How to Change Out Electrical Outlets
Why is the power tripping off after I replaced my electric outlets? Common Mistakes When Replacing Electrical Outlets and How to Fix Them, Working with the Wiring and Electrical Outlet Box.
Electrical Question: Why is the power tripping off after I replaced my electric outlets?
- I’m changing all the outlets in my house, I’m stuck on the kitchen. I copied the wire configuration from old to new, but when I turn the power back on it keep tripping off.
- I didn’t use GFI Outlets, but I will purchase some since reading some posts on this site saying that it’s building code, even so I don’t understand why the breaker keeps tripping.
- I live in a old house and the previous outlets were not GFI either but they worked fine.
What is it that I’m missing?
This home electrical question came from: Raymond, from Edmonton, Canada.
Thanks for your electric wiring question Raymond.
Replacing Electrical Outlets
Application: Replacing a 120 Volt Receptacle Outlet.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate, Best if wired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of outlets that will be replaced.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Common Mistakes When Replacing Electrical Outlets and How to Fix Them
Working with the Wiring and Electrical Outlet Box
- Older homes typically have smaller outlet boxes with little room for the electrical wires and the new outlet.
- If the box is metal then often the terminal screws on the side of the outlet can come into contact with the sides of the box which can create a dead short circuit condition.
- It is helpful to wrap black electrical tape around the sides of the outlet and cover the screw terminals which will help avoid contact with the box.
- Care should be taken not to pinch electrical wires when mounting the outlet into the box and securing the screws.
Always turn OFF the electrical circuit before performing any electrical wiring or outlet or switch replacement.
More about Wiring Electric Outlets
Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home
- Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
- Electrical Wire for the Home
- Electrical Circuit Breakers
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
- A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
- Guide to Home Electrical Wire
Electrical Wire for the Home
- Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
- How to Install Kitchen Electrical Wiring
Kitchen Electrical Wiring
- Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Kitchen Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
- Wiring GFI Outlets
- GFCI and GFI Wiring Diagrams
The features and benefits of GFCI outlets and receptacles will give you a clear understanding of the importance why these safety devices are required by code to help protect you and your family against accidental electrical shock hazards.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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