Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to Repair Dining Room Electrical Plug

Black electrical tape
By Gary Boutin

Supplies and Tools:
Child safety devices
Circuit electrical panel breaker
Cordless screwdriver with Phillip Bit
Duplex electrical plug-white
Electrical Phillip screwdriver
Electrical plug tester
Electrical tape
Flat tip screwdriver
Plastic face plate
Wire stripper 

Mrs. James was referred by a friend. She had several electrical plugs that only worked occasionally. She hired me to solve her problems. You must be comfortable working with electrical wires and hand tools to get this job done. 

This post shows the thirteen steps to troubleshot and repair this dining room electrical plug. 

Step 1: Fig.1 shows the circuit electrical panel, now turn off the power to the plug by turning off the circuit electrical panel breaker.
Fig.1 Panel
Step 2: Fig.2 shows the plug in Mrs. James dining room. All the plugs had child safety devices on them. She told me this plug was fine, when checked the bottom plug has no power.
Fig.2 Safety device
Step 3: Fig.3 shows two pictures, the left shows the safety device being pried off using a flat tip screwdriver. This safety device was defective and should have released by pressing both sides of the device. The picture on the right shows the device has been removed from the plug. Now the electrical plug is ready to be troubleshot.
Fig.3 Removal of child safety device
Step 4: Fig.4 shows that the plastic face plate has been removed with a flat tip screwdriver. Next, start removing the plug by unscrewing the top and bottom with a electrical Phillip screwdriver. Notice an electrical plug tester has been inserted into the plug to make sure the power is off and to have an extra handle to manage the plug.
Fig.4 Plug tester
Fig.5 Remove plug 
from metal box
Step 5: Once the plug has been removed from the electrical box, pull the plug out and check visually that all the electrical wires are in their proper place on the back of the plug. Do not assume that there is no power.
Step 6: Fig.6 shows that the common wire (white wire) has broken off the electrical plug. This is the reason why the bottom plug had no power.
Fig.6 Broken white (common) 
wire from back of plug
Step 7: Use an electrical tester on the black and the white electrical wires to make sure there is no power before the using wire strippers. If you have power, turn off the master breaker for the entire house and return to the electrical outlet. This extra step will guarantee your safety.  
Step 8: Fig.7 shows the Handyman stripping the rubber coating off the electrical wire using electrical wire strippers. Cut off 1-inch of rubber coating. The electrical wire strippers have rubber handles to protect the user.
Fig.7 Using electrical strippers 
to strip the end of common wire
Step 9: Fig.8 shows the common (white wire) cut to 1-inch copper end will be inserted in the missing end of the electrical plug. In this example, the wire tip that had broken off was inside the electrical box and was not part of the plug. Make sure that the plug does not have the copper tip stuck in its back. The copper wire tip must be removed, or the plug must be replaced.
Fig.8 Attach the ground to the plug
Step 10: Fig.9 shows the common (white wire) has been inserted into the plug. The common wire is snug against the back of the plug. Push in any other wire that may be loose back into the back of the plug.
Fig.9 Attaching common 
wire to plug
Step 11: Now turn on the electrical breaker to test the plug before placing the final plate on the wall. Fig. 10 shows the plug is correctly grounded and is wired properly.
Fig.10 Testing for power 
and ground
Step 12: Fig.11 shows that electrical tape is placed around the plug. For metal boxes the electrical tape will prevent electrical sparks while moving the plug into place.
Fig.11 Taping around 
plug to prevent sparks
Step 13: Fig.12 shows finished plug with the a new face plate. Now Mrs. James can enjoy her dining room knowing that all the electrical plugs are safe and ready for use.
Fig.12 Job finished

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Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

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