How To Switch To A Surge Protected Outlet To Power A Wireless Battery Charger

A wireless charger for your cell phone eliminates the need for cumbersome cables and provides a fast charge. However, if your phone is in contact with the wireless charger, it can still experience the same amount of damage from as power surge as if it were hard wired to the charger.

While you can use a surge protected power strip to protect your phone from surges, these strips are more cumbersome and unsightly than phone charger cables and gather more dust than a vacuum cleaner.

It's very simple to replace an existing electrical outlet with a surge protected model. You need few tools, and a minimal amount of skills. Working with electrical components is only dangerous if you are not mindful of basic safety precautions.

What you will need to switch to a surge protected outlet

The outlet

A surge protected outlet will be clearly marked as offering surge protection and will have an indicator light in the center between the two receptacles. You will need a 15 amp outlet for this project. 

Cover plate

Because a surge protector outlet has the indicator light in the center to indicate that it is working correctly, you cannot use the existing cover plate that covers your old outlet.

You will need an open cover plate, which is essentially an open frame, to cover and protect your new surge protector outlet. This open plate will be sold with a sub- plate that will be placed behind the new outlet to hold the open cover plate in place.


You'll need a small flat head screwdriver to remove the old cover plate, and a Philips head screwdriver to disconnect and reconnect wires.

Removing the existing outlet

The first and most important step of this task is to turn off the circuit breaker that controls the flow of power to the outlet. If the breaker box door doesn't list which parts of the house that each breaker controls, or you're simply unsure, plug a working appliance into the outlet and turn it on.

When you turn off the correct breaker, the appliance will shut off.

You will then remove the center screw from the old cover plate and remove the upper and lower screws that hold the outlet inside the gang box in the wall.

Pull the outlet from the box, and remove the three wires that are connected to it by loosening the terminal screws and pulling the wires free.

Connecting the surge protected outlet

Place the sub-plate for the open cover plate around the outlet, then connect the wires.

You will loop the black wire around the gold (brass) terminal on one side of the outlet, loop the white wire around the silver terminal, and loop the green or copper colored wire around the green terminal. Tighten all terminal screws securely, until you cannot pull the wires free.

Push the outlet into the gang box inside the wall and secure it with the screws provided. Push the cover plate onto the sub-plate until it snaps into place.

Turn on the breaker, and the indicator light will come on to let you know that your outlet is surge protected and that you have added residential electrical services to your repertoire of home improvement skills.

For more about this topic, contact an electrical services contractor in your area.