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How to Replace a Duplex Receptacle
To replace a standard duplex receptacle, follow these steps: Turn off the power to the receptacle from the main fuse or circuit panel. Unscrew and remove the cover plate; then use a voltage tester to make sure that the circuit is dead. Unscrew the receptacle from the electrical box and pull it out with the wires still attached. Note where the white and black wires are attached to the old receptacle. Remove the wires. Carefully inspect the old receptacle to see if the break-off tab connecting the two sets of terminals on each side of the receptacle is broken off. If it is, remove the corresponding tabs from the new receptacle. To break off the tab, grip it with long-nose pliers and bend it back and forth until it breaks off. Attach the wires to the terminals of the new receptacle. If the wiring has a green ground wire, attach it to the green terminal on the receptacle or to the electrical box. Push the new receptacle back into the electrical box and screw it in place. Screw on the cover plate and then turn on the power.