Replacing an Electrical Outlet Cover

An electrical outlet.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 5
What You'll Need
New electrical outlet cover
What You'll Need
New electrical outlet cover

There are many things to consider when purchasing a replacement electrical outlet cover. The first major factor in choosing your outlet cover is whether your outlet is outside or inside your house. If inside, you will have things to consider such as accessibility by children and pets and the dangers this poses. If you are installing a replacement electrical outlet cover outside, you will have to take into consideration factors such as weather conditions, how roughly you will use the outlet and also keeping people from stealing your electricity.

You can buy replacement electrical outlets for inside your home that has a sliding face that will cover the outlet when not in use. This will protect your children from having access to the outlet. For outdoors, you can buy outlets with full weather-proofed covers to protect from the elements and you can even buy locking electrical outlet covers to protect against electricity theft. Whatever type of electrical outlet cover you choose the installation method will be basically the same.

Step 1 - Shut Off Power

For your safety, it is extremely important that you shut off all power to the outlet you will be working on at the circuit breaker. To get the correct circuit in your breaker box shut off, you will have to use a system of trial and error to determine which circuit breaker controls that particular outlet. If you are lucky, there may already be some sort of diagram or labels describing which circuit breaker controls which outlets. Once the power to the outlet is completely shut off, proceed to the next step.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Electrical Outlet Cover

Once the power is shut off at the circuit breaker, it is safe to use a screwdriver to remove the mounting screws that attach the current electrical outlet cover to the receptacle. If you are also replacing the electrical outlet itself it is safe and accessible to do so.

Step 3 - Install the New Electrical Outlet Cover

Make certain before you tighten down your outlet cover screws that the actual electrical outlet is properly lined up and secured to the electrical box. Make sure that the mounting holes on your outlet cover lines up properly with the holes of the outlet, then insert the screws and tighten them up in place.

Step 3 - Turn On the Power

Once your new electrical outlet cover has been properly installed it is time to turn the power back on. Open the breaker box and flip the appropriate circuit breaker back to the "on" position. Now you can test out your electrical outlet to make sure that it is still working properly.