How to Replace Outlets With Upgraded USB Outlets

How to Replace Outlets With Upgraded USB Outlets
  • Opening Intro -

    In today's technologically advanced world, USB cables are almost as numerous as social media updates.

    While these cables are useful for charging various devices, they do suffer from one major drawback: they can't plug into a regular outlet.


If you’re tired of hunting for your charging adapter every time you need to charge your phone, you’ll want to keep reading to learn how to replace a standard outlet with a USB combo outlet.

Check Behind the Current Outlet

Before you can purchase and install a new outlet, you’ll need to know what type of space you have behind the current outlet. If you have a small receptacle box behind your outlet, then you’ll either need to ensure the new outlet fits in the receptacle box or ensure that you have space to install a larger receptacle box.

Since many USB outlets come with smart sensors to ensure the right voltage is going through your outlet per the device you plug in, they tend to be larger than your basic three-prong outlet. Thus, checking the space behind your outlet is imperative.



Choose Your Outlet

Since USB charging is so common, there are a variety of USB outlets available. Some outlets only require you to remove an existing outlet’s faceplate to make the change. However, it’s more likely that you’ll benefit from or need to completely replace the receptacle.

Other outlets need to be switched out by removing the electrical wires from the old outlet and installing them on the new one. Although this second type of outlet takes additional work to install, the advantage is that the outlet will be flush with the wall just like your existing outlet.

Turn Off the Power

The most important step of all residential electrical installs is to turn off the power to the affected fixtures. After you turn off the power at the breaker box, you’ll want to test the outlet you’ll be replacing with a voltmeter to ensure that it’s truly dead.

If the light in the room where you’re working is on the same circuit, you’ll need to make sure to bring in some temporary lighting so that you can see exactly what you’re doing during the replacement process.

Make the Change

To change the outlet, first, remove the existing outlet’s faceplate. Then, remove the screws holding the outlet in place. Next, loosen the screws holding the electrical wires in place, noting the placement of the individual wires on the outlet.

After that, install the new outlet by attaching the electrical wires in the same positions as they were on the old outlet. Finally, screw the outlet into place and install the new faceplate.

Test the Outlet

It’s important to note that not all USB outlets are equal in quality. That’s why it’s important to test your new outlet by charging various devices to ensure you don’t notice any smoke, sparks, or unusual smells coming from the outlet.

Another sign of a problem is if the circuit breaker continually trips when you plug something into the outlet. If you experience any of these problems, your best bet is to call a professional electrician.

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Don’t Rush It

Even simple do-it-yourself tasks like changing an outlet can quickly turn dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. When it comes to electrical work, you must remember that you don’t get extra points for finishing quickly.

Take your time so that you can avoid injury and enjoy your useful new electrical outlet.

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Categories: Plumbing and Wiring

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