Outlet Faults And Repair Methods: How To Repair An Outlet Yourself

A malfunctioning socket is one of the most unpleasant situations for the owner because it requires almost immediate intervention. To fix all socket faults, you can call an electrician or use your own hands. The second option is more economical, but without electrical knowledge is more dangerous. Don't you agree?

We'll tell you how to replace or repair an electrical outlet with your own hands. We have a detailed description of the process of carrying out the work. On the basis of our recommendations even a person who is not familiar with wiring can cope with this job.

For a better understanding of the information we have included useful diagrams, photo collections and video instructions.

The contents of the article:

  • Basic signs of a faulty outlet
    • Initial inspection of the outlet
    • Related contact system
    • Differences between the two electrical standards
    • No more voltage
  • Preparing to repair the outlet yourself
    • Tool kit to repair the outlet
    • To repair the outlet yourself
    • Tightening loose contacts
    • Wiring a new socket
  • Repairing a socket which has fallen out of the wall
    • Additional tools for socket repair
    • How to carry out the repair
  • Conclusion and useful video on the subject

The main signs of a defective socket

Every person has faced real-life situations Every person in his life has experienced situations when a household appliance is switched on and strange things start to happen.

A strange crackling sound, a slight smoke or a bright flash, followed by a complete loss of light in the room, are among them. Malfunctions are also indicated by a melted housing and an unpleasant smell of burning.

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Faulty connection - guarantee of proper operation

Faulty connection to the mains

Flammable situation due to overloading

Breakage and damage or deterioration of conductor insulation

In these cases, the fuses of the appliance can be damaged together with the socket, The wiring can be damaged and even the microcircuits in the household appliance can burn out. In most cases, it is possible to protect against the consequences of a short circuit by means of the automatic protection in the switchboard.

But you should not rely 100% on it, because the automatic, like other devices, tends to wear out and burn out.

If you find a fault in the socket, it is absolutely necessary to immediately remove the load by unplugging the appliance from the mains and proceed to troubleshoot and solve the problems.

Outlet Faults and Repair Methods: How to Repair an Outlet Yourself

Whether or not the fault occurred, immediately take measures to remove the source of the damage and replace the socket

To verify that the socket is really damaged, the first thing to do is to connect an appliance to which there is the slightest doubt as to its correct functioning.

If a normally functioning light fixture, for example, does not operate normally when connected to this point, measures must be taken to repair the fault.

Outlet Faults and Repair Methods: How to Repair an Outlet Yourself

A melted socket must be replaced. In the case of a melted socket due to lack of technical capacity, a device with the required characteristics is replaced

Initial inspection of the socket

There are several options to determine the type of malfunction in the socket. The very first is a visual inspection of the front of the receptacle for external defects.

Since the front of the receptacle is made of plastic, there is a possibility of cracks in use. More serious damage could include traces of soot or melted holes in the connector.

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Melting of plug due to sparking of electrical outlet

Check for faulty connection to another outlet

Lack of contact due to due to mismatched plug

Interconnection of the socket to prolong the service life

The melting of the socket has three main causes:

  • The load current is above the capacity of the appliance or wiring. When power current flows through a channel that is narrow to it, its density naturally increases. As a consequence, the load increases, then overheating occurs. In these cases, the socket must be replaced with a new appliance with suitable characteristics.
  • The insulation of the conductors in the connection area of the socket mechanism is damaged. This is caused by failure to install the appliance correctly, by cuts and damage to the insulation caused by carelessness. The melted socket must be replaced by a device with equivalent characteristics, not forgetting to remove the damaged sections of wire.
  • Trouble with the contacts. They could be trivial oxidized or weakened. The problem is solved by stripping or tightening.

Besides visual problems with the output, there are a couple of ways to determine the fault with the unit connected. Consider them below.

Outlet Faults and Repair Methods: How to Repair an Outlet Yourself

A common cause of outlet burnout is mechanical damage to the contacts. Most often it is the result of incorrect assembly

Defective contact system

In the case of any socket, two copper plates can be found. They have semicircular bends for the socket plug. The principle of operation of these plates is perfectly simple. When a household appliance is plugged into the mains socket, the plates will press the edges of the plug firmly together.

Respectively, after many cycles of disconnecting and reconnecting the plug to the socket, the plates may bend away from each other. This makes the plug weaker and weaker each time.

Outlet Faults and Repair Methods: How to Repair an Outlet Yourself

A loose screw does not allow the contact sockets to hold the appliance plug well, therefore the brass blades must be moved

As an option to correctly diagnose the problems, you can take the plug from any household appliance and insert it only halfway into the socket. In case the cord does not fall out, the probability that the contact has remained intact is very high.

