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How to Install Your Own USB Wall Outlet!

Have you noticed that most devices these days have USB connectors instead of regular plug? iPhones, iPods, iPads and tablets are all equipped with USB functionality which makes charging a big hassle sometimes! It’s a hassle because you can only charge them through the computer’s USB port.

Lucky are those whose houses or apartments are installed with USB wall outlets. But since not every house is installed with such, it can be quite a dilemma.

You can always buy and install a ready-made USB outlet if you like. However, if you’re the adventurous type and you like to tinker with anything electrical, apartmenttherapy.com provides a step-by-step guide on how to upgrade a wall outlet to have USB functionality!

Of course you have to buy a U-socket USB Wallplug like the FastMac USB outlet used by apartmenttherapy. If you have that here’s what you should do:

1. Find an outlet you want to replace. Don’t do this for GFCI outlets with a button, as these USB outlets do not have GFCI functionality built-in.
2. Cut off power to the room(s) you’re replacing the sockets in via the main circuit breaker panel.
3. Unscrew the existing wall plate and remove.
4. Unscrew the electrical outlet from the junction box.
5. Take note of how your socket is connected. Try snapping pics with your phone and drawing a diagram.
6. Remove the power wires from the existing electrical outlet
7. Our Fastmac USB outlet just has one neutral wire terminal. So if you had a middle-of-run wired outlet (pictured to the right in image above), you’re going to have to combine the two wires into one. The kit supplies a knot and extra wire for this
8. Attach the wires to the new USB electrical outlet. Don’t forget the ground.
9. Push back in the wires and screw the new USB outlet into the junction box. Likely a very tight and snug fit.
10. Turn back on the power and look for the polarity mismatch indicator. If it’s glowing something is wrong with the wiring. Go back and try to fix.
11. If the indicator is not glowing then you should be set. Turn back off the power and screw in the wall plate cover.
12. Clean up and turn back on power when done.

Think you can handle it? If you’re going to try it, always remember, safety first!

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