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Install a Wall Hugger Receptacle

Updated: Jul. 10, 2018

Save space and reduce outlet clutter

FH11APR_INSREC_03-2 recessed outletFamily Handyman
Gain precious extra inches of space on kitchen countertops and behind appliances by replacing an existing receptacle with a recessed electrical outlet box.

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Photo 1: Cut a larger hole

Align the new box with the stud side of the existing opening and level it. Then trace the larger profile onto the wall. Cut the larger opening with a drywall saw.

Photo 2: Insert the new box

Thread the old wires into the top or bottom clamp and pull on them until the cable jacket comes through. Slide the box into the opening and tighten the retaining tabs.

Photo 3: Tighten and trim

Connect the recessed outlet receptacle. Secure the receptacle and install the receptacle cover plate and trim bezel.

That new espresso machine looks great in your kitchen, and it even hides the receptacle. But it would look even better if the cord didn’t make it stick out from the wall 3 in. Solve that problem by replacing the existing electrical box with a recessed “remodeling box.” It will take about an hour.

Flip the breaker to the receptacle and check it with a voltage sniffer to make sure it’s dead. Then remove the old box.

Once the old box is out of the way, you’ll have to enlarge the hole (Photo 1). Be sure to enlarge the opening on the side away from the stud. Then pull the old wires into the new box (Photo 2). Work the recessed outlet box into the wall while you pull the wires through. Then tighten the clamps and install the receptacle and cover (Photo 3).

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY recessed outlet project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Drywall saw
  • Non-contact voltage tester

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Recessed remodeling box