Depending upon where the damaged socket is in the circuit, and what type of circuit it is, you may have one, two or three sets of conductors. This article assumes that the socket outlet is connected as part of a standard ring main and there is no spur. You will, therefore have two cables (two sets of conductors) at the socket outlet. If you are not sure whether this is what you have, consult a professional electrician for advice.
Switch off the power at the consumer unit for the circuit concerned. If you have removable fuses at your consumer unit, switch off the power at the consumer unit and remove the fuse for this circuit. You must be certain that the socket has been isolated from the power supply before proceeding. If in any doubt, consult a professionally qualified electrician.
3. With the face plate away from the wall, you will see three pairs of conductors: a pair of brown conductors (old cable colour = red), which are the live ones; a pair of blue conductors (old cable colour = black), which are the neutral ones; a pair of green and yellow conductors, which are the earth ones.
4. Where the socket outlet is mounted in a metal pattress box, as in this example, you may also see an earth tail connecting from the earth terminal on the socket to the earth terminal on the back of the metal box.
Connecting the cables to the socket outlet
6. Prepare the new socket outlet by slackening the terminal connections for the live, neutral and earth.
7. Do not twist conductors together before inserting them into the connection as this may damage them and can also cause problems when testing circuits.
12. The earth tail mentioned earlier is fitted between a socket outlet and metal back box where both socket fixing lugs are adjustable. If you have one of these, include it when connecting the pair of earth conductors to the terminal marked with the earth symbol on the back of the socket outlet. The other end should already be connected to the earth terminal on the back of the metal pattress box.
Fixing the socket outlet
Double check that all your connections are to the correct terminals, and securely fastened.
14. Insert and fasten the face plate with its retaining screws. Tighten the screws alternately to draw the plate back evenly. As you tighten these, ensure that the face is level. One or both of the screw mountings will have allowance for a small amount of vertical adjustment which assists with this.