How to Change an Electric Outlet at Home
You will need pointed electric pliers, a screwdriver and a roll of electric tape. As usual the first thing to do is to cut the electricity to the area where you will be working. Go to the electric panel and throw off the required circuit breaker, to make sure it is off, turn off the complete panel. Now go to the outlet you want to change and plug in a lamp or something to make sure there is no electricity flowing into it. The electricity is off and now you can work at ease without any danger.
Take a look at your new switch; it should have two identical screws on each side and another green, smaller screw in one of the ends. The green, smaller screw is the ground screw. Remove the cover from the old outlet and remove the two screws keeping it attached to the electric box in the wall. Take a good, slow look at how and where the electric wires are attached to it. Especially identify the ground wire which cannot be confused or exchanged for any of the electric wires.
Loosen the green screw with the screwdriver and remove the wire with the pliers. Stretch it and clean it with the knife, to improve electricity flow, it should be clean and shiny. Connect the wire to the ground screw on the new switch and tighten it all the way making sure it is wound tight around the screw’s base. Now proceed to do the same with each of the other wires connected to the old switch. Do them one by one and make sure you are connecting them on the same screws they were on the old switch.
When all the wires are on the new switch, make sure all the screws are tight and the wires are under the screw’s head completely. Take the electric tape and put a couple of turns around the sides of the outlet making sure that the screws are covered with tape. This will prevent electricity lose and contact between the electric box in the wall and the outlet screws and wire tips. Take a good look at the job you have just finished and when satisfied put the outlet back into the box and screw it in place. Put the new cover on, you have done a great job, congratulations!
Electricity is not dangerous if you work slowly and thoroughly. Electricians charge a lot of money for doing jobs like this because most people are afraid of electricity and do not know how simple a job like this is. I am sure that you never stand beside the electrician when he is doing a job like this because you have other things to do so it is hard to find out how easily he makes his money on this kind of job. From now on you can do it yourself as long as you are careful and remember to turn off the electricity first.