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Frustrated...How to install multi-outlet strips

Mags438
8 years ago

Hi all. Feeling frustrated as I try to get to the finish line on my kitchen reno. I'm told in order to install the plugmold multi-strip outlets (hardwired) under the upper cabs, a hole needs to be made thru the cab upper in order to install. Something about a metal punch out in back of outlet strip needs to feed thru or something. I found one YouTube video on installing but it was for a plugin not hardwired.

Does anyone know how to hardwire install these plug mold strips under the cabs?

Comments (31)

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    They're a pain - punchout in the back, but I ended up taking out the functional parts of the receptacle on that end to have room to work (then sticking a child-proofing cap on it to so no one would try to plug coffeemaker in and think something was wrong).

    Where is your junction box/receptacle that you are pulling power from? How do you plan to wire more strips downstream (or is only strip?)? I just installed 1 under upper counter in multilevel island, 5ft long so no experience with the multi-strips. And the cover was so hard to snap on with the countertops in place (may be easier if you have room underneath) that I dented it all up, had to pull it out, ended up calling electrician for $100 he put another one (I bought) in and the old dented one is still sitting in garage going to go over workbench at some point.

    Good question for Wiring forum. Pictures might help.

  • Mags438
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Think I may have confused things. I have hardwire electrical dangling from finished wall...pigtail, it's called (?). Each pigtail falls right below upper cabs. Each multioutlet strip will be attached to each different pigtail. Outlet strip not linked/connected to each other.

    contractor says the only way to attach under the upper cab is to make a hole thru upper cab bottom to feed wiring (although the wires to be connected to each other are both below and outside cab). I just want a layman's explanation of how others installed. I'm missing something.

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  • _sophiewheeler
    8 years ago

    The wires are fine if the plugmold is being attached to the wall. If you want it attached to the cabinet bottom, then the wire has to come in through a hole in the cabinets because you can't have exposed wiring.

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    Again, a question for the Wiring forum. I don't see why you'd want/have to run the wire through a cabinet if the pigtail is under and the plugmold is under. The other end of each pigtail must be located in an accessible junction box (like another receptacle). Mine is a receptacle on the other side of my pony wall - but we did not run the pigtail through the cabinets that are installed on the other side of the wall - that would have required they be in conduit. Just ran up inside the wall to one end of the lower "backsplash" area, connection made inside the metallic Plugmold itself (why we removed the components from the end receptacle to give room for wirenuts).

    Now, if you are not making the connection inside the (small) wiring strip itself, you will need another approved (metallic or nonmetallic) junction box for the connection, can mount that on the wall at the end/behind the PM (I'm not sure of how yours mounts) using the flush plate adaptor sold on the website, or if the lead wires (another pigtail if you will) on the PM is long enough, run up into cabinet or another convenient location but those wires will also need to be in conduit or in wall (and use the end feed fitting sold separately, possibly the flush plate too).

    Can you provide a photo of your strip(s) and the pigtails?

    I read "multi-strip outlets" as multiple strips (which I guess you do have), assumed they would be on the same circuit (or 2 small appliance circuits), nd you would have to run between them. If you have a pigtail for each one, and each one is a separate circuit (?) so the PM will be the end of the line for each, wiring is easy. If the pigtails are connected (in 1 or 2 circuits) so that you have to feed the next pigtail from the previous PM strip, I hope the input pigtail(s) and output(s) are marked for you (and are at opposite ends of where the strip will mount).

    I can't play the video, wish they had the installation instructions in a pdf but it looks like they only have "instructions" for how to mount and plug in the corded kind.

  • Mags438
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    I'm sorry ajsmama, I may have written that. Stressed and not articulating my thoughts clearly. It's the plug molds I'm trying to understand. I really appreciate the detailed explanation, but it's over my head. I will try to attach photo to post. If successful it will show the sub panel box, pigtails (2separate ones) and one where the covering was taken off, I believe.

    Hollysprings, thanks, that's what I was trying to understand. Is that why in some photos, you may see a little PVC tube running along at the ends? It's covering the exposed wiring? The hole going thru cab, if hiding exposed wires, needs to be large enough to thread the yellow wire, correct?

    Thanks

  • Lisa
    8 years ago

    I ran into a similar issue. Do you know they have little pieces (don't remember what they're called) that attach to the ends of the plugmolds, but do not come with the plugmolds, so that you don't have to have exposed wires? My electrician wanted to drill a hole in the bottom of my cabinets until I discovered these handy parts.

  • Lisa
    8 years ago

    It's called an entrance end fitting. I ordered mine from Mr. Supply and they are around $5/each. They connect to the end of each outlet strip eliminating any exposed conduit.

