If you intend to upgrade your TV or entertainment system this Christmas, you should upgrade your electrical outlet as well. You can install a surge protector enhanced outlet that will protect your new appliances from being damaged by power surges from storms and line malfunctions.
You can then get rid of your power strip that is enhanced with surge protection capabilities, which is often obtrusive and aesthetically unappealing, and seems to serve an additional purpose as a household dust collector.
What you will need:
Surge protector outlet
You will need a fifteen amp outlet with plug receptacles that resemble your old outlet (two parallel slots and one round hole). The only difference is that the surge protector outlet will have a reset button and an activation light in the center between the two receptacles.
Open face plate
You can reuse the old face plate that covers your current outlet because your new outlet will need to have an open center. An open face plate has an open rectangular center to allow access to the reset button and activation light visibility.
You'll need both a flat and Philips head screwdriver.
You will also need to able to work comfortably with electrical components. While this is a relatively simple electrical project, if you have any doubts, an electrician can perform the job in less than thirty minutes.
If you feel confident in your abilities, here's what you need to do:
Removing your existing outlet
Before you begin, you must turn off the breaker that supplies power to the outlet. Plug a working appliance into the outlet and turn it on, then turn off the breaker. By doing this, you will be assured that you have turned off the correct breaker when the appliance goes off, even if the breaker panel is clearly marked.
You will then begin by removing the cover plate from the existing outlet by removing the center screw with the flat head screwdriver.
Next, you will loosen the upper and lower Philips head screws that secure the outlet to the outlet box inside the wall, then pull the outlet from the box.
You will see either one or two sets of three wires connected to the top and bottom of the outlet. Remove all wires by loosening the terminal screws and unhooking the wires from the terminals. Keep the wires separated.
Installing the surge protector outlet
The wire terminals in the surge protector outlet are identical to those of the standard outlet, so you will connect the wires in the same way. If one set of three wires is present, connect them to the top part of the outlet. The black wire will be connected to the gold terminal, the white wire connected to the silver terminal, and the green or copper colored wire to the green terminal.
If a second set of wires is present, connect them to the bottom half of the outlet in the same manner, with the green or copper wire connected with the first wire to the single green terminal screw at the top of the outlet.
Push the outlet into the outlet box and tighten the connecting screws, then attach the new face plate with the provided screws. Turn on the breaker, push the reset button on the outlet, and you're finished.