Replacing A Plug Outlet

When a plug outlet no longer works properly, and if you know something about home electricity, you might be able to handle this job yourself.

You go to plug in the sweeper and nothing happens. So you take your sweeper to the next room and try to plug it in there. The sweeper comes on, but it won't reach the area that needs to be vacuumed. Then you try to find an extension cord and it takes you twenty minutes because you have to take the one that is hooked up to the garage light. You know how much a repairperson will cost to fix the outlet, so you keep putting it off. It is not a hard job if you know how, and parts cost very little.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that the plug outlet is actually bad. If you plug something in and you get no electric current at the plug, make sure the item you just plugged in works by going to another outlet and plugging in the same thing, so if it comes on you know you are not getting current at the other plug outlet. Next, check the fuse box or breaker box to see if you accidentally threw the breaker or blew a fuse. You also need to check it with a voltage indicator. Now turn off the electricity going to the plug outlet. Before you go to work on it, test it with your voltage indicator to make sure you turned off the right breaker.

Now remove the screws from the top and bottom that holds the plug outlet from the electrical box in the wall. Get a small plastic bag for the parts so you don't lose them. Pull the plug outlet from the wall and before you remove the wires, take a piece of masking tape and mark the wires as you remove them. Note the hot wire from the ground wires.



Now remove the wire with a small flat tip screwdriver. On some there is a slot in the back of the plug outlet. Take a small flat tip screwdriver and push the tip in the slot to release the wire from the plug outlet. Sometimes a small nail or a fingernail file will work. If you don't have any of these, then use needle nose pliers. If for any reason you have to cut a wire or it is broken, you will need to remove the insulation from the wire with wire cutters or a knife if you are very careful. Now take the old plug outlet to the hardware store or an electrical outlet discount store. Match it with one just like it or ask someone working there to assist you in finding the right one.

To connect it you should work with the green wire or bare copper wire first. Then connect the white and the black ones last. Push the plug outlet back into the electrical box, making sure the ground wire is not touching any other wire. Replace the screws that connect the plug to the box. Finally, turn on the electric. The outlet should work fine, and you can appreciate the fact that you've saved the cost of an electrician's house call.

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