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How to Wire an Outlet

Whether you are looking to replace an existing outlet or add your own outlet, learn how to wire an electrical outlet in this blog.

Tools & Materials Needed

  • Wire strippers

  • Screwdrivers

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Wire nuts

Tools needed to wire an outlet or a switch
Tools needed to wire an outlet or a switch

01 Strip the Wire

Strip about 3/4" of the wire insulation from the black and white wire using your wire strippers. The ground wire is not insulated.

02 Bend/Curl the Ground Wire

The bare wire, also known as the ground wire will need to be bent in to a hook shape or a "U" shape using your needle nose pliers so it can properly curl around the screw terminal.

03 Stab Wire in Device

The black and the white wire will stab in to the back of the device. Make sure that it is snug and properly secured.

04 Attach Ground Wire to the Screw

Hook the ground wire around the appropriate screw terminal (it is a green screw) so that the end of the wire is on the right side of the screw. Then use your needle-nose pliers to get the wire to fit snugly.

05 Tighten the Screw

Using your Phillips screwdriver, tighten the screw clockwise.

It should look similar to the picture below:

How to wire an electrical outlet
How to wire an electrical outlet

Hook/Curl all wires or Stab wires in to the back of the device?

There is some debate on whether all the wires should be curled and placed under screws instead of backstabbing the wires. ALL manufactures of electrical devices, such as outlets and switches state to backstab the devices. It is a myth that it is better to curl the wires around each one of the screw terminals, and it will likely be an issue in the future by coming loose or not being properly secured. It is totally okay to follow the manufactures guidelines and to backstab the outlets.

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