Replacing an Electrical Outlet

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated January 29, 2020)


As I was moving into my new home, I noticed something about a bunch of the electrical outlets. For some reason they were all loose! This was not good. I asked my landlord to replace them, he said that he would send some one over to do it right away. Slight problem with that though, it was several months ago when I was promised that. So, I got tired of waiting, and decided to do it on my own. Here is what I did, and how you yourself can do it. Here is how you can do your own electrical work, and save a bundle in both time and money. After all, why wait when you can do it yourself.

  1. Prior to doing any work, make sure that power is turned off to the electrical outlet that you are going to be working on. This is a fairly simple thing to do, since all that you need to do is go down to your circuit breaker box, and trip the outlet's breaker. When you have done that, make sure that you mark the box, so that no one comes along later on and turns it back on. That would be a "shocking" experience to say the least.
  2. Check the outlet to make sure that it is turned off. You can do this with either a circuit tester, or you can use the inexpensive alternative of a radio. If either the lights of the tester come on, or the radio works, then you know the power is still on. Go back and try the first step again, till you make sure that there is no power.
  3. Remove the cover plate to the outlet and set it aside. Now remove the screws to the outlet, and then gently pull on the outlet. It should come out of the wall no more than three inches. Make sure that you set the screws off to the side so that you don't lose them or get them mixed up with other screws.
  4. Prior to make sure that you note wear each wire is attached to the outlet. A good suggestion would be to take some colored pens or tape and use that to mark where each wire was located. Each of the wires and screws should be color coded, so simply take note of where they are attached. Now, go ahead and loosen the screws that hold those wires in place, and completely remove the outlet form the wall.
  5. Replace the old outlet with your new one. Attach those color coded wires to the new outlet, using the old outlet as a "map." Basically, from here on out, just do all the previous steps in reverse until you have completed your task. Just be sure to test your work prior to actually using the outlet on a regular basis.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is 5 - 5?

2015-10-05 14:53:01

Alan Segal

Outlets come with removable tabs that can be removed when the outlets are on 2 different circuits (ie laundry room) or 1 outlet is always on, and the other controlled by a switch.

Check the old outlet to see if there is a piece of metal connecting the two brass screws. If not, then break the tab away on the new outlet by moving the end of the tab back and forth (front and back of outlet) using a pair of pliers.

If the original outlet was the wires going into the back of the outlet, they can be released by inserted a small flatblade screwdriver into the slot near the holes where the wires go in.

When putting wires around the screws, they should wrap clockwise around the screw so tightening the screw pulls the wire in.