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How to Wire an Electrical Outlet

The genesis of this tutorial began on Super Bowl Sunday.

Two of my friends asked me to do a tutorial on wiring an outlet.

So you should thank them, lol.

This project isn’t hard but can be scary if you’ve never done it before.

Today you’ll see just how easy it can be to wire an outlet.

I’ll give you tons of tips and tell you about a cool tool give away.

What’s the most frustrating part about wiring an outlet?

In my opinion it’s getting finished then realizing the outlet isn’t working.

What the heehaw!!

But I’m willing to bet this won’t happen to you if you read further.

Here’s your supply list

The Amazon links above show all the tools I used in this tutorial.

Outlets actually do wear out.

My friend Denise was telling me how her plugs pull out of the outlet without much force.

We have a similar issue in our house.

You should replace the outlet if you have the same problem.

Let me start off by showing you how to use a receptacle analyzer.

This is perhaps another must-have tool for electrical projects.

Why receptacle analyzers are cooler than Justin Bieber

Nothing against the Biebs but receptacle analyzers are more valuable than any of his albums combined.

Especially for do-it-yourselfers over 18.

Plug a receptacle analyzer into the outlet you’re going to replace.

The analyzer’s lights will show you how the outlet is wired.

In my case, two yellow lights lit up.

Insert receptacle analyzer

This indicates the outlet is wired safely.

Sometimes it’s nice to know what you’re getting into before getting knee deep in wiring problems.

Buy a Klein Tools receptacle analyzer for about $9.

Now you can turn the electricity off at the electrical panel or fuse box.

Remove the outlet cover.

Double check the outlet isn’t live by pushing a non-voltage tester into all the outlet slots or touching it against the outlet’s terminal screws.

Non-contact voltage tester

I like to unscrew the outlet from the electrical box then touch each individual wire with the voltage tester.

Sometimes you think you turned off the right circuit but find the wires still have electricity in them.

I forgot to mention this in my video: before unwiring the outlet take a picture of it.

The picture will give you a reference of the old wiring scheme.

Outlets are way easier to wire than switches, let me show you.

How to wire or install an electrical outlet

Call me anal retentive but I wire outlets in a specific way.

My preference is to remove the hot wires (black) first, then neutral wires (white), and the ground wire (bare copper) last.

Yah, I know it sounds nuts.

But in my neanderthal mind it highlights the importance of the ground wire.

When I wire the new outlet the order reverses.

So the ground wire is first, then the neutral wires and the hot wires are last.

My video shows you all the details of wiring a new outlet.

I throw in a bonus tip at the beginning that everyone should know about

Here’s a quick summary of the video tutorial in a printable PDF

How to Wire an Electrical Outlet (Printable PDF)

What’s Next

If you’re wiring an outlet in your bathroom or kitchen it needs to be a GFCI. We have a great GFCI tutorial you can watch right here.

If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.

Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.



Wire Electrical Outlets

  1. Jordon says:

    Great tutorial. My all time favorite tool when dealing with anything electrical is my voltage tester. I never touch wiring jobs without it. I cannot stress enough douple and triple check to make sure your power is off getting shocked is no fun.

    1. You’re totally right Jordon, the funny part about this tutorial is I had to quadruple check the wires since our house seems to have a weird electrical setup. Getting a great voltage tester that you can count on is super duper important. I won’t do any electrical work without one!

  2. Jeff Burroughs says:

    In my case 2 iPhones and a radio. Sounds crazy but if you are alone and the panel is in the basement and you are working on 2nd floor bedroom turn on the radio, call the other phone and start turning off breakers until the music stops.

