The Easiest Way To Fix A Broken Outlet

Your electrical outlet is broken — now what? According to Safe and Sound Electric, they typically blow out because too many appliances or devices are being used simultaneously. Often, this causes a power outage, which can be resolved with a simple flick of the breaker switch.

However, if your wall socket has been carrying this excess electrical current for too long, it might stop working altogether, explains Champion AC. Some tell-tale signs of a broken outlet are smoke and sparks, discolored or melted plastic, the outlet covering feeling warm, and plugs easily falling out, according to Mr. Henderson.

Having a dead electrical outlet is highly dangerous, as it can overheat and potentially cause a fire. Because of this, it must be fixed immediately by either you or a technician. Believe it or not, though, it's a relatively easy task if you know and take the right steps. Keep reading to learn the easiest way to fix a broken outlet without the help of a professional.

Trim and reattach the wires

Before attempting any repairs, it's of utmost importance you turn off the power via the circuit breaker panel. After hitting the switch, you're free to remove the wall plate to determine if there is electricity in the wires using a voltage tester. Often, that is the case — and it's only the outlet that's broken due to something like loose screws, per Roman Electric Co. If your wires are frayed or damaged, that's a whole other problem to deal with. But, for right now, let's focus on the broken outlet.

First, remove the wires by unscrewing them from the outlet. If they're in good shape, snip the exposed wire and discard it. That's because you don't want to attach the new outlet to an old wire, so it's good to start fresh. To retrieve a fresh piece, simply peel back the wire insulation about an inch or so. Next, go ahead and slot the new wires through the holes in the outlet before tightening the screws to ensure the wires are properly secured. Then, reattach the outlet and add the wall plate. Finally, flip the power back on, and it's good to use!