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How to Replace an old electrical outlet

August 28, 2010 at 10:47 am | Category: Remodeling Contractor


Instructions. Things You’ll Need:

New electrical outlet


Needle nose Pliers

Voltmeter or light to test for active current

1.1 Find your circuit breaker panel and turn OFF the power to the outlet. Never work on a HOT circuit! You can use a voltmeter to check that the power is off or simply plug in a known-working light.

2.2 Remove the cover plate from the outlet using a screwdriver. There is usually only one screw located between the two plug receptacles. After removing the screw the cover plate will simply lift off.

3.3 There are two screws attaching the top and bottom of the outlet to the electrical box. Unscrew these until they are loose and then pull the outlet out of the wall. The heavy copper wires are somewhat stiff, so this will require some gentle force.

4.4 Now that you have access to the outlet, simply remove the existing wires from the screw terminals on the old outlet and reattach them to the screw terminals on the new outlet. Do this carefully, bending the stripped ends of the wires as necessary to remove and then securely reattach them to the new outlet. There are a few different configurations of wires on the outlet depending on its circuit placement and functionality, don’t worry about that, just reattach the wires as they were on the old outlet.

5.5 Push the new outlet back into the electrical box, taking care not to twist the wires too much. Again, it will take some gentle force as the wires are stiff. Reattach the outlet to the electrical box with the screws at the top and bottom of the outlet. Place the cover plate back on the outlet and reattach it with the center screw.

6.6 Return to the circuit breaker panel and turn the power to the circuit back on. Test the outlet for proper functionality.

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