In most cases, people have their electrical outlet underneath their wall-mounted TV which results in a very untidy look.
Nobody wants to look at ugly wires running down from their wall-mounted TV into a wall outlet.
In this post, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how you can add a power outlet to the back of your wall-mounted TV using an existing outlet.
The new outlet will be located behind the TV where it will be hidden and it will be powered by your existing outlet box.
So without further ado, let’s look at how this can be achieved.
Tools and Supplies Needed
Most TVs in the market today are slim and flat. Due to their design, it only makes sense for people to mount them on the wall.
However, the power outlet in most cases is typically located somewhere near the floor; Underneath the location where most people decide to mount their TVs.
This results in an unattractive mess as you can see all the power cords and other TV wires constantly dangling from it.
Not only do these dangling wires look ugly, they can also be a safety concern since kids or pets could get tangled in them.
This can cause them to injure themselves or cause your TV to fall on the floor.
Hence, it’s never a good idea to have wires dangling from your TV and if you do, you should work on fixing it.
Before we get into how you can add a new outlet box using your existing box, let’s go over all of the tools and supplies you will need.
It’s a good idea to gather all of the tools and supplies beforehand so you won’t have to pause the process every time you need a different tool.
The tools and supplies you will need are:
- A Drywall saw
- Wire strippers
- A stud finder
- A pencil
- Electrical wire
- Electrical tape
- Steel fish tape puller
- A utility knife
- A small level
- A drill and drill bits
- An outlet box
- A wall outlet
- An outlet cover
- A flashlight (or any other similar light source)
Once all the tools have been gathered, you can start the process
How to Move an Electrical Outlet Behind a Wall-Mounted TV Using an Existing Outlet (Step-by-Step Guide)
Step 1: The first thing you must decide on is the location of your new outlet.
Naturally, the best location for it should be somewhere behind where your TV is mounted. That way, the TV will be able to hide the outlet and all of the wires.
Ideally, the new location for the outlet should be somewhere right above the existing outlet if possible.
This allows you to easily run wires through the wall without having to drill holes through the wall studs.
Once you have identified the location, mark the spot for your new electrical box using a pencil.
After that, use a stud finder near the spot in order to find the exact location of the wall stud. Make a small mark with your pencil to identify the location of the wall stud.
Before finalizing the location of the new electrical box, make sure that it is one or twitches inches away from the stud.
Step 2: Take your new electrical box and hold it with its open side against the wall next to the mark that you made for its location.
Use your pencil to trace a rough outline around the edges of the electrical box. You will now have a reference for the box on your wall and it will help you out immensely during cutting.
Once you have made the rough outline, we recommend that you use a level to ensure nothing is crooked.
If you find it to be crooked, you can just redraw the lines by holding the level and utilizing it as a straight edge.
Once the proper location for the new electrical box has been decided, you can finally check if your current TV mount will interfere with its placement or not.
Of course, this only applies if you already have a TV mounted to the wall.
Push the TV mount all the way back into the wall to make sure that there is ample clearance for you to install the new electrical box.
Image Courtesy: Reddit
Step 3: The next step is to cut the hole for the box that you outlined in step 2.
Before you proceed to that, however, you must double-check to ensure there aren’t any electrical wires in the wall cavity near the spot where you will cut.
If you move a few inches away from the wall stud, it will help you avoid electrical wires. However, if you are still unsure about whether or not you’ll hit any wires, we strongly recommend that you flip the breaker for the area.
Once it’s flipped, you can start to cut.
When you use a Drywall saw to cut through the wall, be careful not to go too deep as you can accidentally cut through the wall directly behind it.
Start from the top-left of the outline and cut the first vertical line. Then, go to the top-right and cut the second vertical line. Finally, cut the two horizontal lines.
As you are making the last cut, make sure to take hold of the piece that is about to be removed.
This will ensure that it does not fall into the wall cavity once it’s completely cut.
Now that you have made the cut, you can use the new electrical box to test whether or not it properly fits into the hole.
Step 4: Now, you can start to run wires through both outlet boxes: The new box and the existing box from which you will be running power from.
Before you start to work with wires, make sure that you turn the power off first.
It’s important that you don’t risk anything here. We recommend turning the power off and then using an electrical outlet tester to make sure there is no electricity.
Once you are sure the power is turned off, go ahead and remove the wall plate and receptacle of the existing outlet.
You will need to open one of the holes of both boxes to run the new wires through the wall (the existing box and the new box).
You will need to cut a piece of wire that is long enough to span the entire wall cavity from the old outlet to the new outlet. It should also be long enough so that at least 3 feet of its length sticks out from both outlets.
You can use a Steel fish tape puller to run the wire through the existing box, up through the wall, and through the hole of the new box.
Once the wire has been snaked through the hole of the new box, you can now securely attach the new box to the wall.
Insert the box fully into the hole you made and tighten the screws accordingly until the box is firmly attached to your wall.
Step 5: Once the wires have been run and the boxes firmly attached, you can now connect the two outlets.
It’s a good idea to start with the existing outlet. Strip back the wire cover using your wire strippers and be careful not to cut any of the internal wires.
Next, you need to strip the hot wire (black) and the neutral wire (white) so that they can be hooked into the appropriate terminals. You should read the back of the receptacle to ensure you hook up the wires appropriately.
Step 6: Next, you need to attach the wires to the new outlet. The process for this will be pretty much the same as it was for the old outlet.
You will hook the black wire to the hot side, the white wire to the neutral side, and the ground wire to the ground terminal.
Before you hook the wires up, make sure that not too much of the wire is sticking out from the wall cavity.
Having an excess length of wire sticking out from the outlet will cause difficulties with trying to tuck them into the box once you’re done.
Once all the wires have been correctly hooked up, it can be a good idea to test your workout before you screw everything up.
Plug everything in and then flip the power back on to test whether or not everything is working correctly.
Once you’re certain that everything is working as it should, go ahead and turn the power back off.
Image Courtesy: Reddit
Step 7: Finally, with the power turned back off, you can now install the receptacles into the two boxes.
Tighten up their bottom and top screws to hold them in place. Finally, insert the wall plates onto the two outlets and you’re done.
You can now use the newly installed outlet at the back of your TV to power it. The TV will hide the outlet as well as your wires; Giving you a neat and tidy look.
Wrapping Things Up…
As you can see, the process for adding an electrical outlet to the back of your TV is actually not that complicated.
All you need is the right tools, proper planning, and extremely basic knowledge of construction.
However, it is dangerous as well if you are not aware of what to do. In this case, we recommend hiring a professional.
If you have any confusion regarding the process, please let us know in the comments below.