How To Add A USB Outlet In Your Kitchen

Creating new dishes from online videos can cause your smartphone or tablet to lose power quickly. If you are using your wall outlet for blenders, mixers and other kitchen appliances, it's hard to find a place to plug in your charger.

The solution is simple: just replace your current outlet with a USB supplied model. 

Installing a USB outlet is as easy as replacing a standard outlet. All you need is a few tools and a willingness to work with electrical components.

What you will need to install a USB outlet in your kitchen

A USB Outlet

These can be purchased online or at your local home improvement store. You have a choice of either one or two USB ports, which will be located between the two normal receptacles. Single port receptacles will be less expensive, as will lower powered models. 

A higher priced USB outlet will generally feature two ports and will charge two smartphones or tablets at the same time at a faster speed. Less expensive models may charge more slowly, especially if two phones or tablets are being charged simultaneously. Buy the outlet according to your intended use and the amount that you are willing to pay.

A new face plate

The face plate, or cover plate, for your existing outlet will not be usable for a USB enhanced outlet, because the USB ports are in the middle of the outlet. You will need an open face plate, with just a frame around the perimeter of the outlet.

Screwdrivers

You'll need a flat head screwdriver for the face plates, and a Philips head screwdriver to remove and install wiring.

Removing your existing outlet

The most important step in this job is to be absolutely certain that the power to the outlet is turned off. You will do this by turning off the circuit breaker that controls power to the outlet. If the breaker panel inside the circuit breaker box isn't clearly marked, or if you are unsure of the correct breaker for any reason, plug an appliance into the outlet before turning off the breaker, and be sure that the appliance is working. 

Next, turn off breakers until the appliance no longer works in that outlet. When you are certain that the power is off, remove the face plate screw with your flat head screwdriver. Next, you will remove the two screws that connect the outlet to the outlet box inside the wall with your Philips head screwdriver, and pull the outlet from the wall.

Unhooking the wires from the existing outlet

Your existing outlet will have either one or two sets of three wires attached, depending upon its location in the circuit. Using your Philips head screwdriver, remove the wires from the terminals by turning the screws counterclockwise. If two sets of wires are present, keep them separated.

Wiring your new USB outlet

Your new outlet will be designed the same as your old outlet for connection purposes. One side of the outlet will have two gold terminals, the other side two silver terminals, and a green terminal on top.

If one set of wires is present, hook the black wire around the top gold terminal, the white wire to the top silver terminal, and the green or copper wire to the green terminal by placing the wire under the screws and turning them clockwise until they are secured.

If two sets of wires are present, hook the second black and white wires to the bottom gold and silver terminals, and the second green or copper wire to the green grounding screw to which the first wire is attached.

Finishing the job

Push the new outlet into the outlet box, and install it with the two screws provided, attach the new face plate, turn on the breaker, and you're finished.

For more information, contact an electrical installation expert in your area.


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