A situation where an electrical socket fails is not uncommon and requires professional intervention. But with a competent approach to solving the issue, it is not necessary to resort to the help of specialists at all.
What nuances to consider when replacing the old connection point with a new one and how to change the socket by your own efforts let's consider in detail.
The contents of the article:
- The principle of replacing sockets
- Step-by-step removal instructions
- Installing a new connection point
- Steps for working with an outdoor device
- Selecting the necessary materials
- Replacing or assembling the socket
- Wiring the mechanism to the cores
- Conclusions and a useful video on the topic
The principle of replacing sockets
It is usual to fail those sockets that are used the most.
There can be many reasons for having an outlet redone. These are:
- malfunctioning of the connection point, for example when the body of the device melts or the socket falls out of the wall;
- to improve the electrical equipment;
- for a change of design from a trivial aesthetic point of view.
In all cases the socket must be replaced in strict accordance with the SNIP regulations.
When you replace the socket yourself you will not only be able to solve the problem as quickly as possible but also save the costs
Never mind the reason, it is important to take into consideration a few basic factors when choosing the power supply unit:
- Matching the connection point. The operating characteristics of the socket being installed must correspond exactly to the room specific requirements. For example, kitchens and bathrooms should be fitted with units with a higher degree of protection. Read more about how to choose such a socket.
- Wiring method. When installing sockets, both open and closed mounting methods are used. For each of these versions, the radio market offers a wide range of flush-mounted and surface-mounted sockets.
- Aesthetic qualities.The wide range of equipment available in a wide range of colors allows the connection points to fit seamlessly into any interior style.
The type of network should be the focus in choosing and fitting the socket. For example, in a three-wire network with a common design you cannot do without a grounding contact.
But even if the house has a two-wire network, electricians still recommend using sockets equipped with grounding terminals. The main reason for this is that the metal inserts will reinforce not only the connection point but also the plug itself, thereby prolonging the life of the product.
Step-by-step instructions for removal
Working with electricity requires care and caution. It is important to follow safety procedures when dismantling and replacing an outlet. In this article, we'll talk about replacing an outlet in a two-wire network. But if you are interested in replacing the grounded socket, please refer to this article.
The first thing to do is to switch off the automatic circuit breaker in the apartment panel that energizes the line on which you wish to work
In blocks of apartments the panels with circuit breakers that cut off the power to the apartments are located in the staircase. It is necessary to locate the pack that corresponds to the apartment on the switchboard and then turn it to the upper \"off\" position.
If desired, it is possible to de-energize only one room in which the replacement will take place. But in order to do this, you need to know exactly which fuse is responsible for the corresponding line.
Since you will be temporarily without light when replacing the socket in a dark room or at dusk, you should take care of an alternative light source in advance. A battery-powered lantern or a lamp connected to another powered line is handy for illumination.
To make sure that there is no mains voltage, use the one-pole low voltage indicator, available as a screwdriver
Wires at the connection point are divided into phase and neutral strands. Touch the phase and neutral wires of the socket alternately with the screwdriver. If it is live, the light on the screwdriver will light up. It is safe to replace the connection point only if the indicator does not react when the probe touches the bare ends.
Disassembly of the socket is performed in this sequence:
- The housing of the old device is removed. A Phillips or flathead screwdriver is required to unscrew the center screw located on the cover. Under the removed cover you will see the working mechanism.
- Make sure that there is no voltage in the mains, proceed to remove the internal unit of the device. For this purpose the special spacer paws on the sides of the working board are unfastened. In some models the metal plate of the mechanism is fixed with two screws. They must be unscrewed.
- Selecting the socket from the socket as far as the wires allow, unscrew the clamping screws that fix the supply cables. The conductors in the unit are disconnected one by one.
When disassembling an outdoor socket, bear in mind that there are units with a mechanism that separates from the receptacle and models whose mechanisms are combined with surface-mounted receptacles. Both can be disassembled. Only in the first variant you must first remove the housing, and then disconnect the working body, but in models of the second type - remove only the housing.
In case the dismantling of the outlet for concealed wiring cover screw, unscrew it, you can go to the extreme measure - a precise, but not very strong blow with a hammer to crack it. The socket itself should be removed very carefully so as not to damage the cables that lead to it.
