Electrical EquipmentElectricity 101

What are Recessed Outlets?

Recessed outlets differ from other electrical outlets in that they have a faceplate that is set deeper into the wall. This helps save space, preventing plugs and connectors from protruding above the surface of the wall. It is a safer and aesthetically pleasing alternative to regular outlets. This article will take a look at some advantages and uses of recessed outlets.

Advantages to Recessed Outlets:

pass and seymour recessed outlets
Pass & Seymour TV3W-TVSSW Plastic 3-Gang Recessed TV

Space Savers: Recessed outlet provides added space, which allows the plug to sit in the outlet, flush with the wall. This means you can cover the outlet with a desk or other piece of furniture.

Eliminates Trip Hazards: Recessed outlets hide cables and wires, therefore, decreasing chances of potential trip hazards.

Improved Safety: Because recessed outlets sit in your wall, they are less likely to be exposed to water and other elements that may lead to electrical hazards. This can be especially beneficial in outdoor applications.

Improved Counter Space: Recessed outlets can also provide more counter space in the kitchen. It allows appliances to sit further back, flush with the wall. It also makes less mess with cables that are hanging on to countertops. It also reduces the chances of getting them wet.

Minimal Cost: Recessed outlets generally cost less than regular outlets.

Easy To Install:  Recessed outlets are typically easy to install, as long as your receptacles have enough space to accommodate their extra depth.  

Places Where Recessed Outlets Work Well

Behind a wall-mounted, flat screen TV: Because these TVs are typically mounted flush to the wall, the recessed outlets allow all the important cables to run seamlessly between the wall and TV.

Behind Furniture: Recessed outlets are great to have behind furniture. You can move furniture flush to the wall and not be afraid of it getting in the way of the plugs and outlets. This can work especially well with a boxy sofa or shallow bookshelf.

Outdoors: As mentioned before, recessed outlets will help better protect your electrical equipment from the elements, reducing the likelihood of electrical hazard. If you purchase a recessed outlet with a slim cover you can avoid using bubble covers which are not as aesthetically pleasing.

Bathrooms and Kitchens: Kitchens and bathrooms are both places where water can be hazardous to electrical equipment. A recessed outlet will reduce the likelihood that water will get into the outlet. It will also provide more counter space, allowing for items to be pushed further against the wall and reducing the amount of cables that might get in your way.

Recessed Outlets Installation

leviton 689w recessed outlets
Leviton 689-W Residential Grade 1-Gang Recessed Duplex Receptacle

As mentioned before in this article, recessed outlets are basically easy to install. However, if you do not feel confident with installation, it is always best to call in a trained professional. That being said, here are the steps involved in recessed outlet installation.

  •         Turn off the circuit controlling the outlet at the electrical box. You can make sure power is off by plugging in a lamp and ensuring it turns off, confirming power is no longer running.
  •         Unscrew the two screws fastening the outlet cover to remove it.
  •         Unscrew the outlet by removing the two screws holding it in and then carefully detach the wires attached to it.
  •         Measure the new recessed outlet and make sure it will align properly with the stud in your wall. Mark this off with a pencil.
  •         Carefully cut down the drywall around your electrical box and expand the hole size with a knife or drywall saw.
  •         Pry the old plastic receptacle off the stud with a flathead screwdriver or other similar tool.
  •         Carefully feed the existing wire and strip off additional sheathing to expose roughly ¾” of clean, undamaged wire. Bend this 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 carefully fold the wires and push the outlet into the box.
  •         Secure the outlet and then the faceplate over the top.
  •         Restore power and test device.

Recessed outlets are great devices for the home. They increase safety, and can make your house more attractive, eliminating clutter and letting furniture sit more comfortably. One may want to browse the internet to take a look at all the possibilities available in the convenient functioning of your electrical equipment when using a recessed outlet. Find out how these outlets can make a positive improvement in your home.

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