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2023-06-14 19:05:16

Plug Won't Stay In Outlet

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Hey guys , how's it going ?

It's Scott with everyday home repairs .

And I want to talk a little bit about a very common problem in your home and that is when you have an outlet that just won't hold the plugs in and they just want to fall out .

Now , this is usually not as common if you have a three prong plug like this one , usually that ground plug provides you a little bit more tension to hold into even a worn out outlet .

But if you have a two pronger , really , even the weight of the cord wants to pull that plug out of the outlet .

Now , this can obviously be a safety hazard hazard because you start to expose a connected hot side piece of metal , the blade from that plug going in .

So that is a big safety hazard .

And also it's just a pain in the butt .

You probably if you've been at a hotel and you try to plug in your phone and the outlet just literally will not hold the plug at all .

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That's because that's probably the outlet .

That is where the vacuum is being plugged in every day .

So vacuums being plugged in every day .

It's , it's pulling quite a bit of current , creating heat , so it really wears out those outlets .

So I'm gonna show you what's going on inside .

I'm actually gonna remove this and break it open and show you what's going on inside .

And then obviously also how to fix that .

What kind of outlet should you be putting in place ?

So you don't have this issue going forward .

So let's jump into it .

So , first thing when removing this outlet , one , we want to make sure the power is cut off .

So we're gonna hit the circuit breaker or the fuse depending on what your setup is .

Now , you can use either use a noncontact voltage tester and you can tell the outlet is still hot .

Now , through many , many hundreds of comments through some of my videos , most licensed electricians or at least some of them really don't like the non contact .

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They don't prefer the non contact to give you a strong indication whether or not the plug is still hot , so you can get a simple outlet tester .

Now , both of these links will be down in the description if you want to reference what I'm using here .

And then I have two amber color lights on .

That means the outlet is working and it's powered .

But now I need to go hit the breaker to make sure I cut power both to the top and bottom outlets .

All right .

So now we can see that all lights are off .

So this is , this is no longer powered from our outlet tester .

And then also the noncontact would give us the same .

So now we're safe to remove this outlet and then I'll cut this open and show you what's going on .

All right .

So removal is going to be easy enough .

We'll take the two screws out so we can remove the outlet from the electrical box .

Then you'll start to loosen up all the different screw terminals .

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Now , you might not have two hots and two neutrals coming in and also your wire colors might be different .

Red is the hot side for me .

Black might be your hot side and white is my neutral .

Most likely yours is also white and then I have a green wire for ground .

You'll probably have a bare copper wire .

You'll probably have to open up those j hooks or shepherd hooks a little bit to get them from out around the screw terminal and do be careful if you have short wires and not much extra wire .

Be careful not to damage the installation because you're gonna need to reuse as much wire as possible .

So you don't make it too short to make it difficult to rewire the new outlet .

So we'll finish off removing the two neutrals here and then we'll open up this old outlet .

So I wanted to open up that outlet just to give you a closer look at what's going on here .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

And o overall , the construction of this , uh , outlet I , I like , uh , it's much better than the cheaper ones these days .

Uh , this is a Leviton .

That's the , the same replacement that I'll be using .

But what happened is the clearances here that would hold the blades on a plug have really opened up so I can pass this wire between those .

Now , if I were to take a new commercial spec outlet , right and try to pass that same wire , it ain't happening .

So it's much tighter .

Uh This is brand new , obviously not used .

So from heat and just use over time , it's really opened up and that is why it's not holding .

Here's an example two prong from an apple charger and even putting that in there , I mean , it's not holding it at all so you can pass it through .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So this is why at hotels , maybe some outlets around your house are having that issue is they've just been used over time and they're worn out and they can no longer hold the neutral and hot side of the plug .

So it's time to swap that out .

Now , what should you swap that out with ?

I did a video breaking down these two different outlets and you can see that link right here if you want to go deeper .

This is a standard residential grade , it's not tamper resistant .

So this one would be about 50 cents .

This is a commercial spec made by Leviton , both of these made by Leon , both of these 15 AMP and this is about $2 .

