How To Upgrade Sockets And Switches


Upgrading a building’s electrical system is necessary to provide a hazard-free environment. In many cases, enhancing the electrical components of a property start with the sockets and switches. At first, they may look simple. But through the years, the technology paved the way for safer and sleeker designs.

If your switches and sockets at home are already old, you may consider revamping them. In doing so, you may think about the various qualities modern sockets and switches have. These may include soft switching and plugging mechanism and flame retardant features.

Yet, before you dwell too long in those, you may need to know how to upgrade these parts. For that purpose, here’s an article for you.

  1. Choose The Switch And Socket 

There’s a vast array of options for sockets and switches you could choose from. You may consider choosing among the switches with 2-6 gangs or types such as rocker style. You may also select among the sockets with multiple holes. You could also consider their sizes and colors. Also, you may consider if the style and color of the product match the design of your walls and overall interior style.

Apart from these, you may examine the type of material of the parts. Are they made of pure plastic, ceramic, or polycarbonate? For designs, you may look into their aesthetic qualities and unique features such as USB compatibility. 

For more ideas, you may check over these features: 

  • Safety shutters 
  • Special switching mechanisms 
  • Mount plates 
  • UV resistance 
  1. Turn Off The Power Source 

Before you install or replace your new parts, you need to turn off the power supply. This would allow you to work safely and hassle-free. Before you remove the screws and covers using a screwdriver, you may need to use a voltmeter to double-check whether there’s a running current. If the test turns negative, you could proceed to work on the socket or switch. 

  1. Remove The Cover 

You may use a flat screwdriver to remove the faceplate or cover. These covers have clip-on features that need a little force to detach from the electric box in many cases. In taking off the lid, ensure that the screws are correctly removed, and everything inside is still on their initial placement.

  1. Unscrew And Pull Out The Socket Or Switch 

Unscrew the switch and remove them from their box or case. For standalone sockets, you may just unscrew them open and detach them to their wires. Typically, you’ll need a Phillips screwdriver for this step.

  1. Place The New Switches And Sockets

Push in the new switch into the electric box and connect the wires into the mainline. For the sockets, you could use pliers in wire-cutting the connections to attach the socket properly. Make sure to cover with electric tape around open wires.

  1. Secure The Switch And Socket Before Attaching The Faceplate 

Check if the connections are correctly made. The wires mustn’t be too close to each other to avoid short circuits and similar troubles. In addition, you may refer to the following identification to know more about the wires:

  • White: This is a neutral wire and carries the circuit back to the source. 
  • Black: This is the hot wire. Thus, it has a live feed and is dangerous to handle without protection.
  • Copper: This ground wire should be connected to a green or blue-colored screw. 

For the switches, you may now close the faceplate after securing the connections. You need to check whether there are no loose wires and screws. Furthermore, you may double-check if the cover is pressed firmly.

  1. Try The Socket Or Switch 

After securing the connections, you could use the switch and socket. You may use the voltmeter again to see if the current is running properly. You could plug in an appliance or turn on the lights. In addition, examine the other features of the sockets and switch if they’re working. If you notice some unusual signs such as a burning smell and flickering sparks, turn off the power source, whether it’s direct current, generator, or battery. Then, call an electrician. 

Warming Up 

Changing an already existing electrical setup could be challenging, but there are steps you can follow to come up with a good connection. Upgrading the switches and sockets is a way of changing the electrical system for good. Apart from the benefits it could provide, improving these components may ensure safety and improve the aesthetic qualities of the switches and sockets. 

If you’re upgrading your sockets and switches anytime soon, you may consider using the steps in this article. Assess your situation and know what you want. Take the insights that suit your needs. Above all, consider choosing the points that’d provide you with high-quality and safe switches and sockets.