    1. Awe yah, now that’s a great tip Jeff. I also have Face Timed with my iPad to see if a lamp turns off when flipping breakers. Nothing like using technology to figure out wiring. Thanks buddy for the fantastic tip 😀

    2. Char says:

      Jeff Burroughs and Jeff DIY,
      The radio is such a great idea!!! Now how about a way to solve a similar problem:
      Controls for sprinkler system are under the house. Still have not found a way to turn on and off without running up and out to check specific area, then down, reset and up—-If there are any leaks/problems the repetition of this becomes quite tedious.
      I guess I already know the answer: move the box?
      Other ideas first , and then if no solutions perhaps a tutorial on how to move the control box?

  3. Alan Turner says:

    My favorite electrical tool has got to be my fish tape. It has saved me so many times from having to climb around in my attic insulation and dust and from having to tear open my walls to get a wire from one place to another.

    1. Thanks Alan for your suggestion. Any brand you like in particular?

  4. Ashley Keeton says:

    My favorite tool for electrical work is…my wire strippers. I don’t do a WHOLE lot of electrical work, but I do, do low voltage stuff. So i work with coaxial, cat5, cat6 and so on, a whole bunch. There is something just so beautiful about having a nice, clean edge on your strip.
    I loved this video. I live in an old house that needs a lot of electrical help. I posted on your facebook page awhile back when you were talking electrical stuff, and I enjoyed reading your response. I have some of the tools, but not the analyzer. I am hoping to be able to start on some of the electrical upgrades this summer!
    Your videos are always a thrill to watch and very informative.

    If I could give anyone advice about electrical work, it’s to always remain safe. If you aren’t sure, or aren’t confident, get help. Don’t just jump in, because you might end up hurting yourself. Don’t get complacent on safety.

    1. Great advice Ashley about not jumping into something without being totally comfortable. Especially when it comes to electrical work.

      Old houses have a lot of charm but they can be challenging when it comes to electrical. We have a rental and for some reason they plastered the basement ceiling. Yah, it’s not the easiest thing to replace electrical lines!!!

      I can’t wait to see your projects 😀

  5. Trevor Mooney says:

    I would have to agree that a voltage tester is the most important tool when working on electrical projects, especially outlets. You can never be too safe and having a voltage tester to help indicate which wires are hot can help tremendously. Make sure to always test the wires before you touch them and for added security, you can use anti-static gloves.

    1. Love your tip on the anti-static gloves Trevor, what kind do you recommend. This is something I might have to invest in down the road, like next week 😀

  6. Adam Verheyen says:

    My wife and I are currently replacing every outlet and switch in our home and having the voltage tester has been a god send as I was electrocuted a few times due to a poorly labelled breaker box and before I had a voltage tester. Having the right tools (I do not have an analyzer) makes every job much easier.

    1. Ouch, sorry to hear about your shock Adam. Glad you’re okay.

      Voltage testers are a must-have in my tool box. I’d love to get a second one just in case the first one isn’t working or lost battery power. That’s how important they are.

  7. Bob says:

    Favorite electrical Tool: Multimeter

    Sure, it’s not the easiest tool to use without some training. But it can measure and help diagnose almost anything you’ll run into.

    1. Definitely worth reading the directions. I actually need to get a new multimeter myself.

      Thanks Bob, this might be a tutorial down the road. I’ll have to add it to my list 😀

  8. fran says:

    i don’t have a favorite tool…….. yet! but i am diggin’ that receptacle analyzer. after verifying that it’s wired correctly, can you keep it “plugged in” until after you shut off the breaker and the yellow lights go out? or you still need to use the voltage tester afterwards? i was wondering why my hair dryer plug would just fall out of the socket sometimes while i was using it.

    1. It’s pretty cool Fran.

      The lights will go out once the breaker is turned off. This is a good way to see if the outlet is off but I’d still use a voltage tester on each terminal screw or wire to double check the electricity is off.

      It’s amazing how outlets get worn out, that’s one reason I did this tutorial 😀

  9. Marj says:

    My current favorite tool for electrical work is an electrician! The reason for that is that I had never had a source of such cool how-to info, so I always felt safer leaving it alone altogether. These tutorials, along with the receptacle analyzer (that I’m sure I’ll win), will help me to be more self-sufficient when it comes to electrical work in my home.
    Thank you!

