Update Your Electrical Outlet to a USB Outlet

3 Materials
30 Minutes

A simple 10 min DIY can really make all the difference in a single space. We updated a regular outlet to a USB outlet at our kitchen counter and it’s made all the difference in our makeshift office!

We’ve been working from home for months now and we’re constantly unplugging each other’s devices to recharge our own. We wanted to make a quick update that would bring better functionality to our counter.

Step 1: Turn off the power at the breaker

Safety is really important. It’s best to shut off the electric at the breaker before starting any wiring project.

Step 2: Remove the cover and the existing outlet

Depending on the style of cover and outlet you have, there are 1 or two screws that need to be removed to take the cover off the wall. Once the over is off, there will be a couple of more screws that attach the outlet to the electrical box that will need to be removed as well. Take your time.

Once the outlet is out, you can use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the wires from the outlet. Since you should have already turned the electric off at the breaker, it is OK to touch the wires.

Step 3: Attach the New USB Outlet

On the back of the outlet you’ll see two labels that correspond with two wire terminals. These are labeled so you know where to put the wires. WHITE is where the white wire goes. WHITE is your neutral charged wire. HOT is where the black wire goes. This is where the electric current is located.

The third wire is Copper and that gets connected in the last terminal. Sometimes the Copper wire it on the bottom of the outlet (like the one pictured above), or the opposite side. It is usually not immediately grouped with WHITE and HOT.

Step 4: Wrap in Electrical Tape

Wrapping the USB outlet in electrical tape will help the wires stay in place. This isn’t a mandatory step, but this is a nice safety measure to put in place.

Step 5: Secure the USB Outlet back in the Wall and Reattach the Wall Plate

It’s been great having up to four devices charging all at the same time!

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