I recommend this guy .

Now in your area to the code you're most likely gonna need tamper resistant pretty much everywhere .

Now , you need tamper resistant where you're not able to introduce uh any sort of object to one side where somebody could get shocked .

You have to apply to both sides for that to open up .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

This is the equivalent residential here .

And I do not recommend that it's , it's just overall pretty cheaply made .

And if you're taking the time to replace , whether that's you or you're hiring that out , go ahead and get yourself at least one step up with the commercial grade tamper resistant .

Like I said , most likely for your application and also to follow the coding era .

One additional nice thing about this commercial is it has the feature where you can do back wire .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So you're not gonna have to do those shepherd hooks , which would usually if you're gonna do it , if you're gonna do a shepherd hook or AJ hook around the screw , remember it goes clockwise around and then you want all copper , no insulation being pinched between the screw uh as you tighten it down , but we're gonna use back wire , which there's always a strip gauge here so you can match up to the strip gauge to no , sorry , it's on the other side , you can match up the strip gauge and know how much copper you need and then you can pass that right straight in and then screw that down .

And that plate is gonna hold that in place and it's gonna securely hold your hot , neutral side and then you will have to do a shepherd for the ground .

So let me show you how to install that .

Ok .

So now with the outlet , remember that gold is your hot side and then the silver , it's gonna be your neutral side .

So I'm gonna use back wire .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So I'll quickly go through and I'm going to cut and strip these .

I have plenty of wire .

So I'm not worried about cutting these too short , but I'm gonna cut them and rest them to the correct size so I can get them ready to back wire .

Now , one note when you're using the , the strippers , you , you're probably comfortable with them .

But if not , you're gonna have your gauge of wire listed on the left hand side if it's solid core .

So this would be used for a 12 gauge , which is what I used .

If you used a 14 , you're going to also damage the copper which is gonna weaken it and that's going to cause you problems long term .

So make sure that you're using the correct hole for the size of wire that you have .

And it should also be noted that you , you want to make sure you're matching up the same outlet .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So this a 15 amp , many outlets are 20 amp .

So I didn't talk about it earlier , but I did confirm that the old outlet that I'm replacing is 15 amp .

So first I'm gonna put the ground on there .

What I'm gonna do is close up that Shepherd's hook a little bit around the screw .

So there's good contact all the way around and then I'll go ahead and tighten that , remember clockwise direction for your wire .

All right .

So now that I have two hots and two neutrals , I need tins , I'm gonna put the two hots on the same screw terminal .

These are made to fit two wires , one on each side and then the two neutrals on the , on the top on the opposite side .

Remember gold for hot silver for neutral .

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Ok .

And then I am , you'll probably have a plastic electrical box .

I actually have a metal one , but best practice any unused terminals .

You do want to go ahead and screw those all the way in just to make sure you have less likelihood , especially on the hot side , if you had a metal box that , that you would hit a screw terminal on something that it could go , it could short across that .

So just check your work , make sure everything's secure .

Everything looks right .

There's no weak points and then start to tuck your wires back into the box .

So then you can uh tighten down your mounting screws .

So it should be noted here .

The wall has some wood paneling on it .

So the standard three quarters of an inch mounting screw did not work .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So I had to upgrade , do a comparison here to a one inch .

Now , while I put on the cover plate , if you do need those longer screws , there are 6-32 panhead machine screw .

You can pretty much get them at any ace hardware .

All right .

So the power is back on .

So we'll do a quick check with our outlets .

Tester , both on the bottom looks good and top also looks good .

And then the true test the issue where the two prong plugs or even really three plug prong plugs were basically falling out .

So now we have a nice secure hold and we won't have any issues for years to come .

Hopefully , that helps you out and also give you a little bit more details on what's going on on the inside of the outlet when you have those plugs basically falling out .

Now , before you take off , don't forget to subscribe to our channel .

If you haven't already , we have weekly videos coming out to help you with your repairs and improvements around the house and we'll catch you on the next one .

Take care .


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