How to Replace an Electrical Outlet in 5 Easy Steps
Replacing an electrical outlet is fairly easy, and you can do it yourself. This allows you to remove a broken outlet and install a working outlet quickly. You may also want to replace an old outlet if you don’t like the way it looks. As long as you take the proper precautions, the process is safe. Read on to learn more about replacing an electrical outlet.
What is an Electrical Outlet Replacement?
The electrical outlet replacement process involves removing the old outlet and installing a new one. It is more difficult than simply snapping off the outlet’s faceplate and replacing it with a new one. However, it does not involve rewiring the outlet. You will simply be connecting a new outlet to the existing wires. Rewiring an outlet is more difficult and is best left to the professionals.
Why is Replacing an Electrical Outlet Important?
There are two main reasons that replacing an electrical outlet is important. Firstly, it is important to replace a broken outlet to remain in use once again. Also, a broken outlet could be an electrical hazard. Secondly, an ugly electrical outlet can ruin the look of an entire area of your house.
Tips & Reminders for Replacing an Electrical Outlet
Perhaps the most important tip for replacing an electrical outlet is to have all the required tools and materials ready before you begin the process. This will make your work quicker and more efficient. The required tools include a wire cutter, wire strippers, electrical tape, a small Philips screwdriver, and a voltage tester. You will also need a new outlet and a new faceplate. Another important tip is to figure out beforehand which switch in your breaker box turns the power to the outlet on and off.
The Steps for Replacing an Electrical Outlet
Step 1: Turning Off the Power & Removing the Receptacle
Go to the breaker box and turn off the power to this outlet. Use the voltage tester to ensure that power is no longer going to the outlet. If there is no current, pop off the faceplate and unscrew the screws for the receptacle (the part that electrical plugs go into). Pull out the receptacle.
Step 2: Unscrewing the Terminals & Disconnecting the Wires
Unscrew the terminals and pull away from the wires. Try not to twist them. If the end of the wire is damaged, snip it off where the rubber layer ends. Use the wire strippers to strip an inch or two more of the rubber coating off at the wire’s end.
Step 3: Wiring the New Receptacle
Wire the new receptacle in the same way that the old one was wired. There should be both black and white wires. Connect the black wires to the silver-colored terminal and the white wires to the brass-colored terminal. Wrap the terminals and the bare ends of the wire with electrical tape.
Step 4: Installing the New Receptacle
Push the receptacle back into the box. Tighten the mounting screws. Make sure that the receptacle is straight. Pop the faceplate back on.
Step 5: Testing the New Outlet
Turn the circuit box on at the breaker box. Use the voltage tester to ensure that the new outlet is working properly. If it is not, first check to ensure that you’ve turned on the correct circuit. If it is still not working properly, next turn off the circuit and pull the receptacle back out of the wall. Check that the wires are properly connected to the terminals.
Using Your New Electrical Outlet
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when using your new electrical outlet. Following a few best practices will ensure that the outlet lasts for a long time and is safe to operate.
First, never yank plugs out of the outlet. Also, do not paint over the outlet. If you are painting, make sure to tape over the outlet so that paint does not get inside the receptacle. If this happens, the outlet may short out.
If you have small children, make sure to plug the outlet when it is not in use. Otherwise, it will be dangerous for the children.
Also, make sure not to plug heavy-duty appliances like a hairdryer into a regular electrical outlet. We suggest only plugging these appliances into heavy-duty outlets, usually found in bathrooms and kitchens.
Book an Appointment With an Electrician Today
If you’re in South Florida and you’d rather have a professional replace your outlet for you, contact Echo Air Conditioning today. In addition to air conditioning, we also offer electrical services from highly trained and experienced electricians. You can book an appointment by calling us at 954-366-4585 or by using our online scheduling service. Make an appointment for electrical services today.