To loosen the struts, first unscrew the relevant screws and then pull the \"core\" from the wall by the freed wires
After removing the socket the insulation of the wires should be inspected. If the braid is melted or damaged, the wire should be cut to undamaged insulation. In the future, bear in mind that one of the main causes of melting of the insulation is the wrong rating of fuses or circuit breaker, leading to a malfunction of the protection device.
In older buildings, it is often found that after dismantling the socket it is found that the socket is missing in the recess, and the \"core\" is attached directly to its walls. You can not install the socket in this way: the fixing of the device will not be reliable. In this case a new plastic sub-socket has to be installed.
Installation of a new connection point
The schematics of electrical outlets are similar in almost all models. Therefore, no problems should arise with the installation of a new connection point.
Steps for the outdoor unit
The sequence of steps for the installation of overhead and concealed sockets is similar. However, it is better for the novice electrician to start with the overhead version:
Access to the fixture front panel
Hold the clips with a screwdriver
Disassembly of the socket into its parts
Disassembling the socket, Remember the sequence of operations and the sides according to which the parts were joined to make a complete unit. The assembly will have to be done in reverse order.
Layout the fixing screws
Housing fixing wall-mounted socket
Securing the entry hole
Hanging the power cable in the corrugation
Preparing the the cable to be connected
Hooking the wires to the mechanism
Installing the mechanism in its seat
Securing the housing of the connected socket
Selecting the necessary materials
You should prepare to replace the socket:
- wire cutter;
- cross or straight screwdriver;
- thermal shrink tubing;
- dielectric gloves;
- self-tapping screws.
It is also worth preparing in advance a multimeter or voltage indicator.
This instrument is indispensable for electrical measurements, including DC and AC voltage and current
If a situation occurs where the wire length is not sufficient, it can always be increased by attaching small sections.
But when extending, observe:
- Aluminum cables are extended with terminal blocks.
- Copper cables are extended by twisting the sections and insulating or soldering the connection.
When extending or replacing cables it is important to observe the cross sections. So, to connect the same washing machine, the power of which does not exceed 2 kW, it is sufficient copper three-core cable VVGng grade cross section of 3x1,5 mm2. At the entrance to the protection of such a cable is sufficient circuit breaker, rated current of 10A.
Planning to use the outlet to energize the same iron or hair dryer, is to consider the replacement of the wire on a copper three-core cable, but already cross-section 3x2,5 mm2 . But such a line would have to be replaced in the input circuit breaker rated at 16A.
Replacement or installation of a socket
First thing you disassemble the body of the new device, removing the front panel from it. The task of the craftsman is to fix the metal frame with the built-in working mechanism in its old place and connect the wires with the terminals.
When replacing an old-style socket, be prepared for the fact that the size of the socket will be slightly larger than the diameter of the plastic cup used in modern appliances.
The old style iron sockets \"sin\" in that the receptacle holders do not properly engage in the ribbed walls; the internal unit often falls out
In the new style plastic sockets, the problem of poor grip of the receptacle \"core\" is gone. Therefore, when remodeling a socket, it is advisable to remove the old metal socket and install a new plastic box in its place.
Plastic sockets designed for installation in plasterboard differ from their counterparts for installation in concrete and brick walls by the presence of two ears. With their help it is easy to fix the box on the reverse side of the drywall sheet.
If desired, you can upgrade a metal sub-case. Such a solution avoids the \"dirty\" work and \"wet\" procedures associated with plaster. In addition, this method is good because it allows the socket to sit \"dead\" in its place. The construction can be improved by using a standard sub-brush plate designed for concrete.
The jack is cut off the back wall and the front edge with a sharp knife so as not to cut the thread for attaching the switch insert
The resulting ring-shaped blank is inserted in the old metal jack, placing it so that the socket fixings align with the holes where everything is screwed. To fasten the plastic to the metal use small screws \"bug\". They are screwed in diagonally.
When replacing a metal socket with a plastic counterpart, take into account that the \"glass\" must be completely sunk into the niche.
If the jack does not fit fully into the hole, there are two solutions:
- cut the back of the jack by shortening it to the depth of the hole;
- expand and deepen the hole itself in the wall.
To firmly fix the jack, use plaster or alabaster mortar. To do this, the walls of the niche hole are moistened with water, and covered with a layer of plaster mortar. The same manipulation is done with the outer walls of the plastic subroutine, and then it is inserted into the hole in the wall.
