Clever Dudes Are Self Reliant

CleverDudes Are Self-Reliant: Changing An Electrical Outlet

electrical outlet, changing an outlet, self-reliant

The piece of plastic had been stuck in the outlet on the side of our kitchen island for years. It only affected one of the plugins in the outlet, and we have an abundance of outlets in our kitchen, so fixing it just never was a priority, until I heard my wife utter words that conjure up feelings of inadequacy in any self-respecting husband/handyman.

“I’m going to call an electrician to change that outlet.”

There was no way I was going to let some electrician in my home to change a $3 outlet. I got to work immediately.

Step 1: Determine The Outlet You Need

I went down to our basement to inspect the fuse box. I found the circuit clearly labeled, “Kitchen” and noted that it was a 20amp circuit. I then went to the hardware store and picked up a 20amp replacement outlet.


Step 2: Turn off the Electricity

I returned to the fuse box and flipped the switch opening the circuit, which turned off the electricity to the kitchen. I plugged something into the good plugin on the outlet to ensure the power was off. Safety first!

Step 3: Remove The Old Outlet

Using a screwdriver, I removed the faceplate and pulled the outlet from the socket. I then carefully removed the colored wires from the outlet.


Step 4: Install The New Outlet

I connected the wires to the new outlet exactly as they had been connected to the old one. I put it back into the socket, and screwed the faceplate back on.

Step 5: Turn the Electricity On

Back to the basement! I flipped the switch and turned the juice back on. I could hear the microwave beeping as I walked up the stairs. Once I set the clocks on the microwave and range, I was ready to test my handy work. I plugged my cell phone charger into each of the plugins of the outlet ensuring that my phone recognized that it had a power connection.


Electricity can be scary to some, but replacing an outlet is easy if you follow the proper steps. Calling an electrician to do a simple repair will run you $80 or more for an hour (rounded up) of their time. I installed it for about $3, and the most time consuming thing was going to the hardware store.


It pays for a Cleverdude to be self-reliant! Check these articles:

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Brought to you courtesy of Brock

**Note:  This article was changed to correct the rating on the kitchen circuit from 15amp to 20amp.

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • Good work, except that you should not have installed a 20-amp breaker on a 15-amp circuit. It’s a violation of code to install an outlet that can draw more amperage than the circuit is rated for. Now that you’ve gotten practice, you may want to have another go at it, this time with a 15-amp outlet.

  • I did the same on all of our light switches and plan to do so on our outlets. Our home was built during a code change though and I need to see if I have 3-wire connected to 2-wire outlets or if I need to rewire.

  • @MoneyBeagle BAH, typo. That’s what I get for not performing one last proofread. I had originally written the post before I did the actual swap, and thought I had a 15amp circuit. When I went to do the job, I found I had a 20amp circuit and only changed the text in one place. I’ll fix that up….but thanks for pointing it out!

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