The second way is to plug audio speakers or a lamp into the socket, after which you should wiggle the plug. If interference occurs in this case, the socket must be replaced as soon as possible, because the copper contact plates inside are simply bent.

Outlet Faults and Repair Methods: How to Repair an Outlet Yourself

The light from the light fitting has begun to blink or has disappeared when the plug is moved, a sure sign that the socket must be replaced

Detecting this kind of fault, allows you to correct the failure in time, spending much less time and money and avoiding accidental ignition.

A fairly common case of damage and subsequent malfunctioning of the power plug is the mishandling of the plug of household appliances. If the appliances are handled carelessly, it is possible to pull the wire of the appliance incorrectly and trouble will occur when the socket along with the plug simply falls out of the wall.

Differences in the two electrical standards

The combined operation of sockets and plugs of two standards at a couple of dozen watts load is quite acceptable practice. But when the power consumption increases, even to the manufacturer's recommended requirements, differences in designs and details can lead to failure of mains plugs or plugs.

The thicker electrodes of the European standard plugs move the brass blades much more apart in the socket of the Soviet model socket. The springs are stretched and this causes the contacts to heat up over time.

Indeed, the standard socket has no recesses in the housing, like the Euro style plug. The plug is not fully inserted in this type of socket, which can lead to unpredictable contact with the electrodes or a short circuit.

Voltage no longer

An equally common scenario of socket failure. When any household appliance is plugged in - nothing happens, it does not work because there is no voltage. This is confirmed by checking with tools equipped with an indicator. Most likely, it is a broken supply wire.

Outlet Faults and Repair Methods: How to Repair an Outlet Yourself

One of the reasons for the lack of voltage in the socket can trivially be the switch in OFF mode, through which the phase to the socket (+)

Preparing to repair the socket with your hands

After a visual inspection and finding out the exact causes of the fault, you can start preparing to repair. First of all, let's tune in, stop panicking, worrying and getting nervous. Determination and calmness are the weapons you need for a successful repair.

Next, you must turn off the circuit breakers and circuit breakers on the meter by turning them from ON/ON to OFF/OFF. Unscrew the fuses and circuit breakers.

Do this carefully so as not to accidentally touch the live parts with your hand. This can completely de-energize the room. It is important also to check the presence of voltage in the socket that needs to be repaired. With a screwdriver.

Toolkit for repairing sockets

To leave only good impressions after repairs, you should have a tool at hand for everything.

Repairing, replacing, and remodeling outlets is much easier to accomplish with tools like:

  • indicator screwdriver to determine phase, presence of voltage in the mains;
  • cross and flat screwdrivers;
  • pliers or pliers;
  • vinyl tape for insulation;
  • sharp knife;
  • soldering iron (in some cases).

One important point is that the handles of pliers, screwdrivers and other tools used must be insulated or rubberized. This prevents accidental electric shock.

To repair the socket yourself

After checking the voltage it is time to start the repair. With a screwdriver, unscrew the bolt that is located in the center of the socket. This allows you to remove the socket cover and gain access to the stuffing. Check the condition of the contacts. If the copper has a greenish tint, this is a sign of oxidation, if it is gray or black, it indicates a bad contact.

Outlet Faults and Repair Methods: How to Repair an Outlet Yourself

You can distinguish the cores by their color. The most popular way is this: zero - blue cable, phase - red/white, ground cable - green/yellow

How to correctly fix such a socket? For example, when the contacts are dark in color - they need to be stripped. To do this, a nail file is usually used, but you can use sandpaper. There are situations where the metal in certain places has become much thinner, and on the contacts themselves there are through holes. In this case the socket should already be replaced.

Tighten loose contacts

After removing the socket from the wall, tighten all fasteners, screws and contacts with a suitable screwdriver. If the wire or terminals have an abnormal color, sooting, you can use a sharp knife and clean them to shine.

Seriously charred wires must be replaced with a new section or simply cut off (if there is sufficient length to spare). Any wire connections and stranding should be insulated with vinyl tape. A receptacle whose contacts are broken cannot be repaired and must be completely replaced.

In general, the plug enters the mains connector under a certain pressure. This is ensured by well-fitting one to the other contacts. If not, we deal with this problem.

After that, it is necessary to check how securely the wires are connected directly to the socket. If necessary, tighten them, but not too tight. They should not jerk or fall out. Each bare wire that is brought to the socket should be well covered with electrical tape.

