There are a quite a few ways that you could earn some points with your wife, but here’s a way that’s even better than doing an extra load of laundry: install a USB charging wall outlet. I know that you don’t care what those cell phone chargers hanging off the outlet look like, but she does. And both of you will appreciate that you will never again wonder how your phone charger grew legs and walked away, since nobody will admit to moving it.
So the first step is buying one of these devices. They look like a normal duplex outlet but with two additional USB ports squeezed in. Yes, it’s an engineering miracle. You can either pick one up online or make a trip to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s, but just make sure that the one you choose has high power (2 Amp) USB ports. I can’t possibly stress this enough – if you end up getting a device that has lower power (1 Amp or less) USB ports, then it will either take your phone a lot longer to charge or in the case of an iPad it may refuse to charge.
I did a bunch of searching and the one I ended up getting recently from ENERLITES has two high power USB ports and comes with two different face plates. You probably want to make sure that you buy one that still has two normal AC outlets, so that you don’t need to endure any future wrath from your wife for sacrificing AC outlets when adding USB charging.
Once you have the new device and you’re ready to start, of course you should throw away the instructions and just watch a video like everyone else does. This how to replace a standard electrical outlet for dummies video does a great job of explaining all of the steps, but they forgot the beer break. Don’t forget the beer break.
You may run into one snag that they don’t tell you about in the video: your electrical box may not be deep enough for the new device. Don’t worry, all you need to do now is rip the wall apart and install a deeper box, then patch up the wall with drywall mud, sand, and finally prime and paint to match. Easy.
Moving on and assuming that your wall is either fixed or never had to be ripped apart, then once you’re done stand back and admire your work while drinking your “job is finished” beer. Here’s a picture I took when I was done, beer in one hand and cell phone in the other:
Just make sure that all of the AC outlets and USB outlets are working before calling her over and showing off your completed project.
About the author:
Todd Trann has been programming computers since 1983, and is a self-proclaimed geek and Dumb White Husband. His wife has no idea why he dreams up projects like this while ignoring the projects she really wants done. You can find him on Twitter at @toddtrann.