How to Change a Receptacle Plug

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You can change a receptacle, better known as a plug or electrical outlet, by yourself as long as you follow the correct steps to avoid electrical shock or the creation of hot spots. View a demonstration in this free video on home and garden repair.

Part of the Video Series: Home and Garden Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Chris Palmer. Welcome to Chris's Workshop. Today, we're going to change an electrical outlet or receptacle. Changing an electrical outlet is something that the handy homeowner can do for him or herself. It's a little bit dangerous working with the electricity. You need to be a little bit more careful than maybe you would be on a normal homeowner's type project. Make sure you turn the power off at the panel, obviously. Double check this. You can plug something in to the outlet and maybe it's a radio, something you can hear from the panel. So, when you hit that right switch you know you've hit the right one. Once you have the panel turned off you want to check both receptacle holes. Sometimes they're wired independently. There's two sources coming into that box. Once you've established that there's no power in that outlet, remove the faceplate with one screw in the middle, then remove the two screws that hold the receptacle to the box and gently pull the receptacle out and away and you still have your wires connected. Pay really close attention to what wires is connected to what location. Black is generally connected to the brass screw terminal. White wires are generally connected to the silver terminal and of course your groundwire connects to green. Gently disconnected those wires. Don't bend them too much. Treat them gingerly. You don't want a kink in the wire that can create a hot spot. Disconnect those wires. Remove the old receptacle and install the new receptacle by placing the wires in the exact position that you removed them. Make sure you have your plug in there the right way, the ground hole is on the bottom. Now you fold the wires instead of just pushing them back in there, fold the wires so they rest neatly inside the box. Reattach the receptacle to the electrical box and replace the cover. Turn the power back on and give it a test. It's worth buying a volt meter at the store. They're not too much money. You can test the voltage. Make sure you've got 120 in both parts of your receptacle. I'm Chris Palmer. Thanks for joining me. That's how you change out your electrical outlets.


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