Mar 12, 2018 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

handyman alexandria va

We all like to save money and, sometimes, taking on a home repair project yourself sounds like a big money saver.
Until ….

  • Your plumbing repair causes water damage to your hardwood floors and cabinets
  • An electrical repair causes the electricity in the entire room to go out
  • You tear up a wall only to find your drywall repair looks messy

That’s why it helps to hire a professional. Someone who knows how to make the repair without causing extra damage and leaves a job that adds value to your home.

But …

If you wanna try some home repairs on your own, I’ll help you know what you’ll need to get started and how to do it yourself.


What you’ll need: 

  • a new outlet
  • needle-nosed pliers
  • screw driver (to match outlet, commonly both flat and Philips head)
  • electrical tester
  • optional lighting


  1. Turn the electrical power to the outlet off at the circuit breaker and test that the electricity to the outlet is OFF using your tester. (Circuit breakers are commonly in the basement or garage. Each breaker should be labeled so you know which one controls various outlets and electrical units. If yours isn’t labeled, take a few minutes to do that as you search for the correct circuit that controls the outlet you’re replacing).
  2. You may lose lights in the room where you’re replacing the outlet, so use an alternate lighting source.
  3. Carefully remove the cover plate from the outlet. Test that the electrical current is OFF to the outlet again.
  4. An outlet is held into the outlet box by 2 screws. Remove these and carefully extract the broken outlet from the wall being sure not to disconnect existing wires.
  5. Take a picture of the way wires are connected to the outlet currently. Most outlets involve a ground wire (which is thinner and may be bare or grey), a live wire (which is normally black), and a return wire (which is normally white). Be sure you can identify these wires in your picture. If the outlet provides power to another outlet on the same circuit, you may find pairs of white, black, and grey wires.
  6. Carefully remove the wires from the existing outlet after loosening the screws that hold them in place.
  7. Place the wires in your new outlet using the exact same configuration as in your picture. If necessary, you may have to form a small hook at the end of the wire using pliers. Wrap the wire hook clockwise around the screw post so that it is wrapped tighter as you tighten the screw. Ensure the bare wires don’t touch after all wires are attached to the new outlet.
  8. Attach the new outlet to the outlet box with the screws provided.
  9. Replace the outlet cover.
  10. Turn the circuit back on and test your outlet. If the outlet doesn’t work properly, you may have to repeat these steps to find a loose wire or one that wasn’t connected properly.

​Good luck

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