Question about electrical outlet near sink

harriethomeownerDecember 9, 2008

Hi, yet another question about our bathroom update.

When we took the wall-mounted medicine cabinet down, we discovered a live electrical outlet (to the left of the hole here):

The planned cabinet was supposed to extend to where the old wallpaper ends, and we were hoping to recess it. Just looking for opinions on whether we should move this outlet over or have it disconnected entirely. There is an outlet farther to the left, on the light switch next to the door, but it might be handy to have another one. If we keep it, we will need to replace it with a GFCI type.

(The bath place is telling me basically that they won't do anything about it and will not be able to recess the cabinet with the outlet there, so I might just hire an electrician to come and fix it before they start working next week.)

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I would move it. Since you're cutting open the wall to recess the cabinet anyway, it shouldn't be a big deal to move it unless there's almost no wire slack and it's wired from below and the right. An electrician should be able to do it in 15 minutes or so (heck, I could--the most you'll probably have to do is drill a hole in a stud to run the wire to the other side of it)

Another alternative is to buy a cabinet with an integral outlet (Robern makes them) where you can plug things in in the cabinet itself.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 10:58AM
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Since it's there, why not put an outlet inside your medicine cabinet, Very handy for charging a toothbrush or shaver, or plugging in a small hair dryer -- any of which can then be stored out of sight inside the cabinet.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 10:59AM
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Unfortunately, the cabinet is already ordered. I had no idea that outlet was there when we planned this or might have incorporated it.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 11:10AM
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The bathroom is so small that I have been able to plug a hair dryer into the outlet near the door, and the cord reaches without a problem so I can dry my hair while looking into the mirror.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 11:15AM
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There is nothing wrong with having a second outlet, though.

(of course, also make it GFCI)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 11:41AM
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We love extra outlets. In order to satisfy DH's need for as many as he can possibly have (he is an electrical engineer by training), we cut a hole in the side of the recessed medicine cabinet and are mounting outlets inside, just as wa8b said- this way all his electrical crap is neatly tucked away!

You could always ask the electrician to do that instead if you so desire.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 9:35PM
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I think I'd use it. Easy enough to modify the cabinet you are installing to accommodate the outlet I suspect.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 1:24PM
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How could the cabinet be modified? I don't think we can cut a hole in a metal cabinet.

I was thinking of getting an electrician to move it -- either to the left or maybe down, so it's between the cabinet and the tile.

Ack. I wish the bath place that is doing this job was more helpful.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 9:36PM
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You could cut a hole in the cabinet, although it would be a pain.

Why don't you check what's behind the wall where the outlet is. Poke a hole or just reach in. Cut out some drywall if necessary. You might even be able to move it yourself or convince the bath people to. It could be as easy as detaching the box from the stud it's mounted to and reattaching it to another stud. That's two nails. If you have to, pay the bath guy an extra $5 to do that.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 11:14AM
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The bath remodel guys are going to look at it when they start the job next week and will (I hope) take care of it somehow.

I think the outlet will be more useful if it's on the wall rather than in the cabinet, but it's really not something I have been missing in any case (i.e., I have never thought, "Darn! Why isn't there an outlet here?").

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 1:22PM
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You can cut a hole in a metal cabinet. My husband and I did this to two cabinets for our master bath. We (mostly I) wanted electrical outlets in the cabinet, but the cabinets we liked, and could afford, did not have them. So we marked where the outlets should go, on the side of each cabinet, and cut the hole out. We (ok, it was DH) used a drill to make a small hole in each of the four corners, then used a saw (I forget the name of that type of saw, but it has a small blade that pokes straight down and that goes up and down) to cut on the line between the small holes. It took almost no time at all. Then we wired an electrical box to each of the cabinets, at the correct location. The electrical boxes were affixed to the 2x4s that framed the cabinet.

It was actually very easy for my husband to do.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 1:42PM
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