More and more of the devices that homeowners rely on for convenience and entertainment each day require access to an electrical charge. If you have cell phones, tablets, and other devices that charge using a USB cord, it can be beneficial to have outlets with a dedicated USB connection in order to avoid having these electrical devices monopolize the outlets in your home.
Swapping out your existing outlets for ones with a USB port is a simple way to add to the convenience of your home. Here are three easy steps to follow to ensure you are able to complete this simple electrical task safely and efficiently.
Step #1: Cut the power to the outlet's circuit.
Each of the outlets in your home is connected to a circuit that allows electricity to travel to the outlets. Before you begin installing a new outlet with a USB port, you need to ensure there is no power being delivered to the outlet you are working on in order to avoid electrocution.
Identify the circuit on which the outlet lies, then switch this circuit to the "off" position on your home's circuit panel. You should always use a voltage tester to check the outlet for an electrical current (even after the circuit is switched off) before you begin the replacement process.
Step #2: Remove the existing outlet.
Once you have ensured there is no electricity running through the outlet, you can begin to remove the existing outlet. Use a screwdriver to remove the protective plate from the outlet, then unscrew the outlet from its metal frame.
Gently pull the outlet free from the metal frame, and locate the screws holding the copper ground wire, the neutral wire, and the hot wire in place. Loosen these screws to free the wires from the outlet.
Step #3: Attach the new USB outlet.
After the old outlet has been removed, you can begin to attach the wires to your new USB outlet. Use the screws located on the side of the new outlet to attach the ground, neutral, and hot wires.
Loosen the screws slightly, wrap the exposed portion of each wire around the screw that corresponds with that wire, then tighten the screw a little to ensure a proper connection. Place the outlet into the metal frame, attach it to the frame with a couple of screws, then cover the entire outlet with the protective plate.
Being able to replace your existing outlets with outlets that feature a USB port allow you to customize your home to meet the unique needs of your electrical devices.