How to Install a Metal Raceway
Time Required: 2-4 hours
Electrical raceway, often called surface-mounted wiring, is a track of metal tubing that carries wiring across a wall surface, allowing you to use an existing electrical receptacle to power a new ceiling fan. When you use raceway to add a new fixture to a circuit, you don’t have to cut into your walls.
Wiremold’s heavy-duty, metal-component raceway system is an excellent solution for adding wiring for additional outlets, light fixtures or ceiling fans in a garage, workshop or basement. Your project can be made easier by using our Project Planner PDF to map out your project. After installation, the raceway can be painted with latex paint to match your décor.
This project guide will walk you step by step through a metallic raceway wiring installation for an additional electrical outlet. Before beginning your installation, measure from the location of the new outlet to the closest existing outlet to determine how much raceway you’ll need. Be sure to purchase 10 percent extra to ensure you have enough for the job.
- Using a stud finder, locate and make a mark along the ceiling joist and wall stud where you will attach the ceiling fan and wall switch.
- Using a level and chalk line, snap a straight line from the starter outlet up the wall through the switch location. Continue the chalk line to the ceiling and across to the ceiling fan.
- Mark with a pencil along the chalk lines every 2 ½ feet.
- Use screws to attach the raceway support clips at the marks. If you can’t attach the clips to the studs, use hollow wall anchors.
- Confirm the power is off by testing the outlet with a voltage tester.
- Remove the faceplate and mounting screws from the existing starter receptacle.
- Pull the existing receptacle and wires through the opening in the back of the base plate.
- Screw the base plate to the existing box.
- Install a No. 10 ground screw in the dimple on the starter box base.
- Use pliers to break out the starter box knockouts.
- Make sure the knockout matches the raceway profile used in your project.
- Locate the new outlet at the same height as the starter outlet.
- Attach the mounting plate with at least one mounting screw in a wall stud if possible.
- Use wall anchors if the plate is over a stud.
- Break the knockouts on the new outlet box.
- Install two mounting clips approximately ½ inch below the knockouts on both the starter box and the new receptacle box.
- Position, but do not install, the elbow mounting plates ¼ inch above the baseboard directly under the knockouts on each outlet box.
- Measure from the knockout in the starter box to the top of the bracket and the knockout in the new box to the top of that bracket.
- Add 3/8 inch to each end to get the right length of raceway in order to slide over the tongue at each box or fitting.
- Slide the raceway over the starter box tongue.
- Slide the base of the switch box onto the other end of the raceway.
- Use a mallet to tap the raceway into the support clips.
- Screw the switch box base into the wall.
- Position the elbow at the wall-ceiling joint.
- Make a mark along the chalk line on either end of the elbow.
- Add 3/8 inches to each end to get the length of the raceway in order to slide over the tongue at each box or fitting.
- Cut the raceway to length, smooth the cut edges with a file and insert bushings into the raceway, as in Step 5.
- Measure the full length of the raceway, from the starter outlet to the new outlet. Add 2 feet to the total length and cut this length of the THHN black, white and green wire.
- Snake the end of each wire through the short raceway and into the starter box. Pull about 1 foot out of the box.
- Snake the other end of the wire through the long piece of raceway and up into the new outlet box.
- Slip one end of the long piece of raceway onto the elbow tongue. Snap the long piece into the mounting clips, and then slip it onto the other tongue.
- Snap the elbow cover pieces over the elbows.
- Starting with the new receptacle, wrap the end of the black wire around the bottom gold screw on the side of the receptacle.
- Wrap the white wire around the silver screw opposite the gold screw.
- Wrap the green wire to the green screw on the bottom of the receptacle.
- Tighten all screws.
- Tuck the wires and the receptacle into the box. Use mounting screws to attach the receptacle to the box. Attach the faceplate.
- Confirm the power is still off at the old receptacle. Cut 8 inches of both black and white wires to use as pigtails. Strip the wires ¾ inches from each end. Connect the old black wire, the new black wire and the black pigtail wire together with a wire connector. Do the same with the 3 white wires.
- Use the pigtails to reconnect the old receptacle. Wrap the black wire to the gold. Screw on the side of the outlet. White goes to the silver screw. Tighten both screws.