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Installing a USB Outlet

If you’re like us (or like most households in America), you most likely have a couple of iPhones or phones that need charged with a USB connection. Also if you’re like us, you are always trying to find places to plug in your different adaptors into regular outlets or plug it into your computer. Well, we found a solution in a USB outlet box in this post from two twenty one.

We purchased this outlet and this outlet cover from amazon. If you’d still like to have 2 plugs (in addition to the USB) try this model, instead.

Installing a USB Outlet - Charleston Crafted

So how’d we do it? First things first- turn off the power to the outlet. And then double check it. Plug something in and make sure it doesn’t turn on. Then, take off the outlet cover, unscrew the outlet, and pull it out (it will likely seem stuck, but that’s because the wires will be thick and tight, so just keep pulling).

Installing a USB Outlet - Charleston Crafted

Installing a USB Outlet - Charleston Crafted

Next, disconnect the five wires that will be in the outlet box (two whites, two blacks, and a neutral).

Installing a USB Outlet - Charleston Crafted

The next step is to take your new USB outlet and connect it to the wires in the box. The important thing here is to make sure to insert the correct wires into the correct slots and then tighten the screws. Then, bend all the wires back into the outlet box and screw the outlet into the wall.

Installing a USB Outlet - Charleston Crafted

Installing a USB Outlet - Charleston Crafted

After that, simply crew your outlet cover back on and see how you have freed up space and can plug two USB cords into the same outlet and still have a regular outlet open!

Installing a USB Outlet - Charleston Crafted

Installing a USB Outlet - Charleston Crafted

Isn’t that so much better?

Go ahead and give it a try and let us know what you think!

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Installing a USB Outlet - Charleston Crafted
Yield: 1 new outlet

How to install a USB outlet

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated Cost: $10-50

Need to charge things often? Here's how to swap a regular outlet for a USB outlet!

Materials

  • USB Outlet

Tools

  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver

Instructions

  1. Turn the power off to your outlet by switching off that breaker. Double check this by plugging something in and making sure it won't turn on.
  2. Use a screwdriver to remove the outlet cover.
  3. Unscrew the outlet itself and pull it out.
  4. Disconnect the five wires that will be in the outlet box (two whites, two blacks, and a neutral).
  5. Take the new USB outlet and connect it to the wires coming from the wall. Match the colors of the wire. Tighten the screws.
  6. Bend the outlet back into the wall and screw into place.
  7. Replace the face plate.
  8. Cut back on the power and test. Enjoy!

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Chris

Friday 2nd of May 2014

As a heads up, that was a GFCI outlet that you removed to install your usb outlet. This may be against code and is dangerous in areas close to sinks, outdoors, etc. Also, given that this wasn't the last outlet in the circuit (since there are 4 wires connected to it), the outlets downstream of it are no longer protected by it as well. If you go to re-install your old outlet, make sure you properly hook it back up - there is a side marked "load" that is intended for the downstream outlets (to be protected by the GFCI circuit) and "line" for the power feed from upstream in the circuit (not protected by the GFCI).

As a disclaimer, I'm not an electrician, but I have read a lot on this for home electrical projects.

CharlestonCrafted

Friday 2nd of May 2014

Thanks for the tip Chris! We are definitely not electricians either and hadn't heard about gfci outlets before. We will be very very careful and so should anyone doing any kind of electrical work! Luckily this is on the opposite side as our sink but we will be very careful to keep liquids away especially. Thanks again for the advice and thanks for reading!

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