About the Post

Jerry Hardy

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I was a Building Contractor along with owning rental properties where I did most of the repairs myself. Its my pleasure to pass on to you some of the methods I had used in the past. Hopefully, this will save you the expense of hiring a professional to do the work.

Replacing An Electrical Outlet

Steps in replacing an electrical outlet are easily performed if the procedures below are followed.electrical outlet

1. Turn off power

Turn off the power to the electrical outlet at the circuit breaker or fuse box.

2. Remove cover plate

Take out the screw holding the cover plate using a flat-head screwdriver and remove the plate.

3. Test for power

Using a 120 volt test light, attach one probe to the gold screw and the other probe to the silver screw on the opposite side of the  outlet. If the wire has burnt away from the outlet, attach the probe to the bear end of the wire. Most hardware and home improvement stores sell inexpensive voltage test lights. If there is no power, it is safe to continue.

4. Disconnect the electrical outlet

Remove the two screws holding the electrical outlet to the circuit box. Gently pull the outlet out of the box, guiding the wires from the box.

5. Remove wires

If there are several wires fastened to the outlet, attach a strip of masking tape to each wire with its location written on the tape. In that way there will be no confusion as to the location of each wire when installing the new outlet. Remove all wires from the outlet.

6. Wire new outlet

Attach the wires to the electrical outlet. If the wire broke off due to overheating, remove approximately three quarters of an inch of insulation from the end and make a small u-shaped loop for fastening to the mounting screw. Some outlets have wire attaching ports on the back side of the electrical outlet. If you use these ports, remove only one-half of an inch of insulation from the wire before inserting into the outlet.

7. Attach outlet to box

Carefully guide the wires as you push the  outlet into position in the box. Attach the two mounting screws to secure the outlet.

8.  Replace the cover plate

Insert the retaining screw into the center hole of the plate and fasten it to the outlet.

9. Turn on the power

10. Test for power

Using the test light, insert each probe into an outlet opening. If you do not have power, turn off the power at the breaker or fuse box. Remove the cover plate and inspect the wires for proper attachment to the electrical outlet by gently wiggling each wire. If any wires appear to be loose, remove the electrical outlet from the box and properly secure the wire. Attach the outlet to the box and replace the cover plate. Turn on the power and again check for power at the outlet.

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