  • Mags438
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Thanks lcskaisgir! I'll have to get on that right away! Keep talking.

  • a2gemini
    8 years ago

    Mags - mine are under cabinet as well. The GC and Sparky used an angle strip to make them easier to access.
    Now you see them


    And now you don't

    The only issue was one area that we had a cold air return - we needed to bridge this with some wires - and I would have asked for them to be off white to match the tile.
    Only kids and really short "grups" can see this issue.
    This one shows the angle board and electrical box better than the other picture

    Have fun!

  • Lisa
    8 years ago

    I'm telling you, I went through your EXACT situation and my electrician wanted to not only drill a hole into the bottom of my cabinet, but also create a false bottom on the inside of my cabinet which I was adamantly against. I posted my issue on here and a2gemini was one who helped save me! I was beyond stressed over this. I also called wiremold and spoke to their customer service dept who walked me through how to use those little end pieces. I then explained to my electrician who had never heard of them but used them easily and successfully. It really is a ridiculously easy fix. I mean who wants to have those stupid wires going through the inside of their cabinet? I refused to believe that was the only option. Good luck!

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    Sorry, can you post the 2 right hand photos individually so I can get a good look? The subpanel shot doesn't mean anything - I wouldn't be able to tell if the 2 PM wires (yellow jackets) were on separate circuits even if subpanel shows 2 small appliance circuits.

    I'm assuming the top right is under a corner cabinet, 1 PM is running to the right on 1 wall and other to the left on perpendicular wall. Those really are snugged right up to the bottoms of the cabinets - going to be hard to wire and get the covers on (unless they've changed things since I bought mine at HD 7 years ago). Maybe, since I see on the website they're marketing kits for kitchens now, not just workshops/labs.

    Anyway, there's no way you can get the flush mount plate on there (meant to replace regular light switch/outlet). You may not even need the end feed fitting (those little boxes everyone's showing) IF you can make the connection like I did coming in the back of the strip and then mount it (screws through pre-drilled holes in the back of the strip) and get the cover (back) on. Putting it on an angled block as others have shown would make it easier to reach to plug things in. You'll have to drill a hole for the wires to come through the block (see lcskaisgir's photo with conduit on left for wires going to lights), can't have them exposed coming into the end of the strip. Did the strips come with any kind of caps to close off the ends?

    I have no idea what's shown in the bottom right photo - that looks like wiring for a 3-way switch and a cover plate for a coax (TV) cable? Messy hole, not sure how you're going to patch or cover that if it's under a cabinet.

    Sorry I can't show how we made the connections b/c they're all behind the strip in my island, can't even see the ends since we trimmed out the sides of the taller end cabinets on either side with oak. But if you can come in the back and have end caps so no wires are exposed, then you won't need conduit, won't even need the end fittings (I had bought 1 but didn't need it), definitely no need to run wires up into cabinets and then back down.

    Are you only putting 2 PM strips in that corner? Or are there more? Are you doing this yourself or is the electrician?

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    Just saw the thread you bumped - look at alku05's installation. No end fitting.

    Just reminded me of the new NEC (we built in 2007) - do you have the tamper-resistant PM? I assume installation is the same.

  • a2gemini
    8 years ago

    I believe some of my strips are connected to each other but not sure which ones without looking more closely.
    The wires do not go through the cabinets but stay underneath.
    When back on my computer, I will post other runs spanning cabinets

  • Mags438
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Thanks. I'm using the plug/wire mold brand, think it's 200TR series, tamper resistant.

    Ajsmama- I'll have to re-read ur post a couple more times to sink in and understand, but did notice a key phrase in your post - Home Depot. I'll run up there today and see if I can purchase them in person. packaging says they are included but not they are not included. That's a sweet photo of install ajsmama. An electrician, not DIY. if wires are too close, shouldnt they be able to 'fish' them over so there's enough room? The cab ppl will put the notches in cabs this week and I was going have them not make the notch too close to upper cab and wall, since I read those big square plugs can become a problem using.

    That photo showing the cable stuff at bottom, just happened to be in photo. The cable line has already been run, just needs cover. The only wire left there *has* to be the multi-outlet strip wire, it's the only thing that has to be hooked up. I'll scream if it's not. :-o. Yep, I'm at that point of reno. Let's just be done! Lol

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    Not sure what you mean by notching out cabinets - above the holes where wires are pulled through? Don't think you need that. Wires should have been pulled out a little lower with space between PM and cabinet (if mounting PM on wall) to give room to get the covers on, plus to fit some larger plugs (like AC/DC such as on my cordless can opener charger, some cell phones). You can always notch the drywall and pull the wires down a little lower depending on if you're using some sort of mounting strip (angled or not) that will cover. I'll take a look at the new TR strips online.

