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How to change a socket: everything you need to know

Surely, on more than one occasion, you've had the task of changing a wall socket. There could be a number of reasons: faults in the sockets, damage to the junction box or just to move the supply to a new location

The truth is that periodically inspecting an electrical installation makes it easier to correct damage and become aware of deficiencies. Also, immediately repairing any slight problem with the basic infrastructure in the home provides greater peace of mind. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to change a wall socket. But first, let's look at the types of sockets that are available.

Types of electrical sockets

The electricity distribution around a house is planned from the first construction drawings. In Europe, there is a convergence in the regulations that establishes the ideal legal and technical character of wall sockets. Therefore, these parts don't require repair much until a fault or need arises. In Spain, there are two very common types, which can also be found in the rest of Europe, South America and Asia. They have the following technical and identifying characteristics.

  • Both have two pin plugs to supply electricity to any electrical appliance. Type C has no earthing and is only accompanied by a wall fastening screw. Type F has two transverse contact points fitted as a way to discharge static energy to earth.
  • The range of electrical voltage supported is the standard 220-240 V in both cases.
  • In terms of electrical current, again both types coincide, supporting 16 A supply.
  • There is connection compatibility between type C and type F. A type F plug can be connected to a type C socket, but without providing the earth connection to the appliance it supplies.
  • The type F plug is compatible with the type E supply sources. This new model is present in some European countries, such as France.

Materials needed and safety precautions

For simple jobs related to the socket or to replace some of its elements, a flat head screwdriver is sufficient. If the task is more complex, such as moving the location of a socket, other tools will be needed to dig out the plaster to form a groove, corrugated pipe and the parts of the new socket.

It is advisable to clear the entire area near the work space from obstacles that prevent visibility and correctly handling the cables, since the simplicity of the task often leads to overconfidence that can later lead to problems. And, of course, before starting any operation on electrical current conducting elements, make sure the supply is turned off.

The electrical panel for the local installation is the device that controls the flow of electricity into the house. In complex installations, or where there are devices that require uninterrupted supply, it is advisable to have a good understanding of the internal electrical distribution. If you see that the complexity of the repair exceeds your knowledge and skills, or if you fear putting yourself at risk during the repair, it is advisable to involve qualified technical personnel. Remember that safety must always prevail in  the event of any emergency.

Low Voltage Electrotechnical Regulations summarise the rules applicable to any type of installation connected to a low voltage supply source. And the fact is, due to the variety of household appliances that have appeared in recent times in a large number of homes, and with the development of air conditioning and home automation systems for example, reliable and professional information on these matters saves many problems.

Procedure for changing a socket

Simply replacing a socket is easy to do. After ensuring the electrical current has been turned off in the work area, remove the outer cover of the plug from the base. This task should be very quick and easy with a screwdriver. Next, simply connect the cables to the device.

If you want to move a socket to a new location, the operation is equally simple, although it will take more time. First of all, the socket must be transformed into a connection box. A plastic cover will warn of its presence on the surface of the wall. And the cables that go to the new plug will be connected behind this. To aid in this, electrical boxes usually have a removable lateral plastic cover that allows a corrugated tube to be placed inside a groove along the surface of the wall. The horizontal grooves in the bricks make it easier to pull the tube horizontally.

Thanks to an electric cable guide, the cables can easily be run through the tube to the new location. It is very important to match the colours of the cables involved in the connections. The blue coloured wire is neutral and brown is live. The green and yellow wire is for earthing. Finally, and after checking that the new device works correctly, restore the affected wall surface.

The opportunity to sign up for a comprehensive repair service

This little guide will help you take in the task of changing a socket in your house yourself. However, there are times when small unforeseen events arise that prevent us from carrying out this type of task. At other times, a socket can't be changed without help, either due to lack of time, safety issues or doubts regarding the procedures or materials to use.

So that changing a socket is not a worry, Endesa offers the OKLuz Assist technical assistance service. Thanks to this product, a qualified technician who is guaranteed by the company's stringent quality controls will come to your home for any small urgent electrical repair that may arise.

OKLuz Assist offers  unlimited assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Whenever you need it, a technician will be at your home in less than three hours. With OKLuz Assist, you will have one electrical appliance repair per year and one electric water heater repair. You will also have two electrical handyman services per year, three hours each, which include electrical installation and replacement work. Installing lamps or wall lights, changing switches or sockets will no longer be a headache. With OKLuz Assist, a solution is just a phone call away.

If you are an existing Endesa customer, sign up for OKLuz Assist for just €2.55 per month for the first year and pay it easily through your electricity bill. Discover now all the advantages of this service and sign up on our website.

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