Electrical outlets may not seem as though they’ve advanced much over the last several decades, but recently modern technology has made them safer, more convenient, and more flexible than perhaps ever before. In addition to “smart outlets,” plugs with USB ports installed, and safer GFCI plugs, today’s homeowners can replace their standard outlets with new recessed models that give you a low profile and more space to insert a plug.
The advantages to a recessed plug are fairly obvious: added space allows a plug to sit in the outlet and remain flush with the wall, allowing you to then cover that outlet with a piece of furniture like a desk, bookshelf, or couch. This new piece of furniture can sit flush with the wall, which increases space and gets rid of that annoying “floating furniture” feeling. Some of these plugs are multi-purpose, and can be built to include a data or video plug to really clean up the tangle of cables in a certain area.
Are these plugs worth it? Let’s take a look at some of the other advantages.
- Removes trip hazards: a recessed outlet enables you to better-hide cables and wires that would otherwise be exposed. Hidden cables are no longer a trip hazard, making your home safer for you, your family, and your guests.
- Improved safety: A recessed outlet is generally safer than a standard outlet because it’s better protected from hazards like water. This makes them idea for use in areas where electricity might be needed close to water, like in a small bathroom. They can also be protected far easier when used outdoors, meaning you won’t have to put up with those large bubbles anymore.
- Improved counter space: Do you have a kitchen counter that’s cluttered with cables? Have your appliances sit neatly up against your backsplash and protect the plugs from moisture and other spilled ingredients. Recessed outlets let you keep things safely plugged in while protecting them from potential damage.
- Minimal cost: Recessed outlets generally don’t cost much more than a typical outlet and generally don’t require much more effort to install, provided your receptacles have enough extra space to handle the extra depth.
How to Install a Recessed Outlet
If you have little bit of handiwork skill, you can even install a recessed outlet yourself! The process is fairly simple and requires about roughly a half an hour of labor. Here’s how:
- Turn off the circuit controlling your outlet at your electrical box. (You can check to make sure it’s off by plugging in and turning on a lamp or other device and then noting when it turns off.)
- Remove the outlet cover by removing the two screws holding it in.
- Unscrew the outlet itself using the two screws holding it in, then carefully detach the wires attached to it.
- Measure the new recessed outlet, making sure it is aligned properly with the stud in your wall. Mark this off with a pencil.
- Carefully cut down the drywall around your electrical box to expand the hole size using a knife or drywall saw.
- Carefully pry the old plastic receptacle off the stud using a flathead screwdriver or other appropriate tool.
- Carefully feed the existing wiring through the top or bottom clamp on your new receptacle box and attach the box to the stud.
- Carefully trim down the existing wire and strip off additional sheathing to expose roughly ¾” of clean, undamaged wire, and then bend it into a U-shape. Attach the white wire to the silver screw on the side of the new outlet, the red or black wire to the brass screw on the other side, and the ground wire to the green screw. Tighten each screw and then carefully fold the wires and push the outlet into the box.
- Secure the outlet and then the faceplate over the top. You can now safely restore power and test it using the same device as before.
If you have any doubts about your ability to safely install an electrical outlet or any other device, you shouldn’t take the risk of doing it yourself. Trust the skill of an experienced and friendly Marietta electrician from Lightning Bug Electric to get the job done right the first time at a price you can afford!
To get an estimate or schedule an appointment, call Lightning Bug Electric today at (404) 471-3847!