    1. The right tools can certainly help with not only your confidence but also the safety factor Marj.

      And if you’re not completely comfortable with the work to be done, it’s good to call in an electrician.

  10. robb in detroit says:

    great info on how to safely change out an outlet!

    thanks again

    Robb in Detroit!

    1. My pleasure Robb. Thanks buddy 😀

  11. Jim B says:

    Loved it. Love the “take a picture” tiip. My favorite tool for this is an electrical meter. Would love and analyzed too!

    1. What kind of electrical meter do you use Jim, I’d love to know 😀

  12. Allison Falkenberg says:

    Pretty sure my favourite electrical tool will be the voltage tester. I know its a must not just to keep you safe while doing the work but to give your grandkids peace of mind when they don’t think their grandmother can actually do anything electrical!!

    1. Grandmothers are great at a lot of things, glad to see you’re showing them this Allison 😀

  13. Renee Pedersen says:

    Hi Jeff – Never have done this before but it looks like it could be something I could handle. I am going to take a crack at it this weekend with some outlets that are worn in our bedroom. I would think it would be really handy to have a receptacle analyzer and a voltage tester to do the project. As you can tell, I have neither but I do have a dad that lives across the street that would be more than happy to let me borrow his. Thanks for the video Jeff – you make it look so easy!

    1. That’s cool Renee that you live across from your Dad. I wish that would be the case with my daughters when they get older. So neat.

      Yes, having both the voltage tester and analyzer are a must in my mind for any electrical work 😀

  14. Maria says:

    Jeff, this is GREAT! I just had all those replaced, but I found a few that are loose and the spacers will be my next purchase. I won’t have to buy the analyzer because I’m one of the 3 that is winning it 🙂 How about a tutorial on “How to add an outlet.” I need that one as well. Thanks for these tutorials. This video method is the best way for me to learn since I’m a visual person.

    1. When you say add an outlet what do you need Maria? I’m always aiming to please 😀

  15. John Gerry says:

    my favorite tool when I’m working with anything electrical is my brain. If you use your brain and pay attention to what you are doing working with electricity you will be safe.

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more John. 😀

  16. Danny Greene says:

    My analyzer would be my favorite and my voltmeter to go with it. When I bought my house new a few years back as part of my walk through I checked outlets. All clear.

    1. This is a great idea for new homeowners Danny.

      I actually did the same thing when we were painting our house in the inside. Checked all the outlets for goofy wiring and thank goodness there wasn’t anything wrong.

  17. SandyTibbs says:

    A wire stripper is my fav tool. While you can strip the insulation with a utility knife, I have done more harm than good in some cases (come clean, I know everyone has cut themselves this way, right? Someone? Anyone? Bueller??)

    1. Lol, I’ve cut myself many times.

      No fun.

      Wire strippers, receptacle analyzers, and voltage testes — absolute must 😀

  18. Char says:

    Next trip will definitely include a voltage tester, have seen many people replace electrical things without one, figured I could do it as well———–However, never felt really comfortable. Have wanted to change light switches to the flat kind. With this tool and this great tutorial I will definitely now be trying this on my own.
    THANK YOU again,
    PS- any chance of speaking a bit louder on the tutorial? Just wondering.

    1. Love the flat paddle switches Char. I’m replacing our switches with them, too.

      I’ll speak louder next week 😀

  19. Tom says:

    I could have used just about all those tools putting in a ceiling fan! I cut the power from the breaker, and wired it up using the “never hold two different wires at the same time” rule, but when I connected the black wires, the fan came on and whacked me in the head. It was still “live”! Needless to say, being able to check first would have helped, and having wire strippers would have prevented a nice cut on my thumb. But that was years ago, and I am much wiser now. Your DIY site is invaluable!

    1. Double ouch Tom!!

      I’ve been whacked in the head by a ceiling fan. Not something I’d like to repeat.

