How To: Replace An Electrical Socket

What you will need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wire stripper/cutter tool
  • Electrical socket


Disclaimer: These instructions serve as a guide only. If in any doubt or your job differs in any way from the job described, consult a qualified electrician.

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  • 1 Safety first! Make sure the electricity has been turned off at the fuse box before starting work. For extra safety check the socket with an appliance before starting. If the appliance won’t power on, you know you have cut the electricity supply. Top Tip: If possible lock the fuse box, if not put electrical tape over the switch on fuse box or leave a note to make sure nobody turns power back on while you are working.
  • 2 Remove the socket faceplate by simply unscrewing the screws. Keep these in case you need to use them later with the new fitting. Safety note: When dealing with a white Dry Lining Box in a wall as here, the earth cable is only connected to a terminal on the socket itself. Whereas if you have metal box in a wall, the earth connection will be connected to the metal box and then onto the socket.
  • 3 Take a note of which wires go to each terminal. When dealing with wires always remember: • Green/Yellow = Earth • Brown = Live • Blue = Neutral In an older house the wires could be different colours: • Red = Live • Black = Neutral • Green = Earth All new sockets will be labeled to tell you where to insert each wire. • L = Live • N = Neutral • E or earth symbol = Earth Top Tip: If you’re still unsure, take a photo of the socket with your phone to help you remember which wire goes where.
  • 4 Remove the wires from the terminals on the old socket.
  • 5 Using your notes and photo as a guide, attach the wires to the terminals on the new faceplate.
  • 6 If the exposed copper is worn, cut it off and expose new copper wires by stripping a small section of insulation off the wires.
  • 7 Place the wires into the terminals ensuring that no copper is visible when secured.
  • 8 Fit the new faceplate. Top Tip: Use the old screws if the new ones don’t fit the old box.
  • 9 Turn back on the power and test the socket.