How to Move an Electrical Outlet: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you plan to rearrange your furniture, renovate your home, or install new appliances, you may need to move an electrical outlet. While it may seem daunting, move an electrical outlet can be done safely and easily with the right tools and knowledge.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of moving an electrical outlet, from preparing the area to testing the new outlet.

Introduction: How to Move an Electrical Outlet

Electrical outlets are required to power all our electrical devices, and their placement can sometimes be inconvenient. Moving an outlet may be necessary if you are renovating or relocating appliances. With the right tools and knowledge, you can safely relocate an electrical outlet and improve the functionality of your home.

Safety Precautions

It is critical to take safety precautions before moving an electrical outlet. First and foremost, turn off the power to the outlet you’re working on by removing the fuse or switching off the circuit breaker. Use a voltage tester to ensure no power is supplied to the outlet. Avoid working in wet conditions by wearing rubber-soled shoes. Keep pets and children away from the work area.

moving an electrical outlet

Tools and Materials

You’ll need some basic tools and materials to relocate an electrical outlet, including:

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Voltage tester
  • Fish tape
  • New outlet box
  • Electrical wire
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical tape


Turn off the electricity

As previously stated, turning off the power to the outlet you are working on is critical. This can be accomplished by turning off the circuit breaker or removing the fuse.

Once the power is turned off, use a voltage tester to ensure no power is supplied to the outlet.

Remove the Old Outlet

Remove the outlet cover plate and unscrew the outlet from the box. Pull the outlet carefully out of the box, paying attention to how the wires are connected. Remove any wire connectors and disconnect the wires from the old outlet. Straighten any bent wires with pliers.

Install New Wires

Moving the outlet to a new location may necessitate the installation of new wires. Run the new wire from the new outlet location to the old one with fish tape. Pull the fish tape all the way through the wall until you reach the old outlet box.

Install the New Box

Place the new outlet box where you want it. Trace the outline of the new box on the wall with a pencil, then cut out the hole with a drywall saw. Using screws, fasten the new box to the wall.

Connect the New Outlet

Connect the wires to the newly installed outlet. Strip the wires and connect them with a wire nut. Wrap electrical tape around the connection. Connect the new outlet to the box and secure the cover plate.

Test the New Outlet

After connecting everything, reconnect the power and use a voltage tester to ensure that the outlet is working properly. Plug in a device to test the outlet.

FAQs About Move Move an Electrical Outlet

Can I move an electrical outlet without turning off the power?

No, turning off the power to the outlet is crucial before attempting to move it. Failure to do so can result in serious injury or death.

Can I use the existing wires when moving an outlet?

If the existing wires are long enough to reach the new location, you can use them. However, you’ll need to run new wires if they’re too short.

Do I need a permit to move an electrical outlet?

It depends on your location and the extent of the electrical work being done. Check with your local building department to see if a permit is required.

What if I’m not comfortable moving an electrical outlet myself?

If you’re not comfortable doing electrical work, it’s best to hire a licensed electrician to do it for you.

Can I move to a GFCI outlet?

Yes, GFCI outlets can be moved, but it’s essential to follow the proper safety precautions and installation procedures to ensure they function correctly.


Moving an electrical outlet may appear difficult, but with the right tools, materials, and knowledge, it can be done safely and easily.

Remember to turn off the power, take precautions, remove the old outlet, run new wires, install the new box, attach the new outlet, and test the new outlet.

If you are uncomfortable doing electrical work, it is best to hire a licensed electrician. Following these steps, you can make your home more functional and better suited to your needs.

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