I saw a blank faceplate at our new place, decided to open it up, and found two black cables going straight through the box (see picture). This would be a great spot for a new outlet, so I wanted to make sure I had the right idea before I went ahead and tried anything.

wall box

Is it as simple as clipping one of the wires and attaching both cut ends to the respective terminal on the new outlet? Does it matter which cable I pick? My guess is that one cable goes from the local circuit to another outlet to the left, and the other cable goes from the circuit breaker to power the back room. My thought would be to cut power to both, cut one, and check to see which set of outlets down the line no longer work.

I've replaced plenty of outlets before, but haven't actually installed a new one. I just want to make sure I have a good plan before I attempt this and screw things up or hurt myself.

  • 6
    Those look more like RG6 Coax cable than electrical, like the type you'd have running for cable television. You'll probably want to investigate further before going and cutting anything.
    – Chris W.
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 21:34
  • 1
    In addition to these cables looking like coax cables for TV they also appear to be just inside a simple metal mud ring. There does not appear to be a full legitimate electrical box inside the wall at this position. Even if you could get AC mains wiring into this area it would have to be coming into a normal electrical box before you could even think of mounting an outlet at the site. You also never want to mix low voltage coax cabling and AC mains power wiring in the same electrical opening.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 8:20
  • Thanks! There are some cable connections nearby, so my guess is that this hole was cut to help feed the cable when they were installing. Glad I asked before trying anything myself!
    – David K
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


No, you can't because that's not an electrical box or cable but is rather a telecom cable and bracket.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.