How to Replace a 120-Volt Electrical Wall Outlet

Disconnecting the wires from the receptacle.
Disconnecting the wires from the receptacle.

Step 5: Disconnect Wires from Old Receptacle

Loosen the screws holding the wires, and gently remove the wires from the screws. If the wires were installed in the back of the receptacle using push-in terminals, insert a small, slotted screwdriver in the slot next to each terminal to release the wire.

Be careful with the wires; if they’re undamaged, you can use the exposed ends again. If the ends of the wires are frayed or broken, snip them back and strip off the sheathing with wire strippers to expose about 1/2″ of bare wire.

Now’s a good time to take a look inside your electrical box, and vacuum it out if it’s dirty. If there are any connections inside the box, check the wire nuts to make sure they’re tight.


  1. I have two ceiling fans (bedroom & living room) which are controlled by wall touch switches. One or both will go during severe storms. I have questioned various Home Depot workers who had no idea what could be causing these occurrences. I don’t want to call an electrician to come over for something I could possibly do myself. I have installed dimmer switches, installed thermostats, toilet repairs, under the sink repairs, faucet repairs… I think I can tackle this one. I just need to know whether if I disconnect it at the wall switch, will it function manually directly from the fan?

    I thank you.

  2. How do I figure out which circuit breaker turns off which outlets and then how do I double-check to be sure its off?

  3. I am replacing some old lighting in my kitchin, the lights I will be putting back are lumens link able. What I would like to do is remove the switch that is there fore the old light and rewire it for a outlet can you help?
    Thanking you in advance,
    Lonnie Ayers

  4. my electrical outlet in the kitchen does not fit my oven i need to replace it to fit my oven cord which is a three prong what do i need to do

  5. I have a gfi outlet in my kitchen that stopped working and would not reset. It did not trip a circuit breaker. I replaced the outlet and still no power. None of the others in the same room are broken. Could the problem be further back in the wall?

    • Hi, Casey,
      It could be a breaker problem, it could be another outlet in the series, it could be a bad GFCI. This one is better left for a pro that can troubleshoot and pinpoint exactly where the problem is.
      Good luck!


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