Outlet Faults and Repair Methods: How to Repair an Outlet Yourself

The mounting \"tendrils\" of the socket, once inserted in the plastic socket, will keep the socket from popping out for a long time

What should you do if the whole socket is slipping from side to side? The solution to this malfunction is quite simple. It is necessary to tighten the set screws on the left and right side. If you tighten them well and correctly, the socket will sit in its place.

Wiring the new socket

First of all, the power wire is connected to the contacts. To do this properly, you should strip 5-10 mm of insulation from the wire that will carry the current. The bare part of the wire must be inserted in the terminal and tightened well with a screw.

Do not overdo it when tightening the screw, otherwise it will cause the wire to be crushed and, at worst, torn.

There are two ways to connect the wire: quickly or securely. A solid connection means that the ends of the stripped wires will be bent into a small diameter ring (4-5 mm). Only then should they be inserted into the terminals and tightened. The fast connection provides a simple connection, without twisting.

The fast connection method requires much more time, but is compensated by several advantages, for example:

  • the contact is stronger;
  • the contact is much less heated because the contact area of the conductive contact is much higher.

Wiring a grounded socket is not much different from a non-grounded installation. The wire, most often green, is connected to the ground terminal. Before connecting it is worthwhile to make sure that this wire is really the ground wire.

Outlet Faults and Repair Methods: How to Repair an Outlet Yourself

The wire with several cores may also be tinned before connection. A soldering iron can be used for this

The next step is to install the appliance in the socket. The working part is installed after all wires have been fully connected. The installation takes place on the same level as the wall, without any misalignments or protrusions. All wires must be neatly twisted and hidden in the socket.

The socket is secured in the correct position by means of special clamping clamps. They can be adjusted by means of screws. If these are tightened, the receptacle can be fixed from the inside by means of the clamps.

If your receptacle does not have clamps, then it is a new style appliance which is fixed in the receptacle with the clamping screws provided for this purpose. The last step is to screw on the cover.

Outlet Faults and Repair Methods: How to Repair an Outlet Yourself

Turn on the cover after having successfully installed the socket; the working part must screw firmly into the socket

Repair a socket that has fallen off the wall

Failure of this kind is not a pleasant reward for careless use of household appliances.

There are two most common ways to get out of such a situation: short-term or long-term:

  • The first way involves twisting the petals much harder than usual. This allows the product to remain in its place for some time and serve faithfully.
  • The long-lasting method requires much more time, as well as, tools and new devices.

The main reason the socket will fall out of the wall is precisely the non-working petals. The solution in this case is to upgrade the fitting.

Advanced tools for replacing the socket

You will need:

  • a 68x45 mm mounting box;
  • plaster;
  • a construction knife;
  • plastic primer;
  • spatula;
  • tools that have been described above.

Before starting work, it is necessary to de-energize the room and warn other people who are likely to be able to re-energize the circuit breaker. If this is not possible, be sure to put up a sign saying \"Repair work in progress.\"

Beginning the restoration work

Dismantling the socket and the old wiring box, be sure to mark each wire with a marker. Remove all plugs and self-tapping screws. This will ensure free access to the wires in the box.

The bottom of the box should also be removed, as the dimensions of the box often do not match the dimensions of the holes in the wall. A box without a bottom is easy to trim, but should not be deformed by compression.

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Disassembly of a socket that is loose in the socket

Fitting sub-socket in place

Fitting the mounting box to the socket

Fitting the trimmed sub-socket to the socket

Positioning the plaster fixing compound

Fixing the sub-rosetter to the bonding compound

Installing and fixing the socket mechanism

Installing the frame and the faceplate

The socket must be so the socket so that it sits firmly and stably in the wall. To do this, the hole is primed. Then plaster is diluted in water and this mixture is applied to the hole and the gaps are sealed with a spatula.

The mounting box is inserted there. After 15 minutes, when the plaster has set it securely, you can begin the process of installing the inside of the new socket and begin connecting the wiring. The final step is to install the front panel.

Conclusions and a helpful video on the subject

Video #1. Installing a new outlet and removing the old one:

Video #2. How to properly replace a burned out socket:

Video #3. A step-by-step guide to replacing a socket from a professional electrician:

Video #4. How to quickly and efficiently change the socket with your own hands:

If the trouble with the power points caught you unprepared, and the process of its repair of the socket will take place for the first time, it is important to remember to observe complete calmness. Be sure to de-energize the room and if necessary eliminate the fire.

Perform the repair and installation work with complete concentration and caution. If you are not satisfied with the results of the work or if you feel that you are not confident in the success of the work done, immediately contact a professional electrician with experience. Don't skimp on safety!

Would you like to share your personal experience gained during the repair of the socket with your own hands? Did you have any questions while reading the information provided? Please write your comments.

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