It is important to pay attention to the condition of your electrical sockets and switches. They can provide an indication of the state of your electrics and even hint at how high the risk of an electrical fire is.
Should you note that any socket is blackened or burnt you should instantly be aware that there is an issue with that circuit. The question is whether it is the socket or the wiring between it and the fuse box.
Although this is best left to the professionals, if you are swapping the socket for another the same, it is possible that you can do the job yourself.
Shut Off The Power
The first step is to shut off the power to the circuit, this should be done for safety as the socket may cause a fire. You also don’t want to be electrocuted when replacing it.
Remember to check there is no power at the socket before you proceed.
Remove the Socket
You can now remove the socket. Simply unscrew the fastening screws and the socket should pull away from the backbox. It is advisable to wear safety gloves when doing this, just in case there is an issue that you aren’t aware of.
Fixing The Issue
Having double-checked that none of the wires are live, you can carefully unscrew them all. The color coding should be standard. If it’s not you may wish to label which wire is which, ensuring you put the new socket together correctly.
Examine the wires, they are likely to have burn damage. Any damaged section of the wire needs to be removed immediately. Leaving it as it is increases the likelihood of a fire as electricity can spark between exposed wires.
Once you’ve stripped the wires back you can connect them to the new socket. It’s important to follow the wiring diagram and ensure the live, neutral, and earth are all connected in the right spots. Make sure the cables are secure before you continue.
The next step is to carefully slide the new socket into position, ensuring the cables don’t get tangled or crushed in the process.
You can then screw the socket into the backbox and admire your handiwork before turning the power back on to the circuit.
It’s a good idea to monitor the socket over the next couple of days, this will ensure it is not overheating or burning out again. If it does you have an issue with your circuit or even the circuit breaker. At this stage, you’ll probably want the help of a professional.
Don’t forget you can check the circuit breaker on this circuit and others by flicking it off, it should make a clicking noise which confirms it is working correctly.
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