After you’ve mastered the wonders of changing a fuse the next step in your adrenalin fuelled state is to understand the state of your sockets. As electrical contractors in Liverpool, we know the ins and outs of being your own electrician, especially if you have no prior knowledge.
However, your sockets can be a hidden danger in your home and letting them get worn down or damaged through faulty connections or overloading can turn them into an accident waiting to happen.
First Things First, Does Your Socket Need Changing?
Not every socket need changing so before you go on a socket rampage through your house, armed with your new insight into electrical DIY, take the time to check.
1) Stiff Sockets
You find it difficult to insert a plug into your socket; perhaps it feels a little stiff, as if the socket subtly changed shape overnight, or perhaps some invisible socket imp keeps popping your plug out of place? If this happens, you may find that your socket is worn and needs replacing.
2) Socket Faceplates
Cracks in the faceplate of your socket or scorching on the socket are also indicators that your socket needs replacing. Cracks can sometimes happen through being knocked, while scorching can happen through overloading your socket with a high loaded adaptor or a faulty connection in your plug, for instance.
Get Your Electrician Head On
Safety, when it comes to electrical circuits, is paramount. Never underestimate the power of electricity. Any changes or adaptations to your electrical circuits must comply with the latest IEE Wiring Regulations (Institute of Electrical Engineers Wiring Regulations) and any new or replacement cables or sockets may need RCD Protection (Residue Current Devise Protection).
Before you crack open your socket, you must isolate your circuit to prevent any nasty surprises. Use a socket tester to double check everything is switched off and safe for you to continue.
Unscrew your faceplate and gently pull it away from the wall.
Next you need to free the wires. Loosen the terminal screws and gentle remove the cable cores. If your socket has suffered scorching, your insulation may be heat damaged. To fix this, cut back the cores and strip the ends.
Make sure your earth core is covered with green/yellow sleeving if it’s exposed. Metal backed sockets must be earthed. To ensure your socket remains safe, run a short length of earth cable between the earth terminals and the back of your box and faceplate.
Once you have your new faceplate, the next step is to reattach your wires. Make sure your Live core is connected to the live terminal (L), the neutral is connected to the neutral terminal (N) and the earth is connected to the earth terminal (E, or sometimes identified with an Earth symbol).
Securely tighten all of the terminal screws and fit the new faceplate back to the wall.
Keep safety to the forefront of your mind and use your socket tester to double check everything is wired properly before you use it.
Using your own electrical skills can leave you feeling like a power house, especially when you’ve done everything correctly. However, if you’re unsure on anything don’t battle through, your safety and your family’s safety relies on your ability to properly wire your sockets. Our trained and professional electricians are on hand to deal with any electrical issue you may have. So, if you’re hesitant to pull out your screwdriver contact us today on 0151 482 5534.