July 8, 2013

socket to me

It turns out I'm not crazy!  The sockets and plates throughout our entire house DO NOT match.  For the longest time I have been pondering these little rectangles in every room wondering if my eyes were playing tricks on me but the inside sockets and light switches were off white and the plates were brilliant white.......MAJOR pet peeve.  

My awesome parents changed all the sockets in our living room and kitchen back when we first painted it shortly after we moved in, but the rest of the house has been on the back burner.  We purchased in bulk all the switches and sockets we needed and then set out to change them all.  

It is quite the process:
1. Switch the breaker to turn off the power in the room you are working in.  (Make sure you have plenty of daylight or a good flashlight as working with the tiny screws can be very tedious, especially with poor lighting)
2.  Test that no current is reaching the plug or switch with this nifty voltage meter.  We borrowed this one from my dad and it saved us tons of times.  For instance we have one outlet that the top socket was wired to one breaker switch and the bottom was to another.  We also have a different breaker switch for GCI outlets in all the bathrooms.
3.  Unscrew the plates and remove the two main screws of the sockets and then you should be able to pull the entire unit out. (Don;t be afraid to tug as the copper wire is stern but flexible)
4.  Unwrap the wiring on the sides of each switch or sockets and then wrap them around the new switch/socket.
5.  Stuff in the wiring and screw the new socket/switch into the wall and then reattach the plate.
6.  Switch the breaker back on and make sure everything is working properly.

The before and after below is quite dramatic because in this room, the previous owners actually painted over the sockets....SOOOO DANGEROUS!!!

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