Replacing or Upgrading a Socket with UK Electrical Wiring Colours

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Always switch off your power supply at the fuse board (consumer unit) before making any changes to your electrical wiring.

See our Safe Isolation Procedures article for information about this

You can switch OFF the miniature circuit breaker (MCB) for the circuit you'll be working on and lock it off with the locking device.

Alternatively, you can turn OFF the main switch, remove the circuit fuse and then turn ON the main switch again to restore power to the rest of the house.

Removing The Faceplate From The Back Box

  • Unscrew the socket from the back box and gently pull it away from the box.
  • Remove the electrical wiring cables from the terminals by loosening the screws.

Connecting The New Electrical Wiring Socket

  • Check that any bare earth wires are enclosed in the green/yellow sleeve.
  • Connect the new socket to the electrical wires. Do this by loosening the terminal screws on the brass fittings and connecting each electrical wire to the correct terminal.
  • Ensure that there is an earth cable connected to the terminal on the back of the box
  • There may be more than one electrical wire per terminal. Push the wire(s) into the terminal and tighten the screw. Make sure only the copper cores of the electrical wires enter the terminals and that the insulation isn't trapped under the terminal screw.
  • Check that the electrical wires are connected to the correct terminals.

Old vs New UK Electrical Wiring Colours Guide

Old Wiring Colour New Wiring Colour Connects To
Red Brown L or Live
Black Blue N or Neutral
Green Green & Yellow E or Earth

Securing The New Socket

  • Screw the socket to the box then switch on the power supply to check that the new socket is working correctly.

Electrical Safety

Electrical safety is extremely important and it is essential that you know exactly what you are doing. See our Electrical Safety article for a detailed guide.