I have a wire coming down out ceiling with 2 conductors--white wire black wire that powers an outlet. I am wondering, to add an outlet off this, can I just run the 2 wires to the top screws on neut and hot and add another old 2 wire cable to the two bottom screws and then land the end of that to add an outlet in my bath rm?

There's a light switch in there, a 2-conductor wire, but it won't power switch and outlet

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  • 1
    Pretty sure extending an un-grounded circuit is against code. If you are doing this much work, especially in a bathroom, you should run new grounded wire, or at least retrofit a grounding wire to this outlet.
    – ench
    Dec 5, 2016 at 17:42
  • I dont know how to do that...this house was built in 1940....it has two wires going to switch in bath room...im trying to figure out how to add a plug to bath rm from this 2 conductor wire.....which was on a outlet....that comes from above ceiling...which i can not get to...but...it does make that outlet work...remodeling a little bit....im gonna see if i can send a pic....dont kbow how to though Dec 5, 2016 at 18:02
  • 3
    If you don't know, or don't think you can, run new wiring, I'd advise you to stay away from electrical work. Wiring is not necessarily complex, but there are a lot of dangers and gotcha's if you do make a mistake. Mistakes can be deadly, especially in a bathroom. Don't take risks here, hire an electrician, or ask a friend who has done this before for help.
    – ench
    Dec 5, 2016 at 18:04
  • It's not exactly clear what you're trying to do... If you want to install a receptacle at the end of that cable, and then another one somewhere else. Then my answer will work. If you just want to connect the dangling cable to another cable, and have a receptacle somewhere else. That's not going to work. All junctions must be in a box, and the box must be accessible.
    – Tester101
    Dec 5, 2016 at 18:18

2 Answers 2


It's easy and legal to retrofit a ground wire.

Since you have the walls off, get yourself some ground wire and run it back to the panel this circuit is served out of. done.

Get more knowledge, though

Take a few evenings to learn this craft properly. Get a book that starts you at the beginning and works you through it. That's one virtue of big-box home improvement stores, they have books. So do libraries. Find a book that speaks to you and read it recreationally. Learn more than you think you need to know.


WARNING: Potential Code Violation

  1. Take the two wires off the old receptacle.
  2. Purchase a new GFCI receptacle.
  3. Connect the wires you removed from the old receptacle, to the LINE terminals of the new GFCI receptacle.
  4. Connect the wires from the new two wire cable, to the LOAD terminals of the GFCI receptacle.
  5. Connect a standard receptacle at the other end of the new two wire cable.
  6. At both receptacle locations, apply the stickers "No Equipment Ground" and "GFCI Protected".

Technically, you're not allowed to add a receptacle to this circuit, unless you provide a proper grounding conductor. However, since it sounds like the house may not have proper grounding, A GFCI receptacle should provide a level of safety.

  • Ok...sent a pic...trying to come off thest two wires....that are capped....land those 2 on top screws and then on bottom screws run 2 wires one on hot one on neut over through a few studs and down next to another light switch in the bath rm...will take that pic now...in the pick the black and white wire is just pig tails over to light switch...i tried using a combo switch...wired it up correctly but it wouldnt work...i plugged my dremel in to see if socket works....when i did and turned on dremel...it made light come on but dremel wheel would bairly spin.... Dec 5, 2016 at 18:16
  • 1
    I think you might need somebody to come help you. Trying to help you through the internet is quite difficult.
    – Tester101
    Dec 5, 2016 at 18:19
  • Thnx for advice...just concerned and i agree.. I dont want anything to burn out or short down the line of devices....im not an electrican...did fire alarm gor years...but....elec....is a little diff....but i do under stand line and load and running in series... Dec 5, 2016 at 18:20
  • Those wires that are capped in the first photo, is one neutral and the other hot? What used to be connected to them?
    – Tester101
    Dec 5, 2016 at 18:21
  • 1
    That's incorrect and reveals a fundamental lack of understanding on your part. Please get some local help. P.s. It's "single gang outlet".
    – isherwood
    Dec 5, 2016 at 19:04

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