Replacing an outdated electrical outlet is not as difficult as you think, but there are important considerations to keep in mind before getting started with your new electrical outlet installation.
1. Consider the location of your New Electrical Outlet
The location of the outlet will affect its style and size. Outlets should always be installed in an accessible location that is easy to see and reach. To eliminate clutter, try to keep them at least 12 inches away from other outlets, light switches, or plug-ins. You should also be sure that all outlets in your home are consistent with each other so that you can easily replace them at any time.
2. What Outlet Is Currently Installed
The first step to replacing an electrical outlet is understanding what kind of outlet is currently installed. There are two main types of outlets: standard and GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter). A grounded outlet has three prongs (two vertical, one horizontal) while an ungrounded outlet just has two prongs (one vertical, one horizontal). You can tell if your outlet is grounded by looking at its plug — if there are three slots in the plug itself then it’s grounded, otherwise, it isn’t.
Hiring a licensed electrician is the best way to ensure your new electrical outlet is the correct one and is installed correctly.
3. Switching to Smart Outlets May Require Switching to a New Breaker Box
If you have an older house, you may have to replace the entire circuit breaker panel instead of just a single outlet. If you have older wiring in your house, it may be safer and less expensive to replace your whole circuit breaker panel than try to upgrade individual outlets. The same goes for replacing an old fuse box with modern circuit breakers. You’ll need to hire an electrician who can install and connect your new smart outlet or plug.
4. Make Sure your New Electrical Outlet is Installed up to Code
The first step in replacing an outlet is to make sure that it’s up to code — and this means more than just having the right wiring configuration. Here are a few things that will help ensure the project is up to code:
- Use outdoor grade wire for outdoors.
- Run the wire in a metal conduit (NOT PVC), and bury at least 12″ underground.
- Use wire that has been approved for wet locations if any part of the wiring will be exposed to water.
- Make sure the wire is attached with metal connectors, not plastic connectors.
Hire a Licensed Electrician for your New Electrical Outlet Installation!
If you’re adding a new electrical outlet to your home, it’s important to make sure that you do it correctly.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends using a licensed electrician if you’re planning to make major changes to your home’s electrical system.
So if you find yourself searching for commercial or residential electrical contractors near me, look no further than Mullin Plumbing, Inc. in Broken Arrow, OK. Our team of professional electricians can help you with any electrical project, whether you need to add an outlet to a wall or you need your entire home rewired by a licensed electrician, we’ve got you covered!