How to Install a Powerpoint
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Written By Tristan Cameron
For various reasons, you may need to install new or replace old powerpoints. Now before you start watching YouTube videos of how to do this, remember that installing powerpoints on your own is illegal in Australia.
Powerpoint installations can only be done by licensed and qualified tradespeople like us at North Shore Electricians.
Naturally, you’d be curious about the process, so we’ll step you through what we do and why.
But first, let’s take a look at why you need to change/install them and some options you may not even know existed.
Table of Contents
When Do You Need to Install a Powerpoint?
With the increase in the number of gadgets and electronics we bring into the house, it always feels like there always needs to be more outlets. Extension cords and double adaptors are short-term solutions but can cause power outages.
Installing additional powerpoints in living areas and bedrooms is a savvier alternative.
Some Sydney properties haven’t had their switchboard upgraded in decades. This could mean that there are hidden issues inside the walls that come out via the powerpoints. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to call us to replace them.
- They no longer distribute any power
- You spot burning or melting marks
- Cracks and other physical damage are present
- They’re loose and coming off the wall
- They’re hot to the touch
- Smoke or sparks appear
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What Kinds of Powerpoints are Available?
Gone are the days when one powerpoint fits all. These days you’re spoilt for choice; take a look at these options:
Your everyday two-point outlet is still the most popular choice, although these days they come in a range of colours and sizes, and some even have USB ports as standard. Choose from one, two, or four outlets. These start at around $7.
Large Dolly Outlet
A large dolly outlet is an excellent solution for people with large hands or limited vision. They’re 120mm x 120mm in size and are a popular choice for nursing homes and retirement villages. The average cost per outlet is $15.
Standard powerpoints are between 4mm–9mm thick. For a slimmer look, perfect for minimalist rooms, the slimline outlet is only 2mm thick. You can get these for around $9.
Glass Electrical Outlet
For style and sophistication, a glass powerpoint is an excellent choice. It’s a modern take on a classic design with a glossy faceplate, smooth edges, and push buttons. They’re at a much higher price point than the others, ranging from $38–$55.
It’s not unusual to need power outside the home. Outdoor entertainment areas and power for gardening equipment are examples. Weatherproof powerpoints are the best option. These are studier and encased in plastic that withstands harsh weather. Prices range from $35–$197.
What Do We Do When Installing a New Powerpoint?
It may look and sound simple, but connecting the wrong wire or not being sure all the power is off can result in electric shock or worse. So here’s what we do to ensure the powerpoint is being installed correctly.
- Turn off the power: Playing around with live wires only ends in disaster. Turning off the power at the mains ensures we don’t get injured in the process.
- Perform a live electrical test: Even though we’ve shut off the supply, we’ll double-check to ensure that there’s no extra power coming from anywhere. If there is, we’ll shut that off too.
- Remove the wall plate: if we’re upgrading an old powerpoint, we must carefully remove the existing wall plate. We have no idea what the wiring looks like behind it (unless we were the original installers), so this is done with extreme care.
- Identify the wires: Here’s the challenging part. Australia has its own set of wire colour codes, and they’ve changed over the years. Without being across the old and new standards, connecting the wrong one is easy.
- Connect everything correctly: Once we have the wiring all figured out, we go ahead and connect the proper ones to their corresponding circuits.
- Install the new powerpoint: Now that the wiring is complete, we need to affix and secure the new powerpoint in place.
- Perform an electrical safety inspection: We’re not going to walk away without being sure that everything works as we intend it to. We’ll test the powerpoint to confirm it’s functioning at its peak.
- Clean up: if we’ve had to do any drilling into the walls, we’ll be sure to remove any dirt and debris that’s landed on the floor.
- Reconnect the power: Mains power is finally switched on, and you can enjoy using your new powerpoint.
And there you have it, nine simple steps and your powerpoint is installed. While it might seem simple, please don’t attempt this yourself.
You must get a licenced electrician to perform this for you. Don’t worry about the cost; it’s not as expensive as you might think.
How Much Does it Cost to Install a Powerpoint?
Even though a qualified electrician must do a powerpoint installation, it’s rather a quick task and should take under an hour.
The hourly rate for an electrician changes per state. It could be anything from $60–$130 for the labour and then the cost for the powerpoint you’ve selected.
Are you ready to update or install new powerpoints? Call us now; we’re here to help.