How to change a wall socket

How to change a wall socket in the safest way possible

You don’t need to be a qualified electrician to replace a socket. You can do this sort of minor electrical work without notifying your Local Authority Building Control Department, but the work must be done in accordance with the standards in the relevant Building and Electrical Regulations and you should consider having the work checked by a competent electrician to make sure it is safe.

An Electrical socket may be broken or become damaged if it overheats and scorches. If the problem is scorching it will usually have been caused by a loose connection in the socket or by loose connections in the plug. Don’t plug it back in without dealing with the problem, or it will just happen all over again.

  1. Firstly you should isolate the circuit (turn the power off for that plug socket) use a socket tester to double-check that it is actually dead. Unscrew the socket faceplate from the wall, keep the screws in case the new ones don’t fit.
  2. Loosen the terminal screws and free the cable cores. If the insulation is heat damaged, cut back the cores and strip the ends. Run green/yellow sleeving over the earth core if you find it bare.
  3. Connect the (old) red or (new) brown core or cores to the live terminal of the new faceplate, the (old) black or (new) blue core or cores to the neutral terminal and the earth core or cores to the earth terminal. Tighten the terminal screws fully. Fit the new faceplate. If the new screws don’t fit the lugs of the old box, use the original screws. When power is returned to the circuit, use the socket tester to check it is wired correctly.

If you do however change your own plug sockets, make sure you get somebody around who knows what they’re doing to make sure the plug sockets are safe to use. This could be a family friend, electrician or just someone you know.  Although if you have a busy schedule and you cannot do this yourself, for whatever reason. Then don’t hesitate to get into contact with us here


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