Electrical outlets tend to last a long time and probably will only really start to show obvious signs of wear after approximately fifteen or even twenty years. But there are exceptions. Depending on the way you use your outlets or how much they are used, it’s possible they may need to be replaced sooner. Once these outlets do need to be replaced, failing to do so could increase the risk of shocks, burns, or a fire. So, we will explain some signs that will indicate it is time to contact an electrician and have her replace your outlets. By looking for any of these signs where your outlets may need to be placed, you might be able to avoid some electrical problems or safety issues.
When outlets have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), they provide protection because they shut off automatically if they detect an unintended flow of current. However, some homes have both two-prong and three-prong plugs, and these homes may not always be grounded. It’s possible that, in some cases, someone may have put a three-prong plug into an ungrounded circuit. If you have an electrician check, he will be able to tell if your home’s outlets are grounded.
Damaged Faceplates or Loose Slots
If you have any outlets with damaged faceplates in your home, whether it is cracked or broken in some other manner, it means the metal pieces and wiring beneath the faceplate can be more easily accessed. When this happens, these parts could be accidentally touched or exposed to water.
Loose Slots could also be a problem as they could cause your plugs to fall out. This often occurs due to years of plugging and unplugging devices or appliances. Another problem you might notice is warmth emanating from your faceplates. This means that the outlet is having trouble handling the electric current running through it. If the outlet has sparks that come from it when you plug something in it, this is an even more serious indication that there is a problem with it.
An Outlet Is Broken
If you have some broken outlets, you may be tempted to just ignore them. But this is not a good idea. It is best to have an electrician check them out because they can affect the rest of your electrical system.
Your Lights Flicker
If your lights flicker, it is probably not an issue with the actual lighting. Instead, it is likely an electrical issue. In a number of cases, it means your electrical system is not handling the demand placed on it very well. You should contact an electrician to see if some outlets need to be changed or if your electrical panel needs to be replaced.
Outlets can be easy to ignore, but problems with them can indicate safety issues. Look out for the signs we discussed, and if you notice them, have an electrician check the problem to be safe.
If you need an outlet checked or replaced or would like to make an appointment for an electrician to do a safety evaluation, call Clark Electric at 844-431-8050 or connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.