      Thanks for the kind words 😀

  20. joe says:

    Anywhere I expect to plug and unplug and wear out an outlet, I plug in a socket (I don’t know the name. It just duplicates the outlet.) Then I unplug my cord using 2 hands and don’t move the socket. Therefore, the outlet is used once every ten years or so and the socket is used repeatedly. Should the socket begin to wear, I replace it for a few dollars.
    For low draw and difficult to reach areas, I use a power strip with a LIGHTED on off switch. I like to shut off my table lamp, printer, 32 inch monitor, laser printer, etc. for 2 reasons at the end of the day and vacation. 1. Phantom electric draw 2. fire hazard

    I’m retired so my computer, lights etc. are on about 18 hours a day. Most are those new energy saving forms The electric bill shows how my electric use compares to my neighbors. I’m well below average. One of my competitors has 2 living room lights on a timer as he is a snow bird. All and all, not bad at all. Keep in mind, you can shut off everything and you will still get a bill for $30 or so for access, fees, taxes, etc. Most are flat rated. I put my hot water heater on vacation mode for month. The natural gas use was $5 but the bill was $35 due to taxes, fees, etc.

    1. Great tips Joe. I think you’ll like my tutorial for next week, maybe. It’s about using technology to help reduce electricity bills. But you show that all we really need is a good brain and power strip. Thanks so much for your great advice. We could all stand to use a bit less energy.

  21. Joanne De Lisi says:

    Wow. This was so informative. My house is OLD – so are the outlets. I’ve never seen an outlet where you only have to push in the copper wire into an outlet, instead of coiling it around the screw. My fear in doing outlets was always coiling the connection. Tried once & kept breaking the wire. TY so much for this tutorial.

    1. My pleasure to help Joanne. You can still coil the copper around the terminal but I like the more expensive outlets that have solid connections (like in this tutorial). Sure, you could by cheap outlets but you get what you pay for. So spending an extra buck or two to be sure of the safety of the connections is worth it for me 😀

  22. Jacque V. says:

    In the past we have had all of our outlets covered with the tamper resistant versions (so much easier than the little ‘plug in’ caps….which children delight in showing you how quickly they can remove!!!). We moved and since our children were all pre-teen to teen we hoped (lol) that they would be old enough to know not to play with the outlets. Yea…they are all alive. Now though as the years have progressed we have had one wedding and the next is in April…and more than likely there will be mini munchkins delighting our home in the next few years….So, to that end I am going to begin replacing our outlet covers. I liked very much the new versions that they have available and especially the one that you used in your current tutorial – on my errands to day I am going to be locating that brand and taking a peek in person…heck, a few might just ‘follow me home’ 🙂 Thanks for all your great info

    1. I remember the caps Jacque. We actually still use them, lol. Mostly to protect me more than the kids 😀

      Buying the higher end outlets is worth the money. You can see how much better they are than the cheaper versions. Glad you like the tutorials, let me know if you have any questions.

  23. Ryan Schoonover says:

    Outside of wire strippers the most valuable tools I use when replacing outlets and switches are plain old wooden clothes pins. I use these to clip on the wires to keep them separated and to block them from falling back into the wall. If you have on older house or lacking boxes for the outlets and switches this little and cheap hack can save you a big headache.

    Has anyone ever replaced an outlet with a duel outlet/USD port plug in? I was curious if you have to have different wiring or increased voltage or anything along those lines. I didn’t want to purchase $20 outlets and end up not having them work correctly/safely.

    1. Kiki says:

      Assuming you mean USB port plug-in, I’d like to know too! Wow, would that be handy! 🙂

      1. Ryan Schoonover says:

        Hi Kiki,
        I did mean a USB port plug-in, oops need to proof read before hitting send. I was curious about them because there are many different varieties and some have two normal outlets and two USB ports as well. Would love to have those in my house by beds and other hot spots for charging phones, tablets, and the like so we don’t always have to make the choice about what stays plugged in or having to use different adapters or extension cords which can be fire hazards.

