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enter image description hereI'm adding an electrical outlet from my existing electrical outlet straight up the wall for my wall mounted TV. There is a stud running horizontal at the midpoint of the wall, between the existing outlet and the new outlet, meaning I will have to cut another hole midway down the wall so I can drill a hole in the horizontal stud, to fish a new wire between the existing and new outlet. I cut a small hole in the drywall where the new outlet will be and I was able to reach inside and feel the 2 electrical wires that run down the stud to the existing electrical outlet. There were 2 wires going into the existing outlet.
My question is, what is the best option for me? Can I splice those electrical wires over to my new outlet and still have them run on down to the existing outlet?

  • Where are you?, regulation vary. Regulation are not hard to follow, but you need to know what they are. – ctrl-alt-delor Oct 10 '17 at 18:18
  • Tampa, FL. I'll have to look up the regulations as I'm not sure. Thanks. – Kristin Trayner Oct 10 '17 at 18:20
  • I asked where are you? What country? Then you can tell you what to do, or where to look. – ctrl-alt-delor Oct 10 '17 at 18:28
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    There's no Tampa in Finland so it's gotta be Florida USA. – Harper Oct 10 '17 at 19:07
  • Can you post a picture of the lower junction box? I'd suggest you simply run fresh wire from your new upper outlet to where the existing outlet is. (You'll need to bust out the old junction box, which is why I'm asking for a pic.) – Aloysius Defenestrate Oct 11 '17 at 2:40
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If there are two cables in your existing outlet, one of them is supplying electricity to the box, and the other is connected in order to supply electricity down the line to some other outlets/devices on the circuit. I expect the existing outlet to be pig-tailed with the conductors in the other two cables.

If you disconnect the two cables in the existing outlet (turning the circuit breaker off first of course) then I would expect only one of the two cables to be 'hot'. The outlets before this will stay on, and the ones after it will be off. If this is the case, then you know both cables are on the same circuit. You can choose either cable to be the supply for your new outlet.

Whichever cable you choose, you will:

  • Cut the cable
  • Run both sides of the cut cable into your new box
  • Attach the new box (probably use an 'old work' box)
  • Using a pig-tail, attach the black/white/ground together and to the new receptacle

You will probably run into the same problem I had, which is once you cut the cable you don't have enough slack to do the above. If this is your case you will need to add an additional junction box above or below the new outlet, and cut the cable again. There you will splice in some additional cable, then cover this junction box with a blank cover. Since it will be behind your TV, it won't be a big deal.

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    Usually there is not enough slack wire inside a wall you would need 12" to make a legal splice at the new box (6" for each side that is cut) but you may be able to pull them out and fish in a new section of wire(s) to the lower outlet. – Ed Beal Oct 10 '17 at 21:13
  • I was in a time crunch, had to get this done last night before drywall texture came this morning. So i drilled hole in horizontal stud and fished new wire down to the existing outlet. I reconnected everything but the fuse kept tripping. So i thought maybe a bare wire was touching or something. I took it all apart again, reconnected and still breaker kept tripping. – Kristin Trayner Oct 11 '17 at 19:40
  • Then I remembered, when i cut the wires from the existing box (i cut them because it was an old outlet and i couldn't get a plug in the bottom part so I was changing out the entire outlet) there were only one set of wires connected, however there were 2 sets of wires hanging down in the wall. I totally forgot this until I started troubleshooting. i finally tested the wires and discovered only one set were hot. So i have NO idea what the extra wire just hanging inside the wall was for. it's an old house, built in 1985 so who knows what they did – Kristin Trayner Oct 11 '17 at 19:40
  • So to make a long story short, i reconnected the one hot wire and the new wire for my new outlet and it all worked. :) – Kristin Trayner Oct 11 '17 at 19:40
  • And by the way, thanks for the recommendation to use a pig-tail. i didn't know what that was, i had to look it up, but boy it helped. :) – Kristin Trayner Oct 11 '17 at 19:42

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