Home Improvements – Los Gatos – Electrical – Replacing an Outlet
Replacing a standard one is fairly easy.
Sometimes, there is one pair of wires to the outlet, sometimes there are two.
Either way, the concept is the same.
Only one of the wires in the box is “hot” or brings power to the box.
If you really want to know which is which, you can test with a $15 volt meter you can get at Orchard Supply.
The steps are:
- As with all electrical work, turn off the power at the circuit breaker.
- Disassemble the mechanism enough so the outlet can pull out of the box.
- Take notes of where the wires connect.
- Disconnect the wires.
- If they are pushed into the back, you will need to cut them and strip them again.
- Reverse the steps for the new one.
- Don’t push the wires into the back – that connection type fails much more often then putting the wires under the screws.
- The hot or black wires go under the brass screws.
- The neutral or white wires go under the chrome screws.
- When you put the wires under the screws, bend the ends of the wires and place them under the screws such that tightening the screws helps the wires wrap around the screws – the wire should wrap around the screw in the same direction as the screw turns.
- When you are putting the outlet back into the box, there is a right side up and an update side down – the ground lead hole should always be on the bottom.
- Once the plate is on, power up the circuit and test your work.
If you would prefer a professional handle your electrical and other home improvements tasks in or around Los Gatos, CA, we would appreciate an opportunity to be of service.