        1. Thanks Ryan for your question and great tip with the clothes pins!!

          I installed a USB outlet a few years back and it was a normal installation. If you have 14/2 or 12/2 copper wire you should be fine and be able to install that kind of outlet.

          Hmmm, maybe I should do another tutorial on this topic. I did do one a few years back but cringe when I see the post/video. But I’ll link to it anyway

          Yah, it’s kind of painful to watch but will give you some good info 😀

  24. Steph says:

    Awesome video! My favorite is the voltage tester, just to be on the safe side!
    Having a receptacle analyzer would be great, so I could check my DIY job!

    1. I like double checking my work, too Steph.

      This is a great little tool for any DIYer 😀

  25. Steve Surry says:

    Great straightforward tutorial. My favorite tool WILL be he receptacle analyzer, after I purchase one! Didn’t even know they exist! Also, I always coiled the copper around the screw and this was often the most frustrating part of the job. Being able to attach the wire without twisting, as in the video, is so much easier and safer. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Steve, coiling the wire isn’t my favorite thing to do either. And with better quality outlets it’s not totally necessary. But making sure the insulation is trimmed to the right length is imperative. Always make sure the connection is super tight as well 😀

  26. Jason S says:

    My favorite electrical tool when replacing an outlet is electrical tape. I use it to wrap around the edge of the outlet which covers the screws and helps prevent a possible short between the outlet and the metal box.

    1. Great tip Jason, thanks buddy for sharing 😀

  27. Scott says:

    Awesome tutorial. We’ve had a dead outlet forever in our living room and instead of stressing over it we just have an extension cord running halfway across the room. It’s very ghetto, after watching this I feel confident enough to fix the bad outlet and clean up the room.

    1. scott says:

      – oh and favorite electrical tool is wire strippers. They remind me of being a kid wiring up my train set every year with my dad.

  28. ron says:

    Nice job on the video regarding electrical outlet replacement. Since the job entailed more than one white and one black wire, it may have been appropriate to state that it made no difference in which silver slot the white wire went,etc. I need to add the receptacle analyzer to my tool kit; first I’ve heard about it.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Ron, you’re right. I should have mentioned that.

      These analyzers are pretty cool. You can get one without the GFCI tester but I like having it 😀

  29. Kiki says:

    Great info, Jeff, thanks! Super easy to follow, and having the printout will definitely be helpful. How ’bout next week you follow up with a quickie about how to safely insulate old electrical & lighting boxes? Our house was built in 1925 and EVERYTHING has a draft! Or maybe even replace the boxes AND insulate them, as long as we’re going to be shutting off the power anyway?? =D As always, your info & positive attitude are greatly appreciated!

    1. Kiki says:

      Oops! Ummm… sheesh. Forgot insulating outlet & light boxes was a part of your ‘Great Stuff’ foam insulation video. But if you’re looking for a follow-up to this week’s info, and replacing the old box is worth the effort, and something we could safely do, your take would definitely be appreciated! Of course, if it’s not something that makes much difference – no matter how old the originals might be – never mind! ;-p

      1. Lol, thanks Kiki for your great suggestion. I do like using the outlet insulation pads by Frost King to keep the drafts at bay. They’re cheap and work. Hope you’re staying warm!!!

  30. Mike k says:

    The best electrical tool you can use is… your brain! Don’t do silly things or take short cuts. Do it right and do it safe. Those non contact electric testers are a close second. Just because you shut the breaker off doesn’t mean someone before you didn’t wire something funny and now you have 2 breakers feeding the same outlet.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Mike.

      Taking one’s time with electric is a must and using the right tools is helpful, too.

      I can’t stress enough the importance of working safely and testing all the wires in the box for electricity.

  31. Luis says:

    Great video! Very helpful and resourceful. Thanks for sharing!!

  32. Toby Crowthers says:

    Electricity is scary stuff- thanks for making it less so !

