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How to Safely Remove an Electrical Outlet

Did you know that each year over 2,400 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries suffered from electrical outlets? Many of these injuries are due to children sticking objects into outlets. While child-proofing outlets are one way to help prevent these accidents, another is to simply remove the outlets from your home altogether.

If you’re not sure how to safely remove an electrical outlet, don’t worry—it’s actually a pretty easy process. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to remove an outlet safely.

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

Before you do anything, you’ll need to make sure that the power to the outlet is turned off. The best way to do this is to shut off the power to the entire circuit that the outlet is on. To do this, locate your home’s circuit breaker box and flip the switch for the circuit in question to the “Off” position.

If you’re not comfortable working with your home’s electricians in Charleston, WV, you can also just unplug any appliances or devices that are plugged into the outlet.

Step 2: Remove the Cover Plate

Once the power is off, you can remove the outlet’s cover plate by unscrewing the screws that hold it in place. In most cases, there will be two screws—one at the top of the plate and one at the bottom.

Step 3: Loosen the Outlet from the Electrical Box

With the cover plate removed, you should be able to see the screws that hold the outlet in place. There will likely be two of them, one on each side of the outlet.

Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws, but don’t remove them entirely. Once they’re loosened, you should be able to pull the outlet out of the electrical box.

Step 4: Disconnect the Wires

Before you remove the outlet completely, you’ll need to disconnect the wires. There will be two sets of wires—the “hot” wires (which are typically black or red) and the “neutral” wires (which are typically white).

Using a pair of wire cutters, snip the wires close to the outlet. Then, use a screwdriver to loosen the screw that holds each wire in place. With the screws loosened, you should be able to pull the wires out of the outlet.

Step 5: Remove the Outlet

With the wires disconnected, you can remove the outlet completely. Simply pull it out of the electrical box and throw it away.