    If you had planned on mounting the strips to bottom of cabinet so outlets face the countertop not out into the room, then the wires should have been run higher, ideally the cabinets would have been marked and the holes cut in the back before install, and then the wires pulled through (in conduit) the backs, then bottoms of cabinets as your GC was telling you - but his problem, don't let him make 2 holes now to run a loop up into the cabinet (esp. w/o conduit).

    Hate to say it, but those 4 wires (white, red and 2 black) don't look right to me - should be in yellow jacket, 3 wires (ground, hot, and neutral) not 4, like other photo if those are for PM (and not quite right for switch or light either but I won't get into that). Unless that's in the middle, in which case you need 2 sets of 3 wires (black hot, white neutral, green or bare ground), 1 set coming from the subpanel (or closest powered receptacle), 1 going to the next strip (or receptacle) down the line.

    You should ask Sparky what they're for - maybe he's using these for something else, not a 3-way (red traveler wire is tip-off) but for future reference you should find out what he's using the red and white for if they're not traveler and neutral (I'm assuming the blacks are both hot, and so will anyone else working on it in the future). Where are the ground wires?

    Really, you should start a new thread and post that photo on the Wiring forum so a pro can help you figure out what's going on.

    Under that corner cabinet are you planning on running a strip along each wall, or only 1 wall?

  • andreak100
    8 years ago

    We wound up kind of following a2gemini's install. Except that we did not use the bigger end pieces at the end. We did use the angled piece of wood to angle the plug mold and so far, it's working perfectly. I *think* although I can't see it, that our contractor drilled out a piece in the angled wood part to feed the wire through from the wall and into the plugmold itself.

    Our GC said that it was horrible for him to work with and he won't bid it again. I wonder if we would have used those endpieces, if it would have been easier for him - I think that the issue was trying to fit the wires and the wire end coverings into the wiremold itself was creating the issues. Probably with the endpiece that's shown, it would have been much easier.

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    It is horribly tight - that's why we removed the guts of the end receptacle to fit the connections in. The end fitting would give more room. But as I said getting the cover on was tough, would have been easier if I installed it before the countertops. You have to take the cover off to wire it and mount it.

    Maybe if you're running 3ft instead of 5 ft and using a mounting block, you can screw it to the block, wire it, put the cover on, shove the extra wire back into the wall, then mount the block to the wall?

  • Mags438
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Hmmm, my yesterday post didn't come thru.

    Couldn't find plug mold entrance end fitting at Home Depot but did see this (photo) at an ikea. See the right hand thingy? Think that would work instead? I did see those at Home Depot.

  • andreak100
    8 years ago

    Mags - here's the link to what you need from Home Depot. Ours don't carry it in the store, you have to order it - and it's listed as being an "online only" product. I'm not certain that the IKEA thing will work because it doesn't look like it's the same size as most of the plugmold that I've seen.

    You could also check around at some of your local electric stores, but I'm thinking that most of them would need to order them as well - it doesn't seem like a high demand item that they tend to keep in stock.

    Kind of irritating that HD carries plugmold itself within the story, but not things that would help make it easier to actually install it.

    Here is a link that might be useful: End Feed for plugmold

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    Did you buy the kitchen kits from Plugmold/Wiremold/Legrand? And the fittings are listed on the package but not included? Did you open them or did electrician? Maybe he has them (though I don't know why he would have separated the pieces).

    Who ordered the strips? If you ordered/bought them, and the fittings aren't in the kits when they are supposed to be, I'd call customer service. If they were sold separately, then whoever ordered the strips (you, GC, or Sparky) should order the fittings but discuss with Sparky about using them first - he may be planning on bringing the wires on through the back (though that wire in the very corner is going to be tricky) and you may not need them. I can see the fitting in that corner interfering with installation and with use of the end receptacle in the other strip if they're placed right into the corner. Of course, without the fitting(s) you could end up losing a receptacle like I did just to have room to make the connections inside the strip, so it's a tossup.

  • Mags438
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    I ordered them. Inside instructions said they were sold separately. I do believe that's what these ol eyes read.

    Do you know if they can be installed later? Or it *has* to be done during install? I may have to order online.

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    If you're going to use them, you need to have them for install.

