Throughout the years of having cords being plugged into them, outlets can eventually break. Common signs that point to a broken outlet include burn marks on the plastic, cords not being able to fit directly in, and a lack of electricity. It's best to replace an outlet if any of these signs exist, and you can do so in just a few steps.
Step 1: The first thing you should do is the most obvious — turn of the power before working on an electrical outlet. Now you can unscrew the plastic faceplate from the wall. Once that is removed, unscrew the actual outlet box from the wall.
Step 2: Next, unscrew the wires connecting to the outlet. Look at the wires and make sure they are not damaged and that the damage lies within the broken outlet. You can now cut the exposed wire off because you should ideally connect a new outlet with a fresh piece of the wire. Strip about an inch of the wire insulation off, exposing a new piece of wire.
Step 3: Insert the new wires into the holes where the old wires once lied. Tighten those screws so the wires are secured tightly; for added insurance you can wrap the outlet in electrical tape.
Step 4: You can now screw the outlet itself back into the wall. Proceed to screw the plastic faceplate back on top of it.
Step 5: Head over to the circuit breaker and turn the power back on for that outlet. You can test the new outlet with a voltage tester, which should read around 120 volts.
Replacing an outlet can usually be done with just a few simple steps. If you're having trouble with replacing an outlet, or with the electrical wiring of the house, rely on the experts at Lancaster Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electrical. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (717) 207-9952.