    I will attempt my next electrical problem with a better understanding,and a safer approach to the problem.

    Thank you .

    1. My pleasure Toby, safety precautions can make it less scary that’s for sure.

      And the right tools are always helpful 😀

  33. Len says:

    Excellent video, Jeff! My favorite electrical tool is the non-contact voltage tester that I received from you! So much simpler to use than a volt meter. Thank you!

    1. Awesome Len, glad you like it.

      That tester is the one I need to get for myself, lol.

      And it is easier to use than a volt meter.

  34. Janet says:

    Have to agree with some of the others – fave tool has to be non-contact voltage tester. If you’ve ever been shocked, this is the tool to have.
    Perfect timing on video- getting ready to change outlets out from 2 prong to 3 prong grounded outlets. Now I don’t need to google it. The ground wire is there, previous owner just never changed to 3 prong outlets- go figure. Paid electrician to do some of them for me, then when I watched him, I knew this was something I could do.

    1. That is weird that the old owner didn’t use the ground wire. Although it doesn’t surprise me.

      You can totally do this yourself Janet. And if you don’t feel comfortable you know you can always call the electrician. But I think you can do it 😀

  35. Squafdonoboles says:

    Since I am a little dyslexic, I prefer to change the wires one by one, as in changing spark plug wires.

    1. Not a bad idea. Keeps the project nice and tidy, too 😀

  36. M Johnson says:

    I don’t have any “favorite” wiring tools — yet! I didn’t know that a receptacle analyzer tool even existed, but now that I do, I DEFINITELY want to get one! Thanks for a great tutorial…the info about the spacer really helped, since I have several receptacles that move around. ;O{ Looks like I will have some wiring to do in my future…

  37. Dick Cummins says:

    Great tutorial. I include a radio playing out of duplex socket that I am working on. Cutting the power at the circuit panel assumes correct circuit identification. if the radio is still playing on return to the worksite then something is wrong: either wrong circuit assumption or different configuration behind the wall. The circuit tester is great for checking final work, and the voltage telltale is great for detecting hot wires behind the walls.

  38. Hank Wolgast says:

    My favorite tool for doing any electrical work has to be my voltage tester. It has saved me from getting a shocking experience a few times. I won’t do any electrical work without it. Thanks for another fine tutorial Jeff, You’re the greatest !

  39. Tina Zane says:

    Considering that electricity scares the bejesus out of me, I can safely say that I only have a wire stripper in my toolbox to rewire unplugged lamps an speaker wires! However, with your easy sounding steps Jeff, I may just try this. The problem is, my house is listed as historic and the wires connecting the outlets are both black, not black and white. The picture will help with this, I hope!! Thanks for your great site and passing on your tutorials in such a great and fun way!

  40. BonneJo says:

    What an awesome tutorial. This is the first time I’ve been to your website Jeff, and I’m so glad. Never thought about vacuuming out the electric box after rewiring an outlet – good tip. As for my favorite electric tool, it’s a voltage tester although after watching your video, I’m thinking the spacers are going to be my next purchase. Thanks again.

  41. David says:

    Great post, Jeff! I really love my Craftsman non-contact voltage tester as it always gives me some confidence before doing any electrical work. One tip from me, always use your non-contact tester on a live circuit to make sure that it is working! What you do not want to do is to have low or no battery in the tester and then think that a live circuit isn’t actually hot!

  42. Sol Bress says:

    Besides using a volt meter when changing electrical outlets, I have a can of Great Stuff insulation for outlets on outside walls. By insulating around the outlets when changing them, I’ve accomplished two tasks at the same time.

  43. Tim Wallace says:

    Probably half of my outlets in my house need to be replaced. With a 1 year old running around, I need to get this done since the outlets won’t even hold the plugs to keep her from putting toys in there. Right now we have just moved furniture and put heavy things in front of all of the outlets to keep her out. Haha! Somehow, you are always right on time with these sort of posts Jeff! Thanks a ton!

