No Place To Plug In Your Beard Trimmer? Turn Your Single Electric Outlet Into A Double Outlet

As you add additional electrical appliances to your home, it's inevitable that you'll run out of outlet space. With the growing popularity of beards, the beard trimmer is one of the appliances that is vying for an even decreasing number of available outlets in the bathroom.

If you don't want to look like an extra from the movie "The Revenant", you need to keep your trimmer charged and your beard tight.

It's time to do the manly thing and perform some minor electric work and change your single outlet to a double outlet.

Here's what you'll need for a double outlet

A 15 amp outlet

You will simply be connecting another outlet to your existing outlet, so just buy a regular 15 amp outlet, with the two parallel slots and a grounding prong hole.

Double gang box

This is the plastic or metal box that sits inside the wall and holds the outlets in place. You will replace your current single box with the double box. You must buy an "old work" style box, which in installed with center screws, instead of a "new construction" style box, which is installed into open wall studs with nails that protrude from the sides.

Double face plate

This is the cover that fits over the gang box.

Utility knife or hole saw

You need to widen the hole in your wall to install the double gang box.

Wire

You need a three wire sheath of 12 or 14 gauge wire. Check the breaker that controls power to the existing outlet. If it's stamped "15", you'll need 14 gauge wire and if it's stamped "20", you'll need 12 gauge wire. You only need a very short length, so buy as little as possible, which will likely be a 25 foot roll.

Wire cutter/stripper tool

Screwdrivers

Removing the single gang box

Turn off the breaker that supplies power to the outlet, and remove the face plate screw to remove the face plate. Remove the outlet by loosening the two center screws, then unhook the wires on the sides of the outlets by loosening the terminal screws.

Remove the gang box by loosening the two diagonally placed screws, then pull it from the wall.

Preparing the opening and installing the double gang box

Place the open end of the double gang box against the wall, with one side along the side of the existing hole, then trace the outline of the double box with a pencil.

Depending upon the surface materials of the wall, use a utility knife or hole saw to cut a hole along the pencil line. 

Push out one of the knock out tabs on the side of the double gang box and pull the wires through the hole, then push the gang box inside the opening and tighten the two diagonal screws to hold it in place.

Connecting the outlets

Use the wire cutters to cut two six inch lengths of the wire sheath. Remove the outer sheath and separate the three wires, and strip one inch of insulation from both ends of each individual wire.

Twist the ends of the two green or copper colored ground wires around the end of the similarly colored wire in the gang box to split the ground wire into "pigtails".

You will reconnect the original outlet by connecting the black wire to the top gold terminal, the white wire to the top silver terminal, and one of the green green or copper colored pigtails to the green terminal.

Connect one of the six inch black wires to the bottom gold terminal of the original outlet and the top gold terminal of the new outlet. One six inch silver wire will connect to the bottom silver terminal of the original outlet and the top silver terminal of the new outlet.

The other pigtail wire will connect to the green terminal of the new outlet.

Screw both outlets into the gang box, then attach the new double face plate.

Turn on the breaker, plug in your beard trimmer, and bask in your manliness. Contact an electrician, like Etheridge Electric Company Inc, for more help.  

 

Share