Overhead electrical outlets

Are you always tripping over extension cords that snake all over the floor of your shop? End that hassle by installing ceiling-hung electrical outlets.

Family Handyman

Why overhead electrical outlets are a great idea

Are you always tripping over extension cords that snake all over the floor of your shop? End that hassle by installing ceiling-hung electrical outlets. Place them wherever you frequently need to plug in power tools, vacuum cleaners, steam irons or any other corded tool that you want to plug in right here, right now. The cost per outlet will run about $18.

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For each overhead electrical outlet you’ll need:

A metal electrical box

A metal box cover with a center knock-out

A strain-relief cord connector

Electrical connectors

A cord receptacle

A short length of stranded-wire electrical cord (buy 12-3 stranded wire for 20-amp circuits and 14-3 for 15-amp circuits).

Position the receptacles at least an inch above your head so you won’t bump your noggin. Turn off the breaker or unscrew the fuse on the circuit you’re tying in to. And check for voltage with a voltage sniffer to make sure the power is truly off before you splice into the circuit and wire the new receptacles. Thanks to Tom Dybas for this tip.

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