How to Add Electrical Outlets

Answered by Brett ~ April 2, 2010 ~ 1 Comments » | Respond to this question

Each of the two bathrooms in my Shreveport, Louisiana, home has only one wall plug. What is the most cost-effective way to add electrical additional outlets?

Anita J. ~ Shreveport, Louisiana

Brett Kulina

Installing additional electrical outlets to an existing room is not that difficult, but because you want to add more wall plugs to a bathroom, you need to seek advice from a licensed electrician in the Shreveport area. Bathrooms are considered "wet" locations and therefore local codes often treat them differently than the other rooms in your house. In some locations, electrical codes will mandate that a licensed electrician perform all residential electrical work, while in other areas, capable homeowners are permitted to complete the work themselves.

That being said, most electrical inspectors want to see a dedicated 20-amp branch circuit provided to each bathroom to supply power to the wall plugs in that bathroom. Most often these outlets will need to be GFCI outlets (ground-fault circuit interrupter) because of the "wet" location. If a dedicated bathroom circuit is available, usually you can install additional electrical outlets to that circuit and still be code compliant.

Once you have determined the specific requirements of your local electrical codes, then you can determine how best to install the additional outlets. Properly installed, surface mounted conduit is the easiest and cheapest because you do not need to run the new wire behind the existing finished wall. If adding more wall plugs to your bathroom is part of a full remodel, then I recommend running the new wires within the wall cavity, as it looks more finished and professional.

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