As measured, the \"cup\" must fit into the hole; if it does not \"fit\" perfectly, the hole is widened and deepened
For the desired mortar consistency of thick sour cream, gradually dilute the powder in small portions in a container of water. To obtain a homogeneous mixture devoid of lumps, the gypsum is added to the water, but not vice versa.
When working with alabaster, keep in mind that its curing time varies within a few minutes. Therefore, the work should be done carefully but quickly.
Cement based mortar can also be used for fixing if desired.
The installed \"cup\" is cleaned of surplus mortar with a trowel and then levelled horizontally and vertically using a level
The socket must not protrude beyond the wall, otherwise the socket will protrude strongly, which would be extremely unsafe and also not very attractive. The two holes located on the outer edge of the \"cup\" must be exposed strictly horizontally.
The hole is made in the sub-rosetting from the input side of the electrical wires.
With a narrow trowel mortar filled voids and joints of the end part of the structure with the wall surface. After the mortar has set and gained the necessary strength, the wires are inserted and the indoor unit is installed. We also suggest to read our other article giving a more detailed description of the technology to install the sockets.
Wiring the mechanism to the cores
The socket mechanism is connected to the cores by inserting the ends into special terminals. As the \"phase\", \"neutral\" and \"earth\" wires must lie separately inside the box, but they share the same insulation in the cable, the first thing to do is to remove the flexible tube that surrounds them.
To do this, strip the insulation from the wires brought in and \"bite off\" the extra ends. However, experienced craftsmen recommend not \"biting off\" the excess wire, but leaving a \"reserve\" of 20 cm and hiding it in the walls of the socket.
To ensure perfect contact each wire is stripped of its \"personal\" insulation by stripping the ends by 7-10 mm
Work must be done very carefully to avoid damaging the fragile strands. If you do not have a cutter for stripping, you can use a sharpened kitchen knife or a penknife. Some craftsmen recommend that before stripping the braid, you warm it up a bit with a lighter flame.
The regulatory document PUE clearly states that the identification of wire strands by numerical designation or color is carried out according to the current GOST 50462-92.
The color marking for wires up to 1000V is as follows:
- \"phase\" - white braid (less often gray, red or black);
- ground worker \"N\" - blue (less often blue) braid color;
- protective conductor \"earth RE\" - yellow-green insulation.
When connecting wires to a new point, as with any electrical installation work, these requirements should be strictly observed.
To connect the indoor unit, insert the bare wire ends into the terminals: neutral wire to the left terminal, phase to the right terminal and PE to the centre
When working with old wiring using only white or black braided wire, it is advisable to test the supply wire before connecting it to a socket. In order to prevent the mistake of connecting the contacts, the phase wire is marked with a marker.
In order to prevent the core from warping, the screws are first tightened and then tightened alternately until they are securely fastened. In order to give elasticity to the structure and at the same time to prevent it from coming loose, a bolt is screwed in the center of the core.
The core with wired contacts is put in position, aligned horizontally and then screwed on top and bottom
Finally, only the panel is fitted. The cover is fixed with the central screw, taking care not to overtighten the mount so as not to \"tear\" the hole and damage the delicate material of the protective cover.
To check that the socket is securely fastened, a plug of an appliance is inserted into it. If the socket in the box is loose, you will have to remove the decorative panel again, and the bolts of the spacers screwed a little stronger.
Installing the cover in its original place, you can connect the power on the switchboard. After completing the connection, check the correctness of the connections in the installed socket with an indicator.
There are also several articles on our website that detail the repair and connection of different types of outlets:
- How to relocate a socket: Instructions for relocating an outlet
- Prevalent outlet malfunctions: how to repair an outlet with your own hands
- How to make two outlets from one outlet and how to properly wire an outlet from an outlet
- How to connect a double outlet: Installing a Double Socket in a Single Socket
Conclusions and a helpful video on the subject
A video with a clear demonstration and detailed explanation of how to properly rewire a socket:
Guide on how to correctly change a socket:
Changing a socket yourself is possible even for a novice craftsman. The main thing is to follow the safety instructions and strictly follow the steps above.
If you have ever changed or remade a socket yourself, please share your experience with our readers and tell them about the things you need to know about this work. Write your comments, ask questions about the topic of the article in the box below.