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You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

USB Outlets 101: Installation and Tips

The most modern version of USB only came out in 2022, offering faster charging and data transfer. Having USBs everywhere is getting so popular that people are installing USB chargers in their home outlets. Though, is it ok to do this yourself, and would you even know how to install a USB outlet without professional help?

Let's explore what a USB wall outlet can do for you and whether you should bring in a professional to help you with installation. 

A Symbol of the Modern Home

As we move further into the 21st century, smartphones and other devices are everywhere. No matter which device you have, it tends to be a USB device that allows you to charge it, rather than the varied electrical chargers of the past. Having a USB receptacle in every corner of your home means you can ensure you can keep your devices charged at all times.

Most people are accustomed to charging their devices in their work or office buildings. But these days, with more employees working from home, people find home chargers are more useful. A constant need for charging is causing entire regions to focus their energy on trying to make it easier and more accessible for all.

While not every home has USB outlets, people often see it as a sign of a tech-savvy home. You have nothing to lose by installing a USB wall outlet here and there.

DIY vs. Pro Options

You might think that installing USB ports into an electrical outlet would be a simple task. It could even be a cost-saving measure for you to not use a technician. However, it is never as simple as you might think.

For a professional, though, it can be. The wall outlet is a powerful device, it's important to take extreme measures when trying to manipulate it yourself. So, you want to have the assurance you get it done right the first time, to avoid complications.

In conclusion, it might be better to put your time and effort into contacting someone who can get it done right. Still, if you want to try to get some hands-on experience and immediate gratification, the following should help:

DIY: A Step-By-Step Guide

Ok, you have decided to do it yourself, so let's make sure you know what you are doing. Installing a USB outlet can take a good deal of time if you have never done it before. Use the following steps to help you out.

Turn Off the Power

Ensure your safety before everything else. Find the electrical panel in your home and turn off the circuit breaker leading to the outlet you will be working with.

Make sure nobody else is using devices on that same circuit and might be tempted to turn it back on. You do not want any surprises throughout the rest of this process.

Remove the Existing Outlet

Using an outlet voltage tester, make sure no electricity is running through the wires. This will ensure you remain safe.

Then, use a screwdriver to remove any existing wall plate over the outlet. Some plates may not have screws, so you will need to work out where to lever it off the wall instead. After you remove the screws, be aware the wires will still be connected, so do not pull the panel hard.

In the outlet's space, you will notice a white neutral wire, a black or red-hot wire, and a bare copper wire to ground the outlet. If they are not colored like this, remember that white neutral wires usually connect to a white lead or a silver terminal. A black or red wire should connect to a brass screw terminal. 

Disconnect all of these from the existing outlet.

Connect the Right Wires

Using your screwdriver and/or needle-nose pliers, start to connect the wires to the new USB. Follow the instructions you can find for the outlet or wall box, to ensure you attach the right wires to the correct places.

Secure the New Outlet

Once everything is in place, place the wires back in the wall and secure the outlet with any screws provided. You can then put the wall plate onto the device, ensuring any USB receptacle or outlet lines up with the appropriate holes in the wall plate.

Turn the Power Back On

After everything is back in good working order, turn the circuit breaker back on at the electrical panel. Then, you might want to try the USB out with a small device, such as an old phone, in case of mistakes.

As a DIY job, remember something might go wrong. As such, make sure you have the number of a skilled electrician handy so you can get everything back in working order sooner rather than later.

Calling in the Experts: A Step-By-Step Guide

If you do not feel confident in your ability, or if something goes wrong, you will need to get someone in to ensure things do not get worse. If you want to contact an insurance company due to electrical damage, getting a professional to look at the situation will also help with the claim.

As such, use the following as a basic guide to the steps you need to take to make the best use of the specialist's expertise.

Get in Touch with a Bright Spark

The first thing you will need to do is find the perfect electrician for the job. Do your research and see if you can find someone with experience in the specific job you need done. Whether it is repairs, or the first installation of a USB outlet, having someone who knows what they are doing is key. Make sure to ask questions and be very specific about your current situation.

Ask For an Assessment

Get the electrician to come out and assess your home, including the current setup you have. They will make note of the age of your building and the robustness of your electrical system. This way they can try to anticipate any issues that might come up during an installation or repair.

They might find some areas of concern you were not originally aware of. A high-quality electrician will have the experience and knowledge to warn you of problems before they appear.

Discuss Your Options

The professional will be able to inform of the different options, and the choices you need to make, including:

Repair costs: When it comes down to brass tacks, the electrician will be able to tell you how much any work will cost.

Outlet suggestions: It might be that the outlet you have chosen is not the electrician's preferred choice. Many electrical experts will have opinions on device choice due to aspects such as the safety of the device or the simplicity of installing it.

Moving outlet placement: You might even want to move the outlet to a different part of a room or install more outlets around the home for USB access. A dedicated professional can discuss options and changes that need to be made.

Extra features: When installing the outlet, they might offer to install extra features. These might include switches to control the outlet from afar or even smart control over your electrical system.

Schedule the Installation

When you know what you want to be done, talk to the electrician about their availability. Be flexible, understanding that the better the professional, the more in demand they will be.

When they visit to install the device, they will be able to advise you on what they are doing so you can have full transparency, do not be afraid to ask questions. Your satisfaction is, after all, in their best interests.

Experts Who Know How to Install a USB Outlet

After checking through all the above information, you should understand that it takes more than knowing how to install a USB outlet to do a good job. Hiring expertise and experience means you can get an outlet that is safe and secure, so it may well last as long as your home.

At Parker and Sons, we have the expertise to ensure your electrical outlet will do everything you need it to, without needing to worry about making mistakes. So, get in contact with Parker & Sons and schedule an appointment today to make installing a USB charger as easy as possible.

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