Steps to adding an electrical outlet:
Let’s get started by looking at all the things you need to complete the project:
- Wire strippers
- Drill with a wood drill bit
- Keyhole saw
- Fish tape
- Keyhole saw
- Drywall knife
- New power socket
- Plastic workbox
- Romex wire
- Stud finder
- Electrical tape
- Circuit tester
1 – Check your home’s electrical service
There are a few things to check first about your mobile home’s wiring. One is that in the past, most manufacturers constructed their mobile homes to provide a 100 amp electrical service.
If your house is one of these, you might need to overhaul it to upgrade it to 200 amp before you can install any new circuits or outlets.
2 – Check regulations
You shouldn’t start unless you check whether you’re allowed to do this yourself or not. Many states will require that you apply for a permit before making any changes or doing any work on your wiring. In some, you’ll need to hire a professional electrician.
Therefore, your first step should be to research local regulations and codes.
3 – Turn off the power
Like always, you need to turn off the main power before doing any work on your electrical wiring. Go to your mobile home’s breaker. Find the switch for the specific circuit that you are going to be working on.
Plug a light or perhaps a device that produces sound into the nearby outlets to test. However, remember that it will be safest to turn off all the power.
4 – Preparation
Next, you have to decide where you’re going to place the outlet. For the sake of security and stability, you want to attach the outlet to a stud. So if you have a general idea of where to install the socket, use a finder to find a spot between two studs.
To make your job easier, measure the distance of existing outlets from the floor. Picking a place on the same level will help you manage the wiring.
You should mark and outline the hole. In case you don’t know the correct size, unscrew the plate of a similar older outlet and check the dimensions of the gap.
Remember to check that there isn’t any other existing hardware like plumbing in this location already.
5 – Locate the nearest power source
For this step, you have two main options. Which one you choose depends on what is most convenient in that room. First, you could run a wire directly from the circuit breaker. Otherwise, you can potentially connect it to the wiring of an existing outlet.
A pro tip is to pick a spot that is direct across from an outlet on the other side of the same section of drywall.
As a matter of caution, you should work out what the existing load is on the circuit and how much a new connection will add. Make sure you aren’t going to overload the grid.
6 – Cut the hole
Now you can make the hole for the socket. Make shallow cuts along the borders for the gap with the utility knife. You can drill holes into the corners to make your job easier. Then take the keyhole saw and cut out the hole.
7 – Run the wiring
Start by drilling a hole into the two studs surrounding the spot.
Now you can run Romex wire through the wall from the power source to the new socket. Thread it through the holes in the studs. It might be necessary to open up the wall at the existing outlet to work there.
Make sure the wire is a bit longer than it needs to be for adjustments.
8 – Install the new outlet
Install the outlet receptacle and connect the wires to it. There are three wires within the electrical cable, namely a black one, white one, and copper wire without insulation. And the receptacle has two brass screws, two silver screws, and one green screw.
You need to hook the bare copper wire onto the green screw and tighten it.
Afterward, strip the end of the white wire and attach it to one of the silver screws.
Then secure the black wire as well and then connect it to the brass screw. Wrap electrical tape over the connections to prevent them from touching.
Fasten the outlet box and plate to the exterior of the drywall.
9 – Connect the power source
Connect the wire to the existing combining the same wires and screws as in the previous step. Older mobile homes might use different colored wires. If this is the case, contact your local electrician for advice. Put everything back into place.
10 – Test
This last part can be a bit tense. Turn on the power and check whether the outlet works. If it trips the circuit, some wires are likely touching. It can be a good idea to ask an electrician to come and inspect the new connections.
If you can, you should also use a circuit tester to check that it isn’t adding too much load.
Any project that involves electricity can be nerve-wracking. You need to pay careful attention to the safety aspects of the task. So, if you have no experience of knowledge with wiring or circuits, you might want to consider asking for professional help.
Take a look at a guide to installing & repairing your mobile home filtration system. This is another project that can make daily life that much more comfortable.