How to Remove an Electric Wire From a Push-In Receptacle

Written by elizabeth knoll
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How to Remove an Electric Wire From a Push-In Receptacle
Electrical socket (Jupiterimages/ Images)

If your receptacle (electrical socket) fails, you may have to replace it with a new one. When replacing an outlet, notice how the wires are hooked up when you remove the cover. The wires can be hooked up one of two ways: secured to the screws on the side of the outlet or pushed directly into the back of the outlet. If the wires are pushed into the back, you may wonder how to pull them out. It may surprise you how simple the method really is.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Small screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Turn off power to the outlet in your circuit breaker panel.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the outlet's wall plate and unscrew the outlet. Pull it out of the wall and unfold the wiring.

  3. 3

    Locate the small hole that is next to where the wire is inserted. Insert a small screwdriver into this slot.

  4. 4

    Twist the wire and gently pull it out of the receptacle while holding pressure on the small screwdriver. Repeat for the other wire.

Tips and warnings

  • Test the receptacle with a multimeter before working on it to ensure the power is dead. Insert one lead into the neutral (left) hole and the other lead into the hot (right) hole of the receptacle. If voltage shows up on the multimeter, the power is still live.

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