Plug Stuck In Socket? Here’s What To Do

And we’re back with another quick and simple solution for anyone out there that’s struggling. Getting a plug stuck in a socket is wildly frustrating, for a number of reasons. First things first, you can’t just…. grab and pull. Second, you run the risk of electrocution if you do it wrong. But most importantly, you can’t use whatever is attached to the plug! Worry not, though, for DreamyHome is here to save the day – with a quick and easy guide.

To remove a plug stuck in a socket, you need to turn off the power to the outlet. Following that, you need to remove and replace the plug.

This isn’t too hard, but it can be dangerous if you’re not careful, so let’s get it broken down, shall we?

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Plug Stuck in Socket – Step by Step Guide

First of all, it’s vital that you turn off the power to the outlet with the breaker. This is basic electronics 101 – never work with live circuits. Not only do you run the risk of electrocution, but it’ll make you feel safer. That will make this drastically easier, I promise. Okay, so what do you do now?

Power Off – Step 1

Using the main breaker for your home, turn off the power to the outlet in question. Once that’s done, you’ll want to test the outlet with a multimeter to ensure it’s fully off.

Now, take a look at the broken part of the plug – which prong broke off, and how far into the outlet is it? More often than not, the grounding plug will be the one that breaks, as it’s a bit more subject to damage. If the other prongs have broken, it’s still okay – you’ll get them out. In case you didn’t know how plugs actually worked, the ground is what, well, grounds the circuit. The wider of the two other prongs will carry the current, and the other will be the return or neutral circuit.

If it’s visible without removing the outlet, just pop it out with some needlenose pliers! You can just grip the edges of the prong with the pliers and pull, easy as that. The issue, however, comes into play when it’s stuck inside the outlet.

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Stuck Inside the Outlet

If the prong is stuck inside your outlet, you’ll need to remove the outlet cover. Use a screwdriver and pull out the screw(s) holding it in place. Be careful when pulling off the cover, as it can break if mishandled.

Pull the outlet straight back, away from the wall. If you can remove the outlet far enough (or get behind it), you may be able to push the stuck prong out of the outlet. Unfortunately, most plugs are sealed at the back – it’s worth a shot, though!

If the prong is fully stuck inside the outlet, though, you’re going to have to sacrifice the outlet. Go buy a new outlet, and replace it, attaching it to the same places as you did before. I’ll give a basic walkthrough on this farther down the line, so stay tuned.

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Replace the Plug – Step 2

This is the fun part! To change a defective plug, you’ll need a few things. Here’s a video guide for the visual learners out there. You’ll need:

  • A new plug of the same type (found at hardware stores, you can cut off the broken plug and compare if needed)
  • Wirecutters/strippers
  • Screwdriver (Phillip’s head is most commonly used here)

Now, here’s the process:

  1. If you haven’t already, cut off ~10 cm of the broken plug’s cord,.
  2. Take a photo of how your plug was arranged (specifically which wires go where)
  3. Unscrew the plug face, removing the plug. Push your cord through the new plug.
  4. Strip roughly 5 cm of insulation off, being careful not to cut the wires beneath.
    1. Roll your wrists around the insulation when stripping a wire. Once you feel the insulation separate, twist it around until it pulls free. This will prevent you from accidentally damaging the wiring.
  5. Separate the wires that are now revealed. Strip ~1-2 cm of insulation off of those wires, as well. Again, don’t sever or cut the wires themselves, just the insulation. Twist the wire ends to prevent fraying.
  6. Retie the wires to their respective terminals, being careful to put them in the right place. This is where the photo from step 2 is helpful.
    1. An underwriter’s knot will reduce the stress on your wires, though you may be unable to fit this in the plug.
  7. Replace the terminal cover and test your new plug.

As a note, depending on your plug, the place you tie them can vary. Black wires are the “hot” wire and attach to the golden screw. White is neutral and attaches to the silver screw. Green goes to the ground screw.

Replacing a Power Outlet

This is rather simple, so we’ll get right into things. If your plug won’t come out of the old socket, here’s how to replace it and add a new socket:

  1. Turn off power at the breaker.
  2. Remove the face of your outlet with a screwdriver.
  3. Remove the outlet from the wall, also with a screwdriver.
  4. Pull the outlet away from the box.
  5. Remove the wires from the old outlet. Slightly unscrew the screws to which the wiring is attached, just enough to pull the wires away.
  6. Dispose of the old outlet, grabbing your new one.
  7. Locate the ground wire – it’ll be green or a bare copper wire, depending on the home and where you live. Wrap the ground wire around the grounding screw; it should be at the back of the box.
  8. Loop the second grounding wire (usually longer, same colour) around the ground same screw.
  9. Attach your wires to the new outlet – black to brass, white to silver, ground to green.
  10. Replace your outlet with the new one, attaching the cover. Test.
  11. Success!

Final Thoughts

This is, overall, a generally easy process to complete. You generally don’t need a great deal of electrical knowledge to replace a broken plug – though you need a bit. Knowing to turn off the power to your outlet is vital to ensuring you’re not electrocuted – trust me. Nobody wants to be the guy going to the hospital because he was defeated by an electrical outlet. Gather your tools and get a new plug, being sure that it will fit onto your old plug’s cord.

To replace the plug and remove a plug stuck in a socket, begin with pliers (after turning off the power). Try to remove the plug from the socket, and if that doesn’t work, remove the outlet cover and try to push the plug out from the back. If you’re unable to do this, you’ll need to replace the outlet. After that, pop on a new plug, test your work, and enjoy!