Replacing an Electrical Outlet Cover

What You'll Need
New electrical outlet cover
Screw Driver

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 accessability 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 installment 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 wall. 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 sure that mounting holes on your new electrical outlet cover match up correctly to the mounting holes in the wall you will be attaching the cover on. Make certain before you tighten down your mounting screws that the actual electrical outlet mounting holes are properly lined up with the mounting holes as well. Once the mounting holes in the wall, the electrical outlet, and the new electrical outlet cover are properly lined up, you may insert and tighten down the mounting screws.

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.