as well as the procedures and tips for doing the job in the easiest manner possible.

While the task will take some work and may involve crawling through attics or crawl spaces, it is not particularly esoteric or difficult to...

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We’ve all heard the saying: ‘think outside the box’. But who really stops to consider what it means, why it’s something to aim for and how it can be achieved in the world of online learning?

Us, that’s who!

What do we mean by ‘thinking outside the box’?

Sometimes, we can get pretty stuck in our ways. We just go through the motions, doing what we need to but no more. We’re scared to deviate from the set route and make our own paths.

A lot of the time we’re not even really present in what we’re doing – we’re on auto-pilot. That’s not just a metaphor either; researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development discovered that the anatomical structure of the brain has a built-in auto-pilot setting, something they like to call the ‘default mode network’.

This means that that neuronal activity naturally switches to this resting state whenever there are no external influences on the brain. In this way, the brain is a very efficient piece of...

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Banning or suppressing free thinking means we are willing to shut down some windows in the journey of our lives and agreeing to make friendship with the darkness that descends when the windows are shut. Jayaram V

What it is to think outside the box?

You might have heard about thinking outside the box. In a general sense to think outside the box means to think creatively. It is a catchphrase for creativity. Some people think it is not a right metaphor for creativity. There is a lot of speculation how the phrase came into existence. In this discussion we will approach the idea from a different angle, equating the box to the heuristic mind. The box represents your habitual mind and thinking outside it means thinking in newer ways or thinking outside the boundaries of the conventional mind.

When you are searching for contents in a box, you tend to look for the contents inside the box since you expect that it is what the box is meant for. Looking for contents...

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WHEN additional wall switches or electrical outlets are needed for appliances, lighting fixtures or ceiling fans, the usual procedure is to run wires or cables through the hollow wall spaces, then cut openings in the walls to accommodate the new outlets or switches.

However, homeowners now can add outlets, switches and receptacles without chopping holes in walls, and without having to try to fish wires through hollow wall spaces that are often blocked by insulation, pipes or blocks of wood. A new wiring system is available that uses easy-to-install plastic raceways or channels that mount on the surface of the wall or ceiling and carry wires that run from existing outlets to the new switches or receptacles, which are also mounted on the surface of the wall.

Ideal for the installation of track lighting, ceiling fans, lighting fixtures and other appliances, this new system is called Sure-Snap On-Wall Wiring. It is made by the Wiremold...

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Cut a length of NM cable to run through the back of the indoor box. The cable should be long enough to allow a full 8" of cable both at the indoor box and the outdoor location. Mount a push-in cable clamp in the knockout opening in the back of the electrical box, and feed the length of cable through the indoor electrical box so it extends outdoors.

Note: Code requires some sort of cable clamp securing the cable. It is not allowable by code to simply leave the new cable loosely running through... the knockout opening.

Strip away 6" or so of the outer sheathing in the NM cable, both inside and outside the house. Use a wire stripper or combination tool to strip away 3/4" of insulation from the tip of each wire in the NM cable.

The next part is slightly tricky, as you will use short lengths of wire, called pigtails, to connect the indoor receptacle to the circuit wires. One end of each pigtail will be attached to the indoor receptacle, and the other ends will be...

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I'm sorry, but I need to nitpick a few things, mostly for those who don't know better and are just going to follow your instructions. (I have a couple issues with your electrical wiring...) I'm not trying to be a jerk, but want to help those who wouldn't otherwise know...

First thing is regarding how you ran wire to the cabin:

It's in conduit. That's good. But it's only 3" deep. Not so good. (Lazy.) This can be an issue in many obvious scenarios and should be buried deeper.

Second: 12/2 wire providing power to the cabin. (For those that don't know: the first digit is the gauge of the wire and the second digit is the number of wires, not counting ground. Therefore, 12/2 = 2 - 12g(auge) wires (+ground). Those 2 wires are: 1 black and 1 white. All modern "Romex"-style wire will have a bare ground wire also, so there are 3 wires total in a 12/2 or a 14/2. In wires other than Romex *or the like*, the bare copper ground wire may have a green sheath. Green or bare...

