How to Extend Power from an Existing Wall Outlet with Wiremold

This project explains how to extend power from an existing wall outlet with Wiremold® surface mount raceway and wire the electrical boxes in this installment of How To Build a Basement Closet. This project is continued from wiring the light switch.

How to Extend Power from an Existing Wall Outlet

At this point in the basement closet project, I’ve completed the Wiremold wiring rough-in and connected the wires for the closet ceiling light and light switch as I work my from the ceiling light back to the existing wall outlet. In other words, I’m making the wiring connections starting at the new electrical circuit termination (the ceiling light) and working sequentially back to circuit origin (the wall outlet). Making the wiring connections in this order minimizes the risk of accidentally working on a live wire because the wall outlet power source is the final connection.

Electrical Safety: As always, the power must be shutoff at the circuit breaker before working on the electrical wiring. Verify the electricity is off with a voltage detector. Hire a licensed electrician if in doubt.

The electrical wiring connections to made next are the:

  • Wiremold BW35 junction box.
    The outlet box is used here as a junction box here with a blank cover plate.
  • Leviton T5015-W single receptacle wall outlet and Wiremold BW35 outlet box.

The Wiremold wiring diagram is illustrated here:

Wiremold Electrical Outlet Power Extension Wiring Diagram

Wiremold Electrical Outlet Power Extension Wiring Diagram

Wiremold Junction Box Wiring

The Wiremold BW35 junction box is used to connect the NM-B 14/2 cable inside the 2×4 stud wall to NM-B 14/2 cable from the Wiremold® 700 Series metal channel. The BW35 box is removed to expose the back plate. Do the following:

  • Cut an 6 inch length of NM-B 14/2 cable from the roll and remove the copper ground wire.
  • Install a #10 green ground screw in the dimple of the back plate.
  • Make a small loop in the end of the ground wire, loop it around the ground screw, then pinch the loop closed with needle nose pliers.
    See the red arrow in the next photo.
  • Tighten the ground screw.
Wiremold BW35 Junction Box Wiring: #10 Ground Screw

Wiremold BW35 Junction Box Wiring: #10 Ground Screw

NM-B 14/2 wiring preparation:

  • The outer jacket of the NM-B 14/2 cables are carefully removed so as not to damage the insulation on the individual wires.
    Make a short, shallow lengthwise cut in the outer jacket at the end of the cable, then peel the outer jacket back like a banana.
  • Leave 1 inch of of the outer insulation jacket extending past the Halex 3/8 in. 2-Piece Clamp Connector (red arrow in next photo).
    Also take care to have 1 inch of the outer jacket insulation for the other cable extending past the Wiremold 90° elbow into the BW35 junction box.
  • Tighten the cable clamp screws to secure the NM-B 14/2 cable in the center of the back plate.
  • Trim the wires if needed to have at least 6 inches of wire extending past the back plate.
  • Strip approx. 5/8 inch of insulation from the ends of the black (hot) and white (neutral) wires with wire strippers.
Wiremold Junction Box Wiring: NM-B 14/2 Wires and Cable Clamp

Wiremold Junction Box Wiring: NM-B 14/2 Wires and Cable Clamp

Matching the wire colors, right-twist (clockwise) the ends of the ground, black (hot) and white (neutral) wires together using linesmans pliers and secure each set of wires with a wire nut.

NM-B 14/2 Wiring Connections in Wiremold Junction Box

NM-B 14/2 Wiring Connections in Wiremold Junction Box

Fold the wires and install the Wiremold BW35 junction box with the two included screws. The junction box will be closed with a standard blank wall plate cover to conceal and protect the wires.

Wiremold Junction Box: NM-B 14/2 Wire Connections

Wiremold Junction Box: NM-B 14/2 Wire Connections

Then snap the elbow cover into place:

Wiremold Junction Box and 90 degree Elbow

Wiremold Junction Box and 90 degree Elbow

Wiremold Wall Outlet Wiring

Electrical Safety Caution:

The final wiring connections to power the new circuit are about to made. Be absolutely certain to shutoff the power at the circuit breaker panel if you haven’t already done so. Verify the electricity is Off on all wires with a voltage detector to avoid shock, injury or death.

