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I am replacing a garbage disposal and the old one was wired right from the wall switch to the disposal. The new one has a plug, so it would be much easier to install an outlet under the sink and plug in the new disposal than to wire it the old way.

There is no existing hole for an outlet, and there seems to be cabinet or some other kind of thin plywood where I would want to mount it, so I'm looking for the best (and obviously safest) way to put an outlet there.

My question is this -- how can I surface mount an outlet there, or should I cut out the back of the cabinet and the drywall behind it and mount an outlet to the stud? The romex is there, I just need the outlet, and the circuit has a GFCI outlet on it.

Romex straight out of wall

  • there seems to be cabinet or some other kind of thin plywood ... that's the back of your kitchen cabinet – jsotola May 18 '18 at 0:42
  • There are a number of surface mount device boxes. Wiremold NMW35 would be good. Or your favorite retailer might have another brand. Two hints: stick with non-metallic so that you don’t need to ground it, and don’t buy the open backed version made for mounting over an existing recessed box— you need the full back wall version. That said product recommendation and shopping questions are off-topic. – Tyson May 18 '18 at 0:44
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    Whatsamatter with grounding it? I like metal, it doesn't burn. – Harper May 18 '18 at 1:14
  • Is there a junction box behind the hole?? – Harper May 18 '18 at 1:15
  • I'm not home at the moment but I will dig behind the cabinet tomorrow and let you know what is behind it. – furman87 May 18 '18 at 3:56
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Surface mount it through the cabinet back to a stud

If you can find a stud in the wall, it'd be best to run the NM into a surface mounted box (a "handy box" will do) that's screwed through the cabinet back and wallboard to a stud, then wire up the receptacle, mount it to the "handy box", and put a cover on it. (You can get away without a ground pigtail if you use a self-grounding type receptacle and a one-hole box cover, BTW.)

  • I went this route, worked like a charm. Thanks! – furman87 May 20 '18 at 0:19
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I would get an "old work" j-box from the store. Trace it's opening outline on the back of the cabinet and drill/cut out the opening. If you're lucky, you can proceed to cut the same size hole in the drywall (without hitting a stud). Pull your romex through the back of the box, slide it in, tighten up the ears, and mount your outlet. You probably want a spacer to bring the front of the box to the back of the cabinet.

Old work box: https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-Gang-14-cu-in-Old-Work-Box-B114RB/100404027

Spacer: https://www.homedepot.com/p/ReceptXtenders-1-Gang-3-4-in-Electrical-Receptacle-Box-Extension-Ring-00006/100185696

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