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How to Replace an Outlet in Your Home: DIY Project Tips

March 26, 2021
by dmirza
how to replace an outlet

Equipping yourself with the appropriate tools and adequate knowledge gives you clarity on how to replace an outlet in your home. When it comes to electrical projects, they need not be as daunting as you may imagine.

Two common indicators that will have you replacing outlets include:

  • Discoloration of an outlet because of an incorrect installation or damage from a short circuit
  • Plugs easily falling out of the outlet and not fitting securely as they should

Knowing the Different Types of Electrical Outlets

Before you learn how to replace an electrical outlet, get to know of these main types of outlets:

  1. An ungrounded or two-prong outlet usually found in older homes poses a fire risk. It lacks the third hole that connects to a grounding cable and is not suitable for modern devices. You need a qualified electrician to replace this type of outlet.
  2. The standard three-prong outlet found in most homes is the grounded type.
  3. Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) automatically and instantly disconnect the power when there is a danger of a short circuit. Areas prone to excessive moisture like garages and bathrooms need such safety installations.

DIY Guidelines on How to Replace an Outlet

Invariably when replacing an outlet remove the worn-out one with a similar type. The procedure of replacing a grounded electrical outlet with a GFCI one is identical to connecting a new grounded outlet.

Listed here are useful guidelines to assist you in replacing an electrical outlet home project:

Shut Off the Power

Merely turning the switch connected to the corresponding outlet is not enough. You need to shut off the breaker supplying power to that outlet. To find the corresponding breaker located in your circuit box, plug a light into the outlet you intend to replace.

Leave it on so that once you disconnect the breaker controlling that outlet, the light goes off. After you shut off the right breaker, it is safe to execute the steps of how to replace an outlet.

Uninstall the Old Outlet

With a flathead screwdriver loosen the screws on the outlet plate so it reveals the wiring behind. To plug in the three colored wires into the correct end of the outlet, pay close attention while disconnecting them. By loosening the large screws located on the sides you can disconnect the wiring and free the non-functioning plate. 

Install the New Outlet

To replace an electrical outlet make sure you position the wires correctly. When you have a screw terminal outlet, loop the wires around the corresponding screw before tightening the screws. Once the wiring is secure, slide the new outlet in place, and using the old screws, position it firmly. Finally, turn on the circuit breaker.

Exercise your power to choose an affordable plan from Shop Texas Electricity and contribute to your savings.

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