The final wiring steps are to:

  • Cut a length 6 inch length of NM-B 14/2 cable from the roll for the new receptacle pigtail wiring.
  • Twist and wire nut the NM-B 14/2 wires from inside the wall (to the circuit breaker), the Wiremold raceway and the outlet pigtail.
  • Connect the pigtail wires to the new outlet.

The wiring diagram for the following steps is:

Wiremold Wall Outlet Power Extension Wiring Diagram

Wiremold Wall Outlet Power Extension Wiring Diagram

After shutting off power at the circuit breaker and verifying the electricity is indeed Off, I connected the main circuit wires as was done for the junction box (see above). Next, the new single receptacle outlet will be connected to the pigtail wires. Reminder, you can install a dual outlet receptacle if preferred.

Wiremold Outlet Box and Receptacle Wiring

Wiremold Outlet Box and Receptacle Wiring

The next (non-standard) installation steps are:

  • Wire the new outlet per the manufacturer’s instructions included with the outlet.
  • Insert a receptacle tester into the outlet.
  • Turn On the electricity at the circuit breaker to verify my wiring connections (see the photo below).
    Two yellow lights indicates the outlet is correctly wired.
    Caution: Do not touch the receptacle because the side terminal screws are exposed and you can be shocked!
    This is a construction zone and the outlet will be exposed only for a short time. I also don’t have children or pets running about.

You should adhere to the standard outlet installation procedure:

  • The electricity is Off at the circuit breaker
  • Mount Wiremold metal box to the back plate
  • Wire the receptacle per the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Mount the outlet to the Wiremold box (the outlet is now protected in the box)
  • Turn On the circuit breaker
  • Insert the receptacle tester in the outlet to verify the wiring is correct.

I chose not to follow the standard procedure because the wires inside wall were so short and it would be far easier to fix any wiring problems with the box out of the way.

Wiremold Electrical Outlet Wiring

Wiremold Electrical Outlet Wiring

Being careful not to touch the side terminals of the toggle switch, I flipped the light switch On. Let there be light! The new circuit for the closet ceiling light works!

Wall Outlet Power Extension with Wiremold: Testing the Light Circuit

Wall Outlet Power Extension with Wiremold: Testing the Light Circuit

I shutoff the power at the circuit breaker panel, verified the electricity was Off by observing all lights on the receptacle tester are now off (the receptacle tester was still plugged into the outlet), then:

  • Fed the wired receptacle through the Wiremold outlet box.
  • Mounted the box to the back plate with the two screws included with the Wiremold outlet box.
  • Mounted the outlet to the Wiremold outlet box.
Wiremold Outlet Box and Receptacle

Wiremold Outlet Box and Receptacle

The Wiremold outlet box, metal raceway and junction box to extend power from the existing wall outlet to the ceiling light:

Existing Wall Outlet Power Extension with Wiremold

Existing Wall Outlet Power Extension with Wiremold

Looking ahead for a moment, here’s the Wiremold wall outlet power extension after the basement closet construction is completed:

Finished Basement Closet with Wiremold Wall Outlet Power Extension

Finished Basement Closet with Wiremold Wall Outlet Power Extension

View of the basement closet construction and wiring for the ceiling light:

Closet Ceiling Light Wiring with Wiremold

Closet Ceiling Light Wiring with Wiremold

While the circuit breaker Off, I wrapped the toggle switch for the ceiling light with 3M vinyl electricians tape (red arrow in the above photo) to temporarily insulate the side screws because I plan to install that section of drywall after the building inspector has signed-off on my electrical permit.

The drywall and corner bead are installed in the next part of this project.

Hope this helps,

Bob Jackson

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8 Responses to How to Extend Power from an Existing Wall Outlet with Wiremold

  1. Bryan O'Connor Jr February 26, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Bob,

    Do you act as an expert witness in legal cases? If so, please contact me via email (e-mail redacted) or via phone (phone number redacted).

    I represent the estate of a deceased roofer in a lawsuit against the building owner and building occupant. There is an issue regarding the proximity of the gas flue vents to an unguarded skylight.

    I realize these flue vents require minimal maintenance, but read some articles that they require an annual inspection that would require a person to be on the roof to check the flue cap, caulking, etc.

