Home Electrical Repairs - How to Replace a Standard Wall Outlet

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Many home owners shiver at the thought of performing any electrical work around their house.
"Call the electrician".
Which, I can say is understandable.
But with a little common sense and the correct tools, any home owner can accomplish basic electrical maintenance no matter what their skill set.
Before beginning, you will need to ensure you have some basic tools to accomplish replacing the wall outlet.
You will need two screwdrivers, one phillips head and one flat.
Also you will need the new wall outlet (we are assuming you will be replacing the existing wall outlet with exactly the same type).
Most importantly, you will need a voltmeter or some device to ensure that the power is dead to the wall outlet prior to beginning.
Preparation and Safety We have gathered our tools and are now ready to begin.
First off - NEVER, EVER work on an energized circuit.
Go to your circuit panel and shut off the breaker that is energizing the wall outlet.
Sometimes you may have to take several guesses at which one it is.
When you think you have it shut off, use your voltmeter or checking device (inexpensive outlet testers work great at this) to ensure that their is no power going to the outlet.
Removal First remove the wall plate, usually held their by one screw.
Once you have that off, check again to ensure that power is off using your voltmeter or outlet checking device.
Can't be too careful.
Next, remove the screws holding the outlet to the wall box (usually 2 screws).
Finally remove the 3 wires (white, black and green) from the outlet by loosening the screws and removing the wire.
If the wires are pushed into the back and not place around the screws then just cut the wires at the outlet with wire cutters.
And that's the removal.
Installation Installation is pretty much the exact opposite of removal.
If you had to cut the wires during removal, strip about one half to three quarters of an inch of insulation off the wire.
If the new outlet has holes in the back to place the wire in, you can place them in the holes based on the wire color (should be labeled white or black).
If not, you can place the wire around the screw and tighten the screw to hold the wire.
Always match the wire color to the labeling on the back of the outlet.
Attach the outlet to the wall box with the 2 screws.
Install the wall plate.
Check and Reward Once you have finished this, turn the power back on.
Using your voltmeter or outlet checker, ensure power is correct.
You have just installed a wall outlet.
Congratulations.
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