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Can a Handyman Replace an Electrical Outlet?

UK Plug Socket

When things break in your property, sometimes, instead of thinking about quality, you think about price, and who can do the job for the cheapest price. This might lead you to wonder if a simple handyman can do basic electrical work like replacing an electrical outlet. In this article, we go over whether or not a handyman can replace electrical outlets, how much it is likely to cost, and other information around the topic. 

So, can a handyman replace an electrical outlet? Yes, UK handymen are legally able to change electrical outlets, so long as they can competently complete the job. Handymen do not need to be qualified electricians to replace outlets and sockets.

Read on to learn more about the electrical jobs that your local handyman can do.

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Can a Handyman Replace an Electrical Outlet?

Handymen can replace an electrical outlet, so long as they can competently complete the task; you do not have to be a qualified electrician to replace electrical outlets and perform other minor electrical works. 

It is important, however, that you trust your handyman’s ability to complete electrical work to regulated standards. Whilst replacing an electrical outlet isn’t considered major electrical work, bad wiring can still cause damage to yourself, your family, and your home.

Is a Handyman Cheaper than an Electrician?

Handymen can often be cheaper than qualified electricians, as the work that they are legally allowed to do is less complex and less time-consuming than more major electrical works. What’s more, materials/parts are often cheaper for minor electrical jobs. 

In the UK, replacing or adding a new electrical outlet can cost, on average, between £50 – £300, including labour. Outdoor electrical outlets can cost around £110, on average.

Can I Replace an Electrical Outlet Myself?

Legally, you can replace an electrical outlet yourself, but you should be comfortable that you can competently, and safely complete the work. Never attempt electrical work, no matter how minor, if you are not sure what you are doing. You must also check that any electrical installations and alterations are subject to local building and electrical regulations that you must comply with. Check local regulations here.

How to Replace an Electrical Outlet

NOTE: Only attempt electrical work if you feel confident that you can competently and safely carry out the job. Contact a handyman or an electrician if you are not confident about any of the steps below. 

  1. First, ensure that you have switched the electricity off at the mains/fuse box by finding the correct switch and turning it off. You do not need to turn off all of the switches. 
  2. Select the current fuse or circuit breaker and either remove the fuse or turn the mini circuit breaker to the off position.
  3. Using a suitable voltage indicating device, confirm that the circuit is dead by undertaking a check for self-isolation.
  4. Unscrew the socket faceplate and gently pull it forwards, giving the wires inside enough slack so that the back of the faceplate can be easily accessed. 
  5. Loosen the screws at the terminal and free the wires.
  6. Check that the wires are not heat damaged. If they are, you’ll need to cut back the cores and strip the ends, leaving 5 mm of copper wire exposed. Then cover the wire with green and yellow wiring. 
  7. The metal back boxes must be earthed, so run a short length of earth cable between the earth terminals of the backbox and the faceplate.
  8. Connect the live wire to the live terminal of the new faceplate. Then, connect the neutral wire and the earth wire to the new faceplate. Fully tighten the screws. 
  9. Fit the new faceplate onto the wall, being careful not to trap any wires.
  10. Undertake suitable electrical testing on the news outlet. You’ll need to ensure that a sound pathway to earth is available. 

What Electrical Work Can a Handyman Do?

At this point, you might be wondering what other electrical work a handyman can do. Essentially, handymen are legally able to perform minor electrical work, including electrical replacement work, minor repairs, and minor electrical changes like moving lights and plug sockets. 

However, handymen cannot carry out electrical work, even minor jobs, in the kitchen, bathroom, outside, or close to a water source. This can only be done by a qualified electrician.

What is Classed as Minor Electrical Work?

Minor electrical work, also known as non-notifiable work (meaning that work doesn’t need to be certified), is typically small, low-risk jobs that do not require a qualified electrician. Some examples of minor electrical work include:

  • Moving sockets, light fixtures, light switches, etc. 
  • Installing new sockets, lights, switches, etc.
  • Repairing or replacing old wires (not a total rewire!)
  • Installing or upgrading main or supplementary equipotential bonding
  • Installing extra low voltage cabling outside bathrooms for telephones, alarms, heating systems, etc. 
  • Installation, maintenance, and repairs of electrical appliances
  • Repairing or replacing a thermostat

You can learn more about the types of electrical work a handyman can carry out in our recent blog post, here

Electrician and Handyman Services in Leeds and Bradford

Valor Property Maintenance offers a professional handyman service in Leeds and Bradford that not only guarantees a trustworthy, reliable tradesman that turns up on time but also assures a job well done. We also offer qualified electricians for those jobs that require a little more expertise. 

Get in touch with us today to discuss your job and to get a quote

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