Skip to Content

Upgrading Electrical Outlets: A Complete Guide

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Tired of your old electrical outlets? You must be noticing some issues by now if that’s the case! But are you uncertain if you actually need to upgrade your outlets? 

Well, most people are in the dilemma of upgrading or keeping the old electrical outlets. Today, I’ll answer all of it for you!

What are the different types of upgrading electrical outlets?

First, you can choose GFCI outlets which are commonly used nowadays. If not, then AFCI outlets could also be a good choice. To add to that, tamper-resistant receptacles are also great for this!

If this seems a little too vague for you, head over to this article. There I’ll be discussing all the details!

When Should I Upgrade Electrical Outlets?

Knowing when to upgrade your electrical outlets is really important. Because a lot of people have this mistiming, causing issues in no time. If you continue using a defective outlet without upgrading, you’re at risk! 

But, how would you understand the time?

Well, you would go through a few similar situations in this case. First of all, there are no three-prong outlets. Or, you may also notice it is hard to plug in. When employed, outlet sparks are a common symbol of this problem. 

There could be smoke around the outlets and black discoloration on the outlets. In rooms, you’ll note that there are no GFCI outlets and that the outlets are getting warm. 

This is also symbolized by flickering power which would just stop functioning for no apparent cause.

If you ever notice these, don’t waste any time calling an electrician. Because you might be at high risk. You can easily reach out to a professional mechanic for this!

What Are The Different Types of Upgrading Electrical Outlets?

There are several upgrading electrical outlets that you can use. Today, I tried to include the most convenient ones considered. Go through them in detail and find the best one that suits your house!

Type 1: GFCI Outlets

GFCI outlets are known as Ground fault circuit interrupters. These are the electrical outlets that protect against power surges. These outlets considerably lower the risk of shock. 

They achieve this by shutting off an electrical circuit as soon as it becomes a shock hazard. This type of execution is required in areas with water. 

Your home may not have an FI socket. In that case, install it at least in the bathroom or kitchen. Find the socket with the test and reset buttons to identify the GFCI socket.

Type 2: AFCI Outlets

Arc fault circuit interrupters also known as AFCI outlets. By constantly monitoring how much current is going across a circuit, these devices lessen the risk of electrical fires. 

If there are any inadvertent arcs, they turn off the circuit. These outlets resemble GFCI outlets and feature test and reset buttons.

There are two types of AFCI protection. AFCI circuit breakers and AFCI outlets are two types of AFCI devices. Inquire with your electrician about the best alternative for your property. 

Also, check to see whether portions of your home, according to the local electrical code, require AFCI protection.

Type 3: Tamper Resistant Receptacles

A mechanism is built into tamper-resistant receptacles. It prevents non-plug objects from being caught in the outlet. To plug something in, equal pressure must be exerted to the top two slots of the receptacle. 

Let’s think about hairpins or paper clips inserted into one of the outlet slots, for example. Inserting it will not make contact with the necessary contact points. Hence it will not generate an electrical charge.

The National Electrical Code currently mandates TRRs in new buildings. Local requirements, on the other hand, may differ. 

Call your electrician if you have small children and live in an older property. They’d check to see if these outlets could be installed to safeguard them against electric shock.

So, these are the different types of electrical outlets for an upgrade!

How To Upgrade Electrical Outlets? – 3 Simple Step

Upgrading electrical outlets is not impossible for nonprofessionals to do alone. But you need to be quite cautious while doing this. You’ll find 3 simple steps in which I’ve explained the procedure.

This should clear out the whole process of upgrading electrical outlets. Check them out.

Step 1 of 3: Turn Off The Power

To begin, ascertain that the power of the outlet is turned off. Then pull out the old receptacle by removing the cover plate. Disconnect the wires from the outlet at this point.

If you can not disconnect the wire properly, you might get a brown well power outage.

If you see any wire getting damaged at this moment, replace it. Not sure what wire would be ideal to replace with? Take an idea from my suggestions below-

Product 1
Product 2

This wire is quite durable and efficient for use. You shouldn’t be disappointed when using them.

Step 2 of 3: Inspect The Long Wires

Now check to see if the old wires are long enough to correctly connect to the new receptacle. If this isn’t the case, you’ll need to adjust the circuit’s wire gauge. 

Add a pigtail wire with that. Then, on the GFCI receptacle, connect the wires to the appropriate terminals.

You can also take any wear like cerro or romex if you need.

Step 3 of 3: Insert Ground Screw

Finally, in the outlet box, screw in the required ground screw. Connect the screw to the receptacle’s grounding terminal with a grounding wire. 

The outlet and receptacle are re-installed in the wall once everything is linked. And then the cover plate should be replaced. 

Finally, you have an upgraded functioning outlet.

This is how you can upgrade electrical outlets. If you are confused or notice something unusual, don’t proceed any further. Get help from an electrician right away!

FAQs

Question: Do I need to change the used electrical outlets?

Answer: With time, your electrical outlets will become old, twisted, broken, or faulty. As a result, you must replace them as needed. Upgraded outlets eliminate this risk while also increasing the efficiency of your home’s electricity.

Question: Can I make my electrical outlets modern?

Answer: You can modernize them by installing a GFCI outlet. Make sure it is marked “no equipment ground” with a sticker label. While this outlet will keep humans safe from electric shocks, it will not keep your electrical equipment safe from shorting. 

Question: Why are outlets installed upside down?

Answer: The outlet is frequently installed upside-down by electricians. They do it so that the receptacle can be immediately identified. The majority of people notice it immediately away. As a result, it is easier for the tenants to remember which outlet is switch controlled.

The Final Words

Now you know what are the different types of upgrading electrical outlets! Get down to the one that you find more convenient for your place.

But do not take any risk with any electrical stuff. Make sure you abide by all the safety precautions!

All the best!