Replacing an electrical outlet is a relatively easy and safe job for an average homeowner to do because it typically only involves disconnecting and reconnecting a few wires, and can be done with basic household tools. But if you have any uncertainty it’s always best to talk to a licensed electrician.
To reduce the risk of electrical shock or injury turn off the circuit breaker before replacing an electrical outlet to make sure the power to the outlet is off. This is important because you can still get a shock if you only turned off the wall switch and the wires get crossed.
Steps for how to replace an electrical outlet:
1. Turn off the power: First and foremost, turn off the power supply to the outlet you plan to replace by turning off the corresponding circuit breaker in your main electrical panel.
2. Remove the old outlet: Unscrew the cover plate and then remove the screws that hold the outlet in place. Carefully pull the outlet out from the wall, and take note of which wire is connected to which screw terminal.
3. Disconnect the wires: Loosen the terminal screws to remove the wires from the old outlet. If the wires are wrapped around the screw, you can unwind them in a counterclockwise direction. If the wires are pushed into the back of the outlet, you can release them by inserting a small screwdriver into the slot next to the wire and gently pulling the wire out.
4. Connect the wires to the new outlet: Connect the wires to the corresponding screw terminals on the new outlet, making sure that the hot wire (usually black) is connected to the brass or gold-colored screw, the neutral wire (usually white) is connected to the silver screw, and the ground wire (usually bare or green) is connected to the green screw. Tighten the terminal screws securely.
5. Attach the new outlet: Carefully push the new outlet back into the electrical box, and secure it in place with the screws. Replace the cover plate.
6. Test the new outlet: Turn the power supply back on, and test the new outlet with a circuit tester to ensure that it’s working properly. If everything is in order, you’re good to go!