Whenever we flip a switch, plug in an appliance, or adjust a reading light, we interact with the electrical system in a house. A good electrician can make those interactions easier in a hundred little ways, so it's best to communicate your needs early—ideally after the house is framed and before the drywall or insulation goes up. That's when master electrician Allen Gallant, who has wired many This Old House TV projects, takes his customers on a job-site walk-through, showing where he plans to put switches, lights, and receptacles. "I'll even ask them if they're left-handed or right-handed," he says. "It makes a big difference when you're looking for the light switch." It's easy to make changes at this point in the process, but once the walls are closed in, any second thoughts become far more difficult and expensive to implement.
Install a cable clamp for each cable, as needed. Standard plastic electrical boxes do not have knockouts and contain internal cable clamps. Metal boxes may have internal clamps; if yours does not, install a locknut-type clamp for each cable. Insert the threaded end of the clamp through a knockout hole and secure the clamp inside the box with the nut. Tighten the nut with pliers.
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