Furniture

How to fix a socket

Sockets are either flush or surface mounted. The surface-mount version tends to be much easier to install, but the flush-mount type tends to have a better look. The flush-mounted type is also less susceptible to accidental damage. It is always important that prior to adding a socket to an existing electric circuit, you always ensure compliance with IEEE electrical regulations and determine whether the circuit will need RCD protection. This article offers a guide on how to fix a socket.

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Always put safety first

To ensure the safety of the building and that of its occupants, ensure that you comply with the building regulations in your locality while installing any socket. If you are not conversant with the building regulations of your area, seek the services of a professional who is registered with an electrical certification scheme. Electrical safety must be taken seriously. Therefore, always follow the following safety precautions before you start fixing a socket.

  • Use the fuse box customer unit to switch off the main power. Remove the fuse of the circuit you’ll be working on. Put the fuse in your pocket to ensure no accidental replacement takes place
  • Alternatively, switch the breaker off and, if it’s possible lock it
  • Place a note on the unit instructing that you are working on the circuit
  • Confirm that the circuit is dead with a voltage testing meter or a socket tester.

If the cables of the existing sockets strain to fit the new socket, don’t pull them; instead, use a terminal block or crimp to attach a new cable. Ensure that the cable you add is only long enough to reach the new socket. Always ensure that you buy a quality socket. You can use BritainReviews to look at online reviews about electricity suppliers. Avoid the negatively reviewed suppliers, and this way, you’ll get dependable suppliers that will provide quality sockets.

Preparation and Planning

  • Keep in mind that diverse designs of sockets have diverse fitting needs, and thus it is always important that you read and apply the instruction of the manufacturer
  • Sockets are offered in various finishes, colours and sizes, with certain modern designs having wi-fi extenders and USB ports.
  • Always conform to IEE wiring regulations when wiring your sockets.
  • Always ensure that the wiring you add is compliant with local electrical and building regulations.

Ensure you do everything right

When replacing the socket you are fixing, always ensure that you wire the cable connections of the new socket identically to that of the old one. The wiring colours should also depend on the old wiring. Below is a guide on the colours and how they should be connected to the socket

  • Brown or red for old wiring-Marked by letter L to mean live on the socket
  • Green and yellow striped- Marked by three vertical lines or the letter E for Earth on the socket.
  • Blue or black for old wiring- Marked by the letter N on the socket for Neutral.

If you can see any sign of fraying or heat damage on the wiring, use an electrical wire stripper and side cutter to trim the damaged wire back.

Replacing a socket step by step procedure

  1. Locate the fuse box or consumer unit and find the circuit that you’ll be working on. Remove the fuse or drop the micro-circuit breakers to the off position to isolate the circuit. Lock the fuse box or keep the fuse in your pocket until you are done with the job.
  2. By the use of a socket or voltage, testers confirm that the socket isn’t live
  3. By the use of a screwdriver, loosen and remove the screw retaining it into position. Next, gently manoeuvre the socket’s front to reveal its wiring. The wire should have enough slack to allow easy access to the socket’s back sections.
  4. Your sockets may have triple, double or single wiring, and it’s important that you replace the wires identically.
  5. Free the wires gently loosening the terminal screws and place the old socket on one side
  6. For frayed wires, use electrical wired strippers and side cutters to leave about 5MM of the wire clear.
  7. Note the positioning and order of the of terminals including, live(L), Neutral(N) and Earth(E), both for the old and new socket.
  8. Loosen the new socket’s terminal screws. Depending on how old your wiring is, the red or brown wire should go to the socket’s live terminal, the black or blue to the neutral and the green and yellow to the earth. Make sure that each connection is secure and leave no bare wire visible.
  9. Re-tighten the sockets terminal screws ensuring they are fixed firmly.
  10. Manoeuvre the faceplate back into position carefully, ensuring that no wire is trapped or caught.
  11. Screw back the retaining screw into position, ensuring you don’t overtighten the screws
  12. Get back to the consumer unit and restore the power by replacing the fuse.
  13. Utilize the socket tester to ensure that you have wired the unit correctly and that it is also functioning correctly

In conclusion with this article, you have the needed steps and tips on fixing a sockets