dealing with electrical outlet

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Forum topic by Brino posted 05-31-2011 06:22 PM 1575 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brino's profile


5 posts in 2816 days

05-31-2011 06:22 PM

I’m building a fireplace mantel surround and I guess I overlooked the electrical outlet. I am looking for creative ideas/advice on what to do here. The outlet sits just off the tile surround and I was hoping to cut a hole in the side of the mantel leg and have it there. I am a little uncomfortable working with electricity and wires. I would greatly appreciate any advice, ideas, or thoughts. Sorry for the sideways picture. Thanks

4 replies so far

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3221 days

#1 posted 06-01-2011 04:29 PM

Does a little uncomfortable mean, that you need an electrician, or that you can do it if its a simple deal?
This is a simple fix. First decide where you want to place the outlet on the mantel leg. Then cut out an opening for the electrical box and attach the box to the leg, be sure that the box is flush with the outside edge of the surface of the mantel leg. Then you will need to figure how much Romex you will need to extend from where the outlet is to where it will need to go allowing some extra for working room. It looks like you wouldn’t need more than about 4’ Romex for this. you will need 3 wire nuts and a cover plate to cover the old outlet that will allow the Romex to pass through. Then turn off the breaker that supplies power to that outlet. Then remove the outlet. There will be 3 wires one will be a copper ground wire that connects to a green screw, One will be black that connects to a brass screw the other will be white that connects to a silver screw. Once the outlet is removed then connect the Romex to the existing Romex, White on white, black on black and copper to copper. Place the two ends together side by side and twist on the wire nut to make a solid connection. Feed the Romex through the hole in the cover plate and attach the cover plate. Now put the end of the new Romex into the new box. Then attach the wires to the outlet, copper wire to the green screw, black to the brass screw and white to the silver screw, Screw the outlet to the box attach outlet cover and turn on the breaker. Hope this helps.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View zindel's profile


257 posts in 2888 days

#2 posted 06-01-2011 05:09 PM

I would suggest not mounting it on the mantel leg itself i would move it over to the left about 1” away from the edge of the mantel, really not hard just turn off the power to the area, cut a new hole in the drywall and simply shift it over. If you have a stud to deal with no big deal just drill a hole big enough to feed the wire through it. There should be enough slack in the wire to pull it that far. If not then Google how to extend a power wire. If you really want it to stay where it is i would say create a little door that opens to have access to the plugs. But i wouldn’t want it to be attached to the leg itself if it were me.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 3118 days

#3 posted 06-01-2011 05:23 PM

I like Zindels idea of a little door to access the outlet. You could have a false door on the other side so that they both match. You could also make access to the outlet on the side of the mantel post so its not as visible.

Gregn gave you all you really need to know about rewiring the outlet. Its very simple and its really not something to be all that worried about. Just make sure to shut the power off to that outlet.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Brino's profile


5 posts in 2816 days

#4 posted 06-01-2011 06:17 PM

excellent, thanks so much for the tutorial and the suggestion! I will talk to the old lady about the door, but Gregn provided instructions on how to do what I originally planned. This is a great help. Thanks so much.

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