How to Rewire an Outlet

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How to Rewire an Outlet. Whether your electrical outlet is damaged from an overloaded circuit or you're just upgrading to a newer model, rewiring a unit yourself can save time and money. Here are some simple techniques you can employ.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill or screwdriver
  • Replacement outlet

Determine what type of outlet will be rewired. Some outlets are of the two-pronged variety, which are not grounded units, whereas others contain GFIs (ground-fault interrupters) and are grounded. Both are similarly wired.

Disconnect power to any unit you work on. Shut off the power at the main circuit panel to the individual outlet or to your entire home. If you don't know how to do this, contact the local electric company immediately or hire a qualified electrician.

Unscrew the faceplate of the electric outlet. Use a drill or screwdriver to back the screw out. Most faceplates use one flathead screw at the center of the plate.

Locate the top and bottom screws of the outlet unit. Remove these two screws and gently pull the unit from the electrical outlet box. This step will result in the unit being held in place by several wires.

Label each wire to its corresponding place on the outlet receptacle. Unscrew each wire and remove plug.

Install the new outlet plug, rewiring it in reverse order as it was removed. Connect each wire. White wires are generally screwed to a silver screw. Black wires are attached to the brass colored terminals. Locate the green grounding wire and attach it to the green screw.

Reattach the outlet plug unit by sliding it back into place and securing it with its two top and bottom screws. Affix the faceplate to the unit with the one center screw.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take the time to inspect the inside of the outlet box while it is opened. Remove any debris or dust that may have accumulated.
  • Ensure that no exposed wires are touching the side of the outlet box.
  • Always exercise extreme caution when working with electricity. Make certain that you have disconnected the power to the outlet circuit or to the entire house before undertaking any electrical project.

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