ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

DIY How to change a 3 prong wall electrical outlet!

Updated on October 10, 2013

Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Relax, this is easy...

***These directions are for a 3-prong grounded outlet replacement.

At times electrical outlets in homes wear out, become outdated, go bad, break, have paint on them, etc… and need to be replaced. Replacing an electrical outlet is generally a simple task that one can do without the help of an electrician.

Most electricians will charge you $25.00 or more to replace an outlet in your home. Replace them on your own when you can.

Don’t let this task intimidate you. I must have changed out 30 when we bought our home, eventually I got lazy and didn’t even cut the power off when changing them. I did however get zotched a few times!

What you will need;

· An appliance such as a light, or voltage tester (to make sure the power is off)

· Wire cutters/pliers

· Electrical tape

· Flat and Phillips screwdrivers

· New parts, 3 prong new outlet and outlet cover


1. Gather your supplies

2. Locate your fuse box and turn off the power to the outlet(s) you will be replacing

3. Before beginning, use an appliance or electrical tester to make sure the power is in fact cut off.

4. Once you confirm the power is off, remove the outlet cover with the correct screwdriver. . As a side note; a way to view the outlet, before you remove from the wall you will see two parallel slots. With the ground pin on the bottom, the slot on the right is the hot pin. The slot on the left, which is longer, is the neutral pin.

5. Now remove the screws holding the outlet securely to the metal junction box.

6. Once those are removed, carefully pull the outlet out of the junction box it is secured in

7. You will see terminals on the back or sides of the receptacle. The brass/or black screw is the hot wire and the silver screw screw/or white is neutral, easy to remember that way. You will also see a copper wire, which is the ground wire. Once you determine hot/neutral, as well as ground locations, begin detaching the wires one at a time. Since the power is off, you can remove one and then replace it on the new outlet as you work so you do not get confused

8. Once all wires are attached to the new receptacle correctly, wrap a 2-3 inch piece of electrical tape around the portion of where the wires connect to the terminals, two layers of tape is fine, pay attention to cover the brass screws well. Doing this will help protect the wires and are an extra safety measure. This can prevent short ciruits if anyone ever jams things into the outlet the wrong way.

9. Replace the outlet/receptacle to the wall, attach with the securing screws back to the junction box.

10. At this point you should turn the power on and test the outlet.

11. If the power comes on when plugging your appliance in, congrats! You did a great job!

12. If it does not, turn off the power again and repeat steps 1-11.

13. Once everything is working as it should replace the outlet cover

14. DONE!

© 2013 Rebecca


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.