Fit a nail guard into each notch, covering the new wires. Drive the plates down tightly making sure they are flush and not protruding from the stud surface.
When running new wiring pay attention to the amp rating for the circuit you are extending. For a 15 amp circuit use 14 awg (american wire gauge) cable, for 20 amps use 12 awg, 30 amp: 10 awg, 40 amps: 8 awg, 50 to 60 amps: 6 awg. Most lighting and receptacle circuits will be 15 amps and make use of 14/2 or 14/3, but some of these circuits may also be 20 amps, so be sure of the rating and use the proper cable and devices for your project. Depending on the gauge and box depth, there is a limit to the number of wires allowed inside an outlet box. If adding new ones would force exceeding the limit it may be possible to add a junction box to the circuit.
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Use a drywall saw and knife to cut drywall and gypsum board plaster, use a reciprocating or keyhole saw to cut wood lath plaster. With the framing exposed, use a small saw to cut two vertical kerfs in the plate about an inch apart and then use a wood chisel to chip out a notch about ½inch or so deep, between the cuts.
After choosing the electrical source, decide where to cut the walls and ceilings to run the new cable. For example, to run from an existing wall receptacle up to a new ceiling light fixture, a small hole should be cut in the corner where the wall and ceiling meet. The top plate is then notched to pass the cable and afterwards a metal plate is attached over the notch to protect the wires.
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