Ever have the experience of not having a wall adapter handy when you need one for your smartphone? Let’s face it: USB cords without adapters are useless. As we depend on technology more and more these days, the more we depend on a USB receptacle to charge our devices.
Imagine how convenient it would be to no longer have to move that power brick of a charger from one outlet to another. Imagine having an outlet specifically for USB ports, making more space available for other power outlets. This is a project that you can do yourself if you have knowledge about electrical installation, or a professional electrician from Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric can help.
While we never encourage performing electrical installs yourself if you aren’t qualified, installing a USB receptacle is fairly easy. In most cases, it’s as simple as changing out the plate. If you do decide to undertake this project yourself, here are a few basic guidelines to follow.
It wasn’t too long ago that you’d be hard-pressed to find USB ports for power outlets. Now they’re some of the most popular kinds! There are many brands available, including top models such as Legrand and Leviton. You can also choose from multiple color and configuration options, customizing it for your unique space. No matter which option you choose, these have been built and tested according to safety regulations.
You’ll need a screwdriver handy for this step, as well as a voltage tester. Make sure the power is turned off at your electrical panel before you do anything to the outlets. There should be no electricity flowing to the room where you’re replacing the outlet. Your voltage tester will prevent a potentially dangerous accident.
Once you’re positive (get it?) that the power is no longer active, you can unscrew the wall plate around the outlet to remove it. You’ll be working with the junction box behind it.
Before you begin the next steps, it may be helpful to take a picture of the existing wiring; this will help you figure out how to rewire the new outlet. You should see Neutral, Hot, and Ground wires (white, black, and bare copper). A better idea may be to label each wire before you start working.
Note: if you don’t have any experience or basic electrical knowledge, it’s best to leave the entire installation to a professional.
Using your screwdriver, loosen the screws that hold the wires (or quick-release clamps, depending on the model – these may require a smaller screwdriver). You can free the wires by pressing the recessed release button.
Now you will complete the steps in reverse to wire in the new outlet, ensuring that the Neutral, Hot/Live, and Ground wires are connected to their proper portals.
Congratulations: all the hard work is over! Replace the new outlet over the box, lining up the screw holes (they should align perfectly with the old ones). Now you’re ready to test it out.
Return to your circuit breaker to turn the power back on for the outlet. Your handy voltage tester can ensure that everything is working, using the proper amount of electricity. Then you can test your USB device by plugging it in. Enjoy your new USB receptacle!
Working with electrical wires can be tricky and it should really be left to the professionals. If you need help installing a USB receptacle, Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric can help. We offer a variety of electrical services and can make sure that everything is hooked up smoothly before you use it. Whether you need installation, repairs, or other routine maintenance, we’ve been proudly serving the residents of Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties since 1983. For questions or to schedule an appointment, call us today at 1-800-475-1504.
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