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Extend Kitchen Electrical Outlets
Dear Mr. Electrician: How do I extend the kitchen electrical outlets from the wall a little so I can add ceramic tile? Answer: The use of electrical box outlet extenders or receptacle extenders is a simple and approved method to extend kitchen electrical outlets when the wall depth changes. NOTE: Some text links below go to applicable products on eBay and Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. To use outlet box extenders, the existing electrical outlet box must be in good condition, and the screw holes must be able to hold 6/32 machine screws tightly. Otherwise, the existing electrical box should be replaced. Electrical receptacles or box extenders are required when adding depth to a wall as per article 314.20 in the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70). Electrical boxes must be flush with the finished surface to prevent any sparks from getting onto combustible wall materials and also, to support the wiring device. Below are photos from a kitchen remodel that I worked on where some of the existing electrical boxes remained in place, while others had to be relocated. Adjustable depth electrical boxes and ReceptXtenders were both used on this job. HOW TO EXTEND KITCHEN ELECTRICAL OUTLETS Often I find that the old original plastic electrical box is in need of replacing, in which case I use adjustable depth boxes so I can adjust the electrical box to be at the perfect depth when the wall is finished. Below you can see the process that I went through to accommodate the new kitchen cabinet arrangement and tile backsplash with new and existing electrical outlets. Most of the existing outlets had no need to be relocated, the electrical boxes just needed extending. A new wall oven was going to be installed, so I moved the outlet from that location. I had to make some changes to the ceiling light switch that someone had moved in a previous renovation. There was already a switch and light above the sink that I was able to use some of the existing wiring from for the new low voltage sink lights. The first thing that I did was draw a couple of level lines at back splash height and cut out the drywall where I needed to work. The job called for installing new undercabinet lighting in addition to extending and relocating outlets. You can see part of the undercabinet lighting installation on my post here. I like to use adjustable depth electrical boxes for kitchen and bathroom outlets and switches. That way I am prepared for any thickness of finished wall or back splash. After I install the adjustable depth boxes during the rough-in wiring phase of construction, I adjust them so that they are sticking out further than they need to be. That ensures that whoever installs the wall coverings will fully cut around the electrical box. If I kept the box recessed, I would wind up cutting the hole bigger to accommodate the wiring device. I have no problem cutting drywall, but tile and stone are more difficult to work...