The most common reason a homeowner would want to know how to wire a plug socket is if they're going to change out old, broken or just out of style sockets in their house for more modern equivalents. Calling out an electrician to do this will cost money, and if you're a confident DIYer, there's no reason you can't do your plug socket wiring yourself.
important Note! Electricity can kill. If you're unsure, contact a qualified electrician such as EDB Electrical Services to perform electrical work safely.
Before the United Kingdom joined the European Union, we used red, black and green for our plug socket wiring. Now we use the brown, blue and green and yellow. See below for how your installation might look. It's common to have a mix of both red and old wiring inside a plug socket. Although having a combination is perfectly safe and when you make your connections ensure you follow the wiring colours below
|Red (Live)||Brown (Live)||Connects into (L) terminal|
|Black (Neutral)||Blue (Neutral)||Connects into (N) terminal|
|Green (Earth)||Green & Yellow||Connects into (E) terminal|
So you've purchased your new plug sockets, now it's time to fit them! Switch the electricity off at the main switch on the board. Nearly all plug sockets will have M3.5 Electrical screws. The screw usually is a flat head and unscrew them both, and the socket will pull off from the wall. Sometimes filler and caulk will be holding the socket in place so you may need to pry it around the edges gently. Some sockets have concealed screws under plastic caps, just remove them to reveal the screws. Other sockets use screwless cover plates which need to be pried off to reveal the screws.
At this point, you'll see your wires held in place with a terminal screw. Carefully unscrew each screw holding onto the cables and remove them from the socket.
The layout should be very similar to below, to put your new socket back on. Simply place wires back in the same place on the new socket. Ensuring the correct colours go in the slots marked (L), (N) and (E). Loose connections cause most fires. Screw down firmly, and give the wires a sharp tug to make sure they are correctly fitted. Screw the facia plates screws back on and turn the electricity back on.
So hopefully you have now been able to change your plug socket wiring successfully. To double check you have wired it correctly, you can purchase a socket tester to verify that you have made your connections correctly. With a combination of visual indicators and beeps that correspond to any faults, if any you have made. If you smell burning, or the circuit breaker trips when you turn it on. Stop! Switch the electricity off. Call a qualified electrician to diagnose the fault. Voltage is very useful but can also kill, so if in any doubts do not attempt this yourself.