Updating electrical outlets
Nothing looks worse--and performs worse--than old electrical outlets. Just follow these instructions: Shut off power to circuit you will be working on at the service panel.
Use a flashlight to find the side with the black wires. If not, you can check wire size by means of an inexpensive wire gauge that you can buy at most hardware stores.
Also check the circuits with the light switch ON and OFF (if your room has a switch) because you don’t want to assume and outlet is off because the power is off and then have someone flip the switch on you.
Lastly check the top and bottom outlet (they can actually be independently wired.) I always stick the voltage tester in the outlet (to make sure is working) then go and turn off the power and check it again. After removing the switch plate cover, unscrew the attachment screws at the top and bottom of the outlet and pull out the outlet.
The solution is simple: replace old outlets with new outlets and face plates.
Do not assume that the markings on the service panel box are correct. Check that no current is running to the outlet by using a voltage tester.Upgrading the electrical outlets in your home can add another level of safety and security for your home and help reduce the event of electrical fires.