Review of the Newer Technologies Power2U Outlet and Charging station
As a member of the Handyman Club ( www.handymanclub.com ) I occasionally receive items to test and review. Being a bit of a tech nerd, I was pretty excited when I saw the email come in that said I would have the opportunity to review and test this product from Newer Technology inc. http://www.newertech.com/products/power2u.php The process with Handyman Club was really easy, just fill in a few questions on a survey, and they had it to my house in a little over a week.
The information on the site showed that it would be super easy to install, and even provided a video tho those that were interested. I could not get the video to work for me at the moment, but having just completed a remodel, I was pretty confident that I could figure it out.
Such as it is, life is busy, and unfortunately the package had to sit on the shelf for about a week. It was taunting me…. Install ME!!! Finally I succumbed on Saturday afternoon, around three O’Clock. And we have company coming over in two hours.
Of course, Safety is essential, so I found the proper breaker and flipped it, and turned it off also at the GCFI outlet just to be safe. One of the big requirements that is listed in the instructions is that you must have at least a 16 cu. in. electrical box to install it in. Our house was built in 2002, with nice big roomy plastic boxes, so I had no problems verifying the size to be enough. Older homes may have more restrictions, but with a little bit of work, you can drop out an undersized box, and install a bigger replacement. Totally worth it im my opinion for the cool factor. In a little less than a minute, with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver in hand, I had the old plug stretched out for disconnection.
I was in luck. Since this outlet was the last one in line, there was only one set of wires to deal with. It was an easy matter of straightening out the leads, and trimming the white and black down to the recommended 1/2″ exposed. This outlet had nice connections with the wire fitting under a metal plate. I didn’t have to fuss with bending a wire around a post. My wires were a bit long, but since I only had the one set, they folded back into the box with no problem. If I had had two sets, I would likely have had to shorten them to ensure there was enough room.
In less than ten minutes, it was installed and ready to go, even with the help of my handy side-kick, Electrogirl. Fear not, the power is off and I only let her pose for the picture after communicating to her that she was never to do anything like that without Daddy’s help.
The charging outlets are unique in that they only turn on when a plug is inserted. That is to say, that the protective doors slide to the side, and activate a plunger switch to turn them on when in use. When I first turned it on, only one side worked. One of the switches on the outlet itself seems to have a bit more “play” than the other, and has a harder time being activated by the sliding door. The outlet box does sit a little shy of the surface, and the doors are on the plate, so I backed the outlet out of the hole a bit more.
After re-installing the outlet cover, both sides now work. The first side always worked with no issues, while the second side now works if I plug in a cable, and press on the cover plate a little bit. I will jimmy with this a little bit more later, to see if I can get it to work a bit better, super easy fix though.
Now that it is installed, aside from my trying to use too big of a flat bit and boogering up my screws, it looks great and I LOVE IT! I will probably have to get some more for various areas of my house. You can find them online, but the best price that I have found for them so far is $23 here: http://www.expansys-usa.com/newertech-power2u-ac-wall-outlet-with-usb-ports-ul-certified-227460/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=base
We had some friends stop by who are just as big of tech nerds as we are, and their reaction was great! “…what is that? That’s Cool!” So I took the time to let them know what and where they could find it. Its not only functional, but also has the great cool factor that I love.
All boiled down, I feel privileged to have tested this project, and it was even easier than advertised to install, even with “help”. I will definitely be looking for more…and I only wish that I could earn a commission from recommending these, they would be an easy sell at $30, but even easier at $23. Great Product.