How to Move an Outlet for a Wall-Mounted TV


November 5, 2012 by stpaulhaus

I hate cords.  I can’t wait for the day when everything in the world will be wireless.

We have already hidden the tv cords in our living room (more to come on that in another post), and I wanted to do the same in the guest bedroom. The power cord for the tv was getting in the way of a chair I had by the TV.  This room is pretty small and every little bit of useable space I can get in here the better, which is why we mounted the tv in here.  I must apologize that I don’t have very good photos of this process so I am not sure how helpful this will be to anyone. Of course, I again jumped into a project without taking a before photo–o well, I’m sure you know what a power cord to a tv looks like plugged into the wall.  In its absence, here are photos of my cats being adorable:

It is really easy to move an outlet directly up or down from its current location.  The cord we moved here went from its original location approx. 6″ off the ground to approx. 3 ft off the ground to go behind the tv that we have wall mounted.

Step-by-Step How to Move an Outlet:

1) Turn off the power at the circuit breaker and take off the faceplate.  Unscrew the outlet from the box, and pull it out from inside. Unscrew the wires, and remove the outlet.

2) Remove the old box from the wall. It will likely be nailed to a stud, which makes it kind of hard and awkward to get out. Once out, you will be left with a hole in the wall and your loose wires.

3) Determine new location for the outlet and use the old box as a template for cutting a hole in the drywall. In this technique for moving an outlet you are limited in how much you can move your outlet by how much “extra” wiring you have behind the walls because we are not adding any extra here.  This was about as far up as we could go with the slack that we had available and it worked out pretty well for us. Side to side movement is limited to the space between the studs on each side.

4) Use a drywall saw to remove the drywall at the new location.

5) Feed the wires from original location to new location. A clothes hanger might come in handy.

6) Install new box made for remodel. It will have tabs on if that allow it to be attached directly to the drywall as opposed to the stud, which is hard to do when the dry wall is already up. The boxes made for remodel look similar to this:

7) Feed wires into the box and reattached them back to the old outlet or a new one if you prefer. Just follow how it looked before. I didn’t get a photo of this so here is one from Family Handyman article on how to add an additional outlet to a circuit.

8) Cover the wires with a couple of layers of electrical tape. This will prevent the wires from coming loose from the outlet and decrease the risk of fire.

9) Screw outlet back into box, replace the faceplate, then turn on the power.

10) Patch, prime, and paint drywall while watching tv.

The plug was too big to fit behind the tv with this type of mount.  You can purchase adapter power cords that have a flat plug for this type of thing, but this is fine for now.

There are definitely other ways to add/remove/move an outlet, but this is probably one of the easiest and quickest ways I know. We could have just added another one directly above this one and kept the old one, but we didn’t need another one there.  Always make sure that you follow your specific city code anytime you are doing any minor electrical work.  Electrical work is pretty easy once you figure out what you are doing. It probably would have cost about $150-$200 to hire an electrician do this (many charge by the hour), and it cost us only a few dollars and 30min of our time.

Anyone else out there doing any electrical work around the house?


4 thoughts on “How to Move an Outlet for a Wall-Mounted TV

  1. Apryl says:

    I need to start a bliggity blog. This is fun to read! 🙂

  2. chris says:

    looks good. i like that you taped the outlet. that’s especially useful on metal boxes or double gang outlet boxes where the outlets are close to each other.
    only thing i would add is that you could just add an outlet instead of removing the old one. less patching that way!

    • stpaulhaus says:

      I know I could have, but I thought we wouldn’t need one there. I probably should have done it anyway. I worry about having too many things plugged in on one circuit. Meh. I actually think I have at least 2 or 3 more of these to do in the dining room so maybe i will end up just adding more there.

  3. […] We mounted a small tv on the wall for guests. Isn’t it cute?  Adrian and I worked together on moving the outlet from below to right behind the tv. I hate cords..a lot..and I do what I can to hide them whenever possible. More on that here. […]

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