How to Replace an Outlet

Is your old outlet not working? The connectors inside the outlet were loose on the outlet in my dinning room. We could plug electronics in, but the plug would fall out. I decided it was time to replace the outlet.

I will walk you through each step of the process and show you with pictures how to replace an outlet.

The outlet I am replacing today is an ungrounded (2 prong) outlet. The steps will be mostly the same for a grounded (3 prong) outlet with he exception of the added ground wire.

I need to say that in most areas all electric work is to be done by a licensed electrician. This tutorial is for informational purposes only. That being said… Let’s get into it!


COST – Under $5

TIME – 15 Minutes


Tool and Materials

Tools

4 in 1 Screw Driver

Wire Stripper Pliers

Non-contact Voltage Tester

Outlet

Plate Cover



  1. Shut of the power at the breaker!

Breaker in off position

You should NEVER work on anything electrical with the power on. After you shut the breaker off check the outlet by using a non-contact voltage tester or if you don’t have one you can plug in a lamp that you know works.

  1. Take off the plate cover

Outlet Cover

Unscrew the flathead screw in the middle of the cover. I decided to replace mine with a new white one, so I discarded the old one, if you plan to reuse it the keep it off to the side.

  1. Unscrew Outlet

Outlet

  1. Check for power

Check for power using voltage tester

There should be no power to the outlet. Make sure to check all wires in the box, it is possible that there might be a wire from a separate circuit in the box.

  1. Unscrew the white wires

Unscrew White Wires

Make note of where each wire is attached to the outlet and put them in the same order on the new outlet. This is especially important when wiring a GFCI outlet.

  1. Unscrew the black wires

Unscrew Black Wires

Make sure to install the wires in the same locations on the new outlet.

  1. Connect white wires to the new outlet

White Wires Connected

White wires connect to the silver screws.

  1. Connect black wires to the new outlet

Black Wires Connected

Black wires connect to the brass (gold color) screws.

  1. Screw the outlet to the box

Ungrounded Outlet

Push the wires in carefully and then push the outlet in the box and tighten the screws.

  1. Install the plate cover

New Outlet

  1. Turn the breaker back on and check for power at the outlet

Congratulations! That’s it, you are all done.

You can get all the tools and materials needed for this job at your local Home Depot. I linked to each product in the “Tools and Materials” section above.

 

The Home Depot Logo

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