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How to Install a USB Outlet

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How to Install a USB Outlet

Installing an outlet with a USB wall outlet is a great way to cut down on clutter and modernize your home. Installing one is easier than you think. Before starting any electrical wiring project, disconnect power by switching off the circuit breaker in your electrical panel box. When choosing your outlet, take into consideration what kind of power you’ll need. Most tablets require more power than a smartphone, and higher power rated outlets charge faster than lower rated ones. Be sure to read outlet specs and select one that best suits your needs.

How to Install a USB Outlet

  1. Step1_PowerOff

    Before starting any electrical wiring project, it’s essential that you turn off the power for the circuit you’ll be working on. You’ll do this in your home’s electrical panel box. Once you determine the circuit specific to your project, shut off the power at the circuit breaker, then use a plug-in or proximity tester to confirm the power’s off. This is an important step for your safety.

  2. Step2_RemoveOldOutlet

    Using your screwdriver, remove the outlet cover. Next, remove the mounting screws and gently pull the plug receptacle from its box while making sure not to touch any wires. Confirm once again that the power is off before touching any connecting screws or wires. Mark each individual screw and wire with tape or a marker to identify its original connection.

  3. Step3_WhiteWires1

    Release the white, neutral wires by turning the silver-colored screws to the left — counterclockwise — to loosen. Once you’ve disconnected them, attach the white wires to your new plug receptacle. Retighten the screw to make sure you have a secure electrical connection.

  4. Step4_BlackWires

    Loosen the brass-colored screws to release the black, hot wires by turning the screws counterclockwise to the left. Please note that while all wires are potentially dangerous, black wires are particularly dangerous as they carry power for all circuits. All black wires should be considered live. As such, when removing them, carefully separate the wires and position them so the bare ends do not touch anything. Once again, retighten the screw to make sure you have a secure electrical connection.

  5. Step5_GroundWire2

    You’ll now connect the ground wire, also known as a grounded wire, to your new outlet. This will protect electronic devices charging in your new outlet from overvoltage. The ground wire may be bare or it may be covered in green insulation.

    If your old outlet box is metal, the ground wire may be connected to it. If so, loosen the green-colored screw to release it. Then connect the wire to the new receptacle, positioning the bent loop under the screw head and tighten until the screw pulls the wire in around itself. Give the screw a final, firm twist, to make sure you have a secure electrical connection.

  6. Step6_InstallPlug

    Double check all newly connected wires to ensure they’re snug and secure. Carefully push the outlet back into the wall, making sure not to disconnect or pinch any wires. Then use the supplied screws, or longer ones, if required, to attach your new outlet to the wall.

  7. Step7_TestOutlet

    Turn the circuit for your new outlet back on, then use a plug-in tester to test it. Once your reader indicates that it’s fully functioning, screw in your new outlet cover. You’ve successfully installed a functional USB wall outlet.

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