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How To Change A Socket

Quick How To Change A Socket

If you need to change a broken electrical plug socket, then we have a super quick how to change a socket guide which will help demystify the steps to changing a socket outlet

how to change a socket

How To Change An Electrical Socket Outlet

Total Time Taken 15 minutes

Turn Power Off To Sockets

When working DIY, it is much safer to turn the entire supply to the property off at the main switch. This is because unless you have specialist testing equipment which can be quite expensive, you should never assume that the power to any item is OFF, simply because the switch tells you.

At this point, locate your electrical fuse board or consumer unit. This is generally located close to the electric meter, possibly opposite it on an internal wall.

Locate the main switch & turn off. It should be pretty obvious when the power is off, all appliances will turn off and so will any lights.

** SAFETY: Note that even isolating the main switch cannot always be relied upon to turn the power off. You should always test any electrical cable is dead before attempting electrical work **

Unscrew Faceplate on Existing Socket

How To Change A Socket - Wakefield Trusted Traders

This is usually achieved best with a small thin ended flat head screwdriver.

Unscrew both securing screws at either side of the faceplate on the existing socket. Once these have been removed you can remove the socket outlet from the wall by gently easing the socket out.

TOP TIP: The securing screws can sometimes get very tight in the backbox and removal may be difficult. If the screw goes tight when removing, don’t be afraid to gently screw it back in and then out again rather than carrying on and breaking the lugs off the backbox

Disconnect Cables From Terminals

How To Change A Socket - UK Socket Swap How To

At this point, when the socket outlet is pulled forward, you should be able to access the cable terminations from within. This is an important step when considering how to change a socket

These, again, are usually best removed with a high-quality flat headed screwdriver. Be careful not to slip with the screwdriver and injure yourself if the screws are tight.

Be aware that it can be difficult to hold the socket steady and unscrew at the same time. Always ensure that the screwdriver is pointing away from your body and face in case you slip. These can be really sharp and easily injure your hands and worse if nearby.

Try not to unscrew the terminals too far as this may mean that you loose the terminal screws themselves.

When the cables are loose, gently remove them from the socket out and free the outlet itself.

Fit New Socket To Cables

Changing A Socket - A How To Guide

The next step in how to change a socket outlet is to fit the new socket to the existing cables in the wall.

This step is really important to get right, if you get any of the connections the wrong way round this can be very dangerous.

You should have Live, Neutral and ‘Earth’ wires.
Live wires should be Red or Brown
Neutral wires should be Black or Blue
& ‘Earth’ should be green and yellow (sometimes solid green on really old cables)

Screw Socket Faceplate Back to Wall

How To Change A Socket - A Full Guide To Changing A UK Socket

The new socket faceplate should come with a pair of new screws. Frustratingly, these can sometimes be too short to reach the lugs of the backbox. This is especially a problem where the plaster is particularly thick or tiles are fitted.

This particular issue is best resolved by re-using the original screws in the new socket. Obviously if they were long enough before, then chances are they will fit the new socket.

This is why it is best to be really careful and read the full how to change a socket guide before embarking on this and being rough with the old screws.

For best effect, make sure that both screws are parallel to each other to ensure they look symmetrical.

Hopefully this quick guide in how to change a socket should have helped you understand what is involved.

This is just a really quick run down of what is actually involved if an electrician were to complete this work (electricians would also complete a quick test on the socket to ensure it is connected properly – this requires costly testing equipment)

We understand this sort of thing is not for everyone, and if you have read the above how to change a socket guide, and are still not 100% sure that you are confident, please call Wakefield Trusted Trades, a local Wakefield Electrician you can trust to get the job done

If you’d like to see more DIY guides along the lines of how to change a socket then we have a whole list of DIY building and construction tips.