  • andreak100
    8 years ago

    Mags - our plugmold had the flat endpieces with the section of plugmold(2 per piece of plugmold) - these fit flush against the end of the plugmold and there's a little bit that fits inside the plugmold to keep it in place. This is what they look like:

    In the picture the thing to the back of the photo fits over the end, and then the piece that is toward the front and has the bent up edges fits inside the plugmold - this covers up any of the wires you would see otherwise. If you happen to need extra of those, I don't think that Home Depot has these as orderable, but here's what you are looking for:
    http://www.cesco.com/b2c/product/303032

    The things that are included in the wiremold package are NOT the endpieces that is shown in a2gemini's install and the pieces that I linked to earlier that look like this:

    Those can be ordered through Home Depot, or this place also (I'm sure that there are many others too if you know what to ask/look for):
    http://www.cesco.com/b2c/product/240112

  • angela12345
    8 years ago

    Our plugmold was installed without the end fitting. I can see how that extra space could have made it easier. It was a PITA to get it back up when we had to pull the plugmold down to install our backsplash, then put it back up a little bit further out. Extra hard because one of my runs of plugmold is 3 sections for a total of 13 feet long.

    Either there already is a punchout in the side of the plugmold for the wires to be pulled through, or our electrician cut a hole for them. The punchout is in both pieces - the base and the cover. Our plugmold faces down towards the counter, and the wires come in from the side. The wires come out of the wall just under the bottom of the cabinet, similar to yours. So basically, if you imagine the cover of the plugmold is shaped like a U, with the open top of the U wrapped around the base part of the plugmold and the bottom of the U is where the receptacles are, the wires come in from a punchout in the side of the U that is next to the wall.

    Our plugmold is mounted to the bottom of the cabinet, not to the wall. However, I have frameless cabinets, so the bottom of my cabinets are flat, they do not have the short piece of cabinet that comes down under the cabinet. Does that make any sense ?

    As far as the tamper resistance goes ... do you have the option to NOT have TR ? I find the TR outlets through the rest of my house *extremely* hard to plug into. I can't imagine trying to force a plug into an outlet when the receptacle is mounted facing down (or even angled) up under the bottom of the cabinet.

  • andreak100
    8 years ago

    "As far as the tamper resistance goes ... do you have the option to NOT have TR ?"

    The official answer is generally, "no" as it is an NEC code. That being said, we bought and installed non-TR. We don't need to get an electrical inspection, so we're okay. I made my DH promise me that he wouldn't stick a screwdriver in the electrical outlets. ;-) We did follow the GFI regulations however.

    Our cabinets are also frameless, but we had our cabinet maker build in a lightrail (you can't see it below the cabinet doors) so that we would have an area to conceal the plugmold and the UC lights.

  • Mags438
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    We have to have TR. We have a builtin lite rail on cabs and it hides the installed UCLs. I've seen two sizes of that piece andreak. The A2 one is referenced here. There's an A3 size that's larger. Think the larger one is better/easier to install and still look nice?

    Why are there only being ivory color sold? I need white. Am I being too picky?? Tick, tick goes the clock. Contractor here next week.

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    I can see the TR in black, white and stainless - the end fittings in ivory are for the regular PM? But on the website I see that the TR is sold in kits that include the fittings. Don't see them sold separately. I'd call customer service if you have white TR PM not ivory.

    Have you talked to contractor about how to install these without drilling through cabinets since you posted here?

    Here is a link that might be useful: TR plugmold page

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    I pulled the old (nonTR) piece out of the garage - punchouts in back to bring wire through, if you are mounting to wall Sparky is planning on bringing through back, though it will be close to end esp. in that corner. He might need to bring that one in the end like we did - why I notched the end and covered sharp edge with electrical tape. I don't remember what my guy did on 2nd one after I dented up this cover and had to replace (but I did have power to my receptacles, I wired it right, it was just cosmetic). He did pull out the guts of the end receptacle to make room for the connections (flat, not wire nuts) just as shown here but I don't remember if he brought wires in end like I did or back.

    Your guy may be bringing wires in the corner into the end of that strip, so will need entrance fitting or other way to cover the inch or so of exposed wires. If the wires had been pulled close to the corner but on the other wall he could have just butted the strip right into that wall.

  • Mags438
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    I ordered the entrance end fittings, expediting the shipping (ugh). Thanks soooo much for your help. On to the next crisis.

    I'll be glad when this is done. Do you ever feel like just giving in and saying - oh just go ahead and do it the way you want (knowing they will take the easiest route for them) ? I'm fighting that feeling.

  • andreak100
    8 years ago

    "Do you ever feel like just giving in and saying - oh just go ahead and do it the way you want (knowing they will take the easiest route for them) ? I'm fighting that feeling."

    We are now into month 6 with our GC and our kitchen remodel...and yes...I feel like that now Every. Single. Day. Honestly, there are several things that my DH and I have just thrown our hands up and said, "it's good enough" because it seems like every stinking time they muck something up and we ask them to fix it, they manage to mess something else up in the process.

    Our latest was the hood installation...don't ask. You really don't want to know. Sheesh.