    My favorite electrical tool is definitely my wire strippers. I had been using the ones built in to my Leatherman for years, and the first time I used a pair of real wire strippers I understood the joy of not cutting my wire by mistake and getting a nice clean cut.

    For me, the best safety tip for electrical and really any project is something that we actually use at work every day. Before every task, stand back and take a moment to perform a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA). The JHA makes you look at all of the possible hazards and see what you should have on hand to minimize your risk of injury. If you thnk you might have a task where gloves would minimize injury and you have them beside you before you start, you will probably take the time to use them. If you had already started and then realized gloves would be nice, but had to go and find them you might just keep working and risk a major injury. Conducting this walkthrough is important for jobs you have never done, but I find it even more important on tasks that I have done often since those are the ones that I am more likely to bypass safety in the name of efficiency.

  44. Andy Henley says:

    Great Tutorial! I have replaced these several times but did not realize some of the safety basics that you mentioned. Sometimes I just forget but this is a great reminder and update. Thanks for the mini lesson.

  45. Tote says:

    Great video. I learned alot.

  46. Linda S says:

    I’ve never wired an outlet, but watched my husband do so a few times. I love these videos. I’ve saved all of them even though I know I can go to you tube to find them if needed. I’m sure there is still a voltage tester in his old tool box but I’ve never heard of a receptacle analyzer.

  47. Out of all the home improvements I can do, electricity is not one of my strong points.. At least now I know why one should use these little gadgets in your post.. Great post, especially for one who needs some learning skills in the electrical home repair.

    Richard Faller

  48. Margie S says:

    My favorite tool (not actually a tool) for electrical work was my Dad …he was an electrician. He passed away many years ago as did my husband, so I have been doing what I can to save money. I guess the OFF switch on my breaker panel would have to be my favorite thing now (since it’s not properly labeled anymore) …when I had my home rewired (it had lots of ‘tooth & nail’ wiring …built in the 1940’s) the contractor did not label anything. I have ran up and down the basement steps so many times checking to see if outlets were off that I just gave up and switch it all off when I need to do anything like install a new light fixture. LOL

  49. Cathy King says:

    My favorite electrical safety tool is the main breaker switch in the off position!! I’m so paranoid I have to turn everything off!! I got thrown across the room by a live wire many years ago and it made me somewhat skittish. My father said it was a cold wire…..if he could be wrong about it, anyone could!!….so I’m super careful.

    I love your post and look forward to them. Your videos are very good!!

  50. Donna Wallis says:

    Fantastic! As soon as I can pick up the tools I need I am replacing all of the 33 year old outlets in my house. Thank you.

  51. SUSAN BOYD says:

    The voltage tester would be my favorite tool. Because even if I flip the breaker, I have
    that extra measure of safety.

    1. I feel the same way Susan. Non-contact voltage testers are a must 😀

  52. frank says:

    Wire strippers, no more utility knife strippers, I also put a small piece of colored tape on the gauge I’m stripping…..

  53. Lily de Grey says:

    Hi, Jeff! I’m grateful that you’ve listed the steps required to wire an electrical outlet. I’m a single mother, so I’m often busy with other things. I cannot afford for something to go wrong with my wiring project, so I would feel more comfortable with hiring an electrician.

    Lily de Grey|

  54. This seems like great information! A few of the outlets in my house aren’t working, so I need to know how to wire a new outlet. I’ve never installed a new outlet before, so I’m glad that you’ve posted careful instructions. I like how you said that receptacle analyzers are cooler than Justin Bieber. It seems like having an analyzer to show me how an outlet is wired is incredibly useful to help me safely work the wiring for any outlet I’m working on. I’ll be sure to use one when I wire my outlets.

    1. The Biebs is cool but tools are cooler Deanna, haha. Glad to know the tutorial helped you out. Keep me posted on your progress. Buy the good outlets, too. Not the cheap ones 😀

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