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How To Upgrade Old Electrical Outlets With USB Charging Plugs

It is common to have electronic devices that charge via USB cables, such as cell phones, MP3 players, and other personal electronics. You either need to leave your computer powered on overnight to charge these devices, or pay extra for a wall charger that only works with one device. You can take the money you would spend on a wall charger and put it towards upgrading your older electrical outlets to brand new ones with USB charging plugs built in. It is a simple swap that you can do all on your own.

Prepping The Outlet

The only tools to need for this job are:

  • Screw drivers (flat head or Philips head)
  • Wire cutters
  • Electrical tape

Start by turning off the power running to the outlet at the main fuse box. Now you can safely remove the electrical outlet faceplate, and unscrew your old outlet from the metal electrical box.

Be sure to make a note of how the wires are attached to the plug. The wires should be appropriately color coded, but there is a chance they may not be. The black wire is called the hot wire, the white wire is called the neutral wire, and the green wire is called the ground wire.

Prepping The Wire

Using the wire cutters, trim off the exposed wires attached to the old outlet. You will need to make a new connection with a fresh part of the wire. Strip off a half inch of plastic shielding on all three wires, creating a new exposed end of wire. Twist the metal wires around and create a new hook for each wire.

Installing The USB Outlet

Your new outlet with USB ports will have the same three connections to hook the wires to. The black screw will be where the black wire attaches, the silver screw is where the white wire attaches, and the green screw is where the green wire attaches.

Wrap the wire hook around the appropriate colored screw, and use your screwdriver to tighten the connection. You do not want any part of the exposed wires to come in contact with another wire. If you stripped off too much plastic casing, wrap the exposed wire with electrical tape.

With the outlet attached to your home's electrical wiring, you can attach the outlet back to the electrical box, and put on the new wall plate. Turn on the power at the main fuse box, and you are all done!

Now you can enjoy the convenience of plugging in electronic devices without the need for a bulky power adapter. If you prefer to have a professional do it for you, contact a group like Dunedin Electric.