How to Wire an Electrical Outlet Under the Kitchen Sink – Part 4

How to Wire an Electrical Outlet Under the Kitchen Sink – disconnect and remove the old electrical outlet and NM-B 14/2 cable. This project is continued from How to Wire an Electrical Outlet Under the Kitchen Sink – Part 3.

Having disconnected the old NM-B 14/2 cable from the circuit breaker panel, I stood a ladder on the wall to remove any cable staples and ready for pulling out the cable.

Old Branch Circuit: NM-B 14/2 Cable Removal

Old Branch Circuit: NM-B 14/2 Cable Removal

Electrical Outlet and Branch Circuit Cable Removal

Working from the extension ladder setup on the other side of the room, I reached over the finished basement drywall ceiling and got a nice photo of the inaccessible GFCI outlet. The blue plastic outlet box is nailed to the floor joist. From experience, I know the outlet box nails are fairly easy to pry out of the wood.

Inaccessible GFCI Outlet attached to the Floor Joist

Inaccessible GFCI Outlet attached to the Floor Joist

The non-contact voltage detector duct taped to a walking stick allowed me to reach that GFCI outlet before, so I removed the detector and duct taped my blue pry bar / nail puller to the walking stick. Uncle Red would be proud.

Improvised Pry Bar Extension

Improvised Pry Bar Extension

Working from the top of the extension ladder I was able to wedge the blue pry bar between the outlet box and floor joist. It’s a tight area with the cold water copper pipe on the right and the PVC drain pipe on the left:

Blue Pry Bar Wedged between Electrical Outlet Box and Floor Joist

Blue Pry Bar Wedged between Electrical Outlet Box and Floor Joist

Another view of the blue pry bar and outlet with a nice view of the hole in the subfloor beneath the kitchen sink cabinet. I’ll be fishing new electrical cable through that hole:

Remove an Inaccessible Electrical Outlet Box

Remove an Inaccessible Electrical Outlet Box

The copper water pipe and PVC drain pipe prevented the normal side-to-side prying motion with the walking stick, so I twisted the walking stick to work the nails out. Success! And it took less than a minute:

Inaccessible Electrical Outlet Box Pried Off the Floor Joist

Inaccessible Electrical Outlet Box Pried Off the Floor Joist

I used the walking stick to maneuver the outlet box over the PVC drain pipe to drop it on the suspended drywall ceiling of the finished basement. This is looking through the 2×4 wall studs from the top of the ladder:

Remove an Electrical Outlet Box

Remove an Electrical Outlet Box

I pulled the outlet box within arm’s reach and cut the NM-B 14/2 cable. This frees the cable so I can pull it out of the ceiling crawlspace; “crawlspace” is a generous term because there’s no way the suspended drywall ceiling would support my weight.

Outlet Box Cut free of the NM-B 14/2 Cable

Outlet Box Cut free of the NM-B 14/2 Cable

Back in the main room by the circuit breaker panel, I climbed the other ladder and pulled the old NM-B 14/2 cable back towards the circuit breaker panel and out of the ceiling crawlspace. I’ll save the cable for future small jobs:

Pulling NM-B 14/2 Cable out of the Ceiling Crawlspace

Pulling NM-B 14/2 Cable out of the Ceiling Crawlspace

This project is continued in How to Wire an Electrical Outlet Under the Kitchen Sink – Part 5.

Hope this helps,

Bob Jackson

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