Things can go wrong and electrical items can certainly get defective. If one of your electrical outlets seems to stop working, then it is always better to check and see whether the electrical appliance that is connected to it is working properly or not. Try out some other appliance at the same outlet and see if it works. If the result is still the same, then there is certainly something wrong with the outlet.
If you are planning on changing the outlet, better check the wiring before you go ahead or just call a local electrician. Normally, the wires that lead to the outlet will be number 14 and the fuse will be of 15amps. However, if the wires are number 12 then you will need a 20amps fuse. Sometimes, the outlet may get cracked. It is always recommended that you replace a cracked electrical outlet. Read on to know how to replace the damaged outlet with a new one.
- Check for Power: You need to start off by checking for power. First of all, turn off the power for the outlet in question from the breaker box. Use a voltage tester to confirm. If the tester proves that there is still current in the outlet, check the service panel and switch off the circuit that may power the same outlet. Test aging and only when it says that there is no current, proceed to remove the screws of the outlet plate. Make sure not to touch the terminals or wires and carefully pull out the receptacle.
- Check the Wires for Power Properly: It is quite possible that in a damaged receptacle, the wires may be powered even if the tester says otherwise. Touch the probes of the tester to the top pair screws of the terminus and then the bottom pair. However, if the wiring in your house is old and if both the wires are black, you will have to use a receptacle analyzer to confirm that the hot wire is connected to the brass and the neutral wire is indeed connected to the silver terminal.
- Snip and Re-Strip the Damaged Ends of the Wire: Once you are 100% sure that there is no power in the wires, unscrew the terminals and pull away from the wires properly. However, do not make the mistake of twisting them too much. If you notice that a specific wire end is damaged or nicked or even if it appears to be twisted several times, better snip the end off and re-strip it
Install the Brand-New Receptacle: Wire the new receptacle just like the old one was. The white wires will be connected to the silver terminals and the black wires to the brass terminals. Make sure to wrap with electrical tape to cover up all bare wires and terminals. Push the outlet back in the box gently. Tighten the mounting screws and check to see that the receptacle is straight. Replace the cover plate and restore the power. Check with the voltage tester once everything is done to see is everything is working properly.