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Old 05-31-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


I want to install a 20 amp outlet on an outside wall for my AC unit as it draws 14.5 amps on it's own, so I don't really like using an extension cord for something like this. I've installed network jacks before, I trace the cut out, use drywall knife to cut hole, get a long drill bit and drill downwards then try to find the hole in the basement and fish the wire through.

For electrical is it pretty much the same idea? Any special considerations? I assume I need to use an "old work" plastic box rated for electrical, as opposed to the ones I use for networking which is just a small plastic frame that screws in and locks into the drywall. Does it need to be against a stud?

Lastly, any new special codes for outside walls, or can I still use standard 12/2 romex for this?

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Old 05-31-2010, 09:55 PM   #2
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


Use an electrical cut-in box. Since the outlet itself will be inside the house you don't need any weatherproof equipment. If it's a dedicated circuit use a simplex receptacle sized equal to the breaker and wire. See the other thread for more info on that.

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Old 06-01-2010, 06:52 AM   #3
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


I fish wire with a magnet, it works well - though it may be more difficult in an insulated wall. After you drill your hole in the basement and cut the hole for the box, tape a rare earth magnet to a string. Drop it into the wall. Have a friend stick a fish tape (metal) into the stud cavity in the basement. You can shacke the string around till the magnet grabs the fish tape. Then he pulls the fish tape out (with the string attached). Next you tape the romex to the string, and pull it through.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:17 PM   #4
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


Nice idea with the magnet, wish I would of thought of that when fishing my thermostat wire, ended up cutting a hole in drywall just so I could put the wire into the hole, seemed like a waste haha.

I'll buy an old work box and get going, I checked a few tutorials online and it looks like it's similar to putting a network jack.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:30 PM   #5
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


How do you plan on putting vapour barrior around your box and keep it contonious after you cut the box in. This is the main reason i try never to cut a box into an outside wall.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:42 PM   #6
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


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How do you plan on putting vapour barrior around your box and keep it contonious after you cut the box in. This is the main reason i try never to cut a box into an outside wall.
Just how do maintain your vapor barriers on new construction when the rock goes up and the boxes are cut out with a router?
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:12 PM   #7
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


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Just how do maintain your vapor barriers on new construction when the rock goes up and the boxes are cut out with a router?

I never thought of that before, now you makeing me think on how they do it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:57 PM   #8
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


There are ways and devices to do it but it's rarely done in my area.

An 8 square inch hole in the drywall is quite irrelevant in my opinion.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:30 PM   #9
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


We always put vapour barrioer around the box, they tape it to there vapour barrier when they do the wall. As the drywall goes up they cut around the box and i just assumed that the vapour barrier was not cut but it may get cut when they go around the box.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:14 PM   #10
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


When I did my network jack, I ripped the vp a bit while drilling and fishing the wire, when I was done I just tapped it up as best as I could with red tape, then installed box and jack plate.

Oh and you guys will like this, it took 3 home depot staff to help me find an old work box LOL. They only have metal ones too. I was hoping for a plastic one, as I'm pretty sure there's a new code now to use plastic for outside walls. Whenever I google anything electrical related I always see blue plastic boxes, but they don't seem to have those anywhere here.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:05 PM   #11
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


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Whenever I google anything electrical related I always see blue plastic boxes, but they don't seem to have those anywhere here.
Hey, nobody here told you you have to live in Canada!! We have plastic cut in boxes at local grocery stores even.




just kidding, but they are very commonly found at any big box store around me.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:25 PM   #12
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


Maybe plastic boxes crack in the winter here or something, so metal is the only way to go LOL.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:37 PM   #13
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


Theres no code rule saying you have to use a plastic box on an outside wall. You rarely see plastic boxes in Canada, I'm not even sure if Home Depot would carry them.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:52 PM   #14
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


Good to know. Someone told me it was a new code, but could be they were wrong, or maybe it was a recommendation, and not a code. But yeah I did notice plastic boxes are hard to find. They have plenty of the outside ones that use conduit though.

I'm also debating on putting the outlet on the inside wall instead. Will require me to have the AC cord across the closet door though, but it will be so much easier to fish the wire and the closet door can still open no problems.
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:53 PM   #15
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Installing outlet on existing drywalled wall


Here in Alberta plastic boxes are rare as well. Home Depot and Rona usually have a very few select models on hand at 4 times the price of a metal box. Just FYI.

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