Home Improvement Web logo

Surface Wiring or Wire Mold Installation

"Surface wiring systems can be used to extend electric power from any existing outlet to another location without cutting into walls, floors, or ceilings."

Install Surface Wiring

Website: http://www.truevalue.com

Level of difficulty: Beginner

Surface wiring systems can be used to extend electric power from any existing outlet to another location without cutting into walls, floors, or ceilings. Surface wiring systems simplify the process; for one thing, you don't need to fish around for electric wire. They can also be used to conceal and protect existing lamp cords, wires, or cables inside their channels, called raceways.

Other uses include lowering the height of a light switch in a child's bedroom, extending power across a floor to a desk or furniture island, adding a ceiling light or fan, and converting a duplex outlet to a strip of outlets for an appliance center in the kitchen. Choose an attractive, UL-listed system suited to your project, available at True Value Hardware stores. Most surface wiring systems come with project planners and material checklists. The system is easily removed as your needs change.

1. Plan Project
Make a dimensioned sketch of your project to determine the type and number of components that you'll need - wire channel, outlet boxes, elbows (flat, inside, or outside corners), T-fittings, and related connectors.
For best appearance, plan horizontal runs along the top edge of baseboards and, if possible, place vertical channels adjacent to door casing or in inside corners.
2. Install Boxes
Turn off electric power and then remove the outlet cover and the screws that secure the receptacle to the box so you can screw the starter box to the existing outlet. Install surface mounting plates for any additional boxes, such as for switches, lights, or new receptacles.
Always turn off the power to the circuit at your circuit panel or fuse box. If there is more than one set of wires in an outlet box, they may be on a separate circuit. Use a neon tester to be sure all the power is off.
3. Install Raceway
Measure, cut, and install the raceway between the boxes as directed. Attach the channel mounting brackets to the surface with screws or use anchors for hollow walls and masonry walls. (You'll need to drill a hole for an appropriate anchor.) Use elbows wherever the raceway needs to change direction, such as at inside and outside corners or when changing from horizontal to vertical.

4. Feed Wires from Point to Point
As you install the raceway, feed three individual wires (called conductors) through the it - white for neutral, black for hot, and green for grounding. The wire gauge should match the existing gauge - either 14-gauge (for 15-amp circuits) or 12-gauge (for 20-amp circuits).

5. Wire the Fixtures
Starting at the end farthest from your power source, wire the lights, switches and/or receptacles, connecting the black wire to brass screws, the white one to silver-colored screws, and green one to the usually-green grounding screw. Make the final wiring connections at the starter box. Install all outlet cover plates

Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.

The Home Improvement Web Directory - DIY Tips, Design, Decorating, Repair, and Improvement Information For The Consumer and Professional!
"Find the information and resources you need for your home and property"