    Thank you
    Bryan O’Connor Jr.

    • BobJackson February 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

      Hi Bryan,
      > Do you act as an expert witness in legal cases?
      While I’ve been deposed for Intellectual Property cases, I think your client would be better served by reaching out to the gas flue vent manufacturer for a consultation with their licensed Professional Engineer.

      I doubt that most homeowner’s ever have the roof or roof vents inspected unless there a problem (leak, storm damage, etc.) or a buyer’s home inspection prior to sale.

      Thanks for asking,
      Bob

  2. Bryan O'Connor Jr February 27, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Thanks very much Bob

  3. Kevin in CT September 22, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Hi Bob,

    I have run wire for washer dryer hookups, up from basement to a half bathroom through the floor. Because the room already has tiled walls and the floor was removed Id like to just run the wires into the outlet boxes mounted ontop of the tile. It might not look great, but it is behind the washer and dryer.

    Question is, do these wires along a finished wall need to be in wiremolds tracks? Is there any risk for them to just be stapled along floor joist, come up through floor and enter outlet?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

    • Bob Jackson September 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

      Hi Kevin,
      I recommend pulling the new NM-B 10/3 or 10/2 electrical cable (depends on if you have a 3 or 4 prong dryer plug) inside the wall cavity from the basement to a standard old work box with a flush-mount 30Amp dryer receptacle.

      You can drill a 3/4 inch diameter hole through the 2×4 wall sole plate going up from the basement – or – if basement access isn’t possible use the Klein Tools Flexible Drill Bit Kit to drill a hole from the outlet box hole in the drywall through the sole plate. I used the Klein Kit several years ago to drill a hole in the interior wall sole plate to pull NM-B 10/3 cable up from the basement for a 30Amp outlet in my laundry room. I mounted the outlet above the dryer (~44 inches above the floor) for easy access.

      > I’d like to just run the wires into the outlet boxes
      > mounted ontop of the tile.
      There is no minimum height requirement for a dryer outlet but I’d be concerned about water spills/splashes and potential shorts when mopping the floor, leaky washer, etc. You should protect the exposed electrical cable from the floor to the surface mount outlet box with Wiremold or armored flexible conduit.

    • Bob Jackson September 22, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

      Followup – you can use a Dremel tool with a diamond wheel to cut the rectangular hole for the old work outlet box in the wall tile. Have a helper hold a vacuum cleaner nozzle while cutting to minimize the dust.

  4. Shane O'Neill December 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    Hi Bob,

    I had a question related to the wiring configuration you used with the wiremold. Namely grounding.

    In your install, you have four grounds wire nutted together at each box: 1 pigtail from the baseplate, 1 feed from the source wire, 1 pigtail to the outlet, and one as a feed further down to the next power outlet.

    Since wiremold is UL listed as a bonded ground, why did you do the two pigtails? You can simply connect say the ground from source to the backing plate, and the feed down to the next outlet to the ground nut of the outlet.

    Since the box is metal, the grounding will still occur through the outlet chassis, and the wiremold is bonded, since you tied the source ground to the base.

    This becomes much more of an issue with the shallow wiremold boxes, as there isn’t a lot of internal volume there to have four ground wire nutted together, along with the outlet itself. You used a deep box, so it is less of an issue.

    Just seems like your method is a ‘belt and suspenders’ way of doing it. Not that it is wrong, just ‘above and beyond’ what was required.

    • Bob Jackson December 3, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

      Hi Shane,
      You are correct that Wiremold surface metal raceway is listed for grounding, therefore the Wiremold metal outlet box doesn’t require a ground screw and pigtail connection.

      However I wire things consistently and always ground metal boxes. The good people at Legrand (manufacturer of Wiremold) provided a ground screw mount and I’m happy to use it, erring on the conservative/safe side.

      > This becomes much more of an issue with the shallow wiremold boxes,
      > as there isn’t a lot of internal volume there to have four ground
      > wire nutted together, along with the outlet itself. You used a deep box,
      > so it is less of an issue.
      Right but a shallow outlet box shouldn’t be used if it violated NEC 314.16 Box Fill Calculations.

      Thanks,
      Bob

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