How to Change Screwless Flat Plates

Written by david gaines
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How to Change Screwless Flat Plates
Install a screwless outlet flat-plate for a decorative edge. (White wall outlet image by Olga Sapegina from

Screwless outlet flat-plates provide a cleaner appearance in comparison to toggle light switch covers. Use them with standard duplex or dimmer light switch receptacles. Screwless flat-plates, however, are incompatible with round-face duplex outlets and toggle light switch models. The tongue-and-groove, snap-shut installation makes this housing project a breeze for homeowners wanting to add a finishing touch to existing interior design.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Two sub-plate halves
  • Level
  • Screwless outlet flat-plate

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  1. 1

    Switch off the power circuit in the home's electrical control box. Use a Phillips screwdriver to dislodge the old outlet plate's four screws. Turn the mounting screws counterclockwise about 1/2-inch from the drywall. Place each corresponding sub-plate behind the mounting plate, then interlock both halves by snapping the tongue-and-groove design shut. Be sure the sub-plate rests on flat drywall or hardened plaster. Assess the evenness of the structure with a level.

  2. 2

    Align the mounting strap's screw holes with the sub-plates guide posts, then snugly tighten the mounting screws back into position. Do not over-tighten the mounting screws.

  3. 3

    Read the directional markings inscribed on the backside of the screwless outlet flat-plate. Position the screwless outlet cover over the electrical socket in accordance with the directional markings. Lightly push the screwless outlet cover until hearing a faint clicking noise.

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