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How To Replace An Outlet

Replacing an outlet is a simple and straightforward process. It's one the few electrical jobs that, in most cases, does not require that you obtain a permit. However, before proceeding, refer back to Household Electricity and familiarize yourself with the basics of house wiring.

How to Replace an 120 volt outlet

outlet First observe all safety precautions. Electricity is potentially lethal. Make sure the area you are working in is dry and that the electricity has been turned off before you start. Use a current tester to verify there is no residual electricity left in the wires.

1. Turn off both the branch circuit and the main power at the service panel. Work in the daytime so that you can use natural light to light the work area. Also use a flashlight if needed. Replace an Outlet

2. Remove the plate and the outlet mounting screws.

3. Pull outlet with wires still attached about 4 to 6 inches out of the junction box.

4. Note the color of the wires and identify the hot, neutral ground and device ground.

5. Unscrew the terminal screws that attaches the wire to the outlet and remove the wire. Start with the hot, then the neutral and finally the ground.

6. Examine the new outlet. Identify which wire connects to which terminal. It does not matter which set of vertical screws you attach the wire to. If the outlet does not have markings indicating the polarity, then remember that the bright brass screw connects to your hot wire.

7. Using needle nose pliers, connect the ground to the green terminal on the bottom of the outlet. Then connect the white wire to the neutral terminal and finally the hot wire. The wire should be wrapped completely around the terminal screws.

8. Finally, tuck the wires back in the junction box and mount the outlet and the outlet plate.

For more information about Electrical materials, check out our Electrical Materials Guide

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