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Outdoor electrical boxes use rubber gaskets to seal its weatherproof lid, cover plate and box together. A properly installed outdoor electrical socket box keeps moisture away from live wires. The moisture not only corrodes the outlet's metal parts, but it can conduct electricity to an exposed area of the electrical box. Many local building codes require outdoor electrical-boxes contain ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) outlets. These outlets, which detect differences in the electrical current flowing in and out of the outlet, will turn the electricity to the electrical box's circuit off if a short develops.

Choose an interior electrical socket that mounts in an exterior wall. The new exterior electrical socket will tap into this outlet's electricity feed. Turn the circuit breaker that controls this room and outlet, off.

Unscrew the wall outlet's cover plate with a flathead screwdriver. Remove the cover.

Unscrew the outlet's two retaining screws with a...

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What's the proper way to go through an outside wall to run PVC conduit outside? What type of box do I need on the outside?

The Code here allows outside PVC conduit and it would be my intention to use it unless it would be better to use metal for some reason. I have access to a 2X10 barge board through which I am going to put two 14-3 cables 120 V.

Either my local building supply company doesn't have the right parts or I don't know how to use what they've got. What they've got is a narrow PVC box that has an outlet in-line at one end and at the other end is an outlet through the 'bottom'. Half inch. Actually, I think it's just a right angle joining piece intended to have conduit coming in and conduit going out. But it's the only box they've got that has a nipple out the bottom. In addition, there's nothing to clamp the cable coming through the hole in the barge board into the PVC piece. I could just staple the cable onto the barge board; but it doesn't seem right...

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Two years ago when Adam and I planked our kitchen we had no idea what to do around the outlets and switches. We ended up just cutting the planks around the current outlets and leaving them like that. It never really bothered me…but I never liked it either. The great thing about being a serial DIYer (or a DIY blog reader!) is that you are always learning new things, and while planking the boy’s room I learned that no one expects you to leave your outlets cut around and unfinished looking. In fact, there is a really easy fix for it.

First thing you’re going to want to do is turn off power to the areas you will be working on. I know y’all know this, but I have to stress it anyway….you must be SO EXTREMELY careful with anything electrical because if you do it wrong it can kill you. Literally.

So this is our breaker box. What I did was flip on the overhead light in the boy’s room and switch off the assigned breaker, which caused the light to go...

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Check your local wiring codes and schedule inspections.

Several inspections and permits are required for most residential construction projects, especially when it involves electrical work.


To make sure you're up to code, you may need to schedule temporary service inspection, a rough-in inspection, and a final inspection. This needs to be done whether you're doing it yourself or hiring a subcontractor.

The National Electrical Code requires all GFCIs within 5 feet of the floor to be child-safe and clearly marked. Outdoor GFCIs must also be weather resistant and clearly marked, even if it has a weather cover. Check your local wiring codes to see if a GFCI is an acceptable replacement for a non-grounded two-prong outlet. There are acceptable installation procedures for non-grounded GFCI usually involving putting a sticker on the outlet cover stating "Non-Appliance Ground." In some areas, you may need a GFCI due to nearby water...
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ELECTRICAL WALL PLUG ADAPTERS- CONTENTS: how to select & use an "outlet" or "wall plug" adapter; how to select & use a power strip, a surge protector, or a gang adapter to expand the number of devices that can be plugged-in at a single wall receptacle. What is a power surge, how does a home surge protector power strip protect your electrical equipment, and what the heck are joules, coulombs, and electricity spikes? POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about wall plug adapters used at electrical outlets or receptacles in buildings. REFERENCES

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Wall plug adapters:

Use of a three-prong adapter for two-slot electrical receptacles ("outlet" or "wall plug") when there are just two wires (hot and neutral) but no ground wire, or use of a gang adapter to expand the number of devices that can be plugged in at a single electrical receptacle is...

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InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

How to wire an electrical receptacle ("outlet" or "wall plug") when there are just two wires (hot and neutral) but no ground wire.

This article explains that when there is no safe grounding conductor or "ground wire" at an electrical receptacle location you need to choose the proper receptacle type and make the proper wire connections for safety.

This article series describes how to choose, locate, and wire an electrical receptacle in a home. Electrical receptacles (also called electrical outlets or "plugs" or "sockets") are simple devices that are easy to install, but there are details to get right if you want to be safe.

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How to Hook up an Electrical Receptacle (wall outlet) on a Two-Wire Electrical Circuit


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