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When Is It Time to Replace My Electrical Outlets?

Although most of your home’s electricity is contained within your walls and appliances, the closest contact you’ll have with it is from your electrical outlets. This is why it is important to ensure your outlets are in tip-top shape.

The truth is that damaged or outdated outlets can pose a serious hazard if it isn’t replaced immediately. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, emergency rooms throughout the country treat approximately 3,900 people annually for injuries related to electrical outlets. Furthermore, 40 people die and another 100 suffer serious injuries from 5,300 fires caused by outlets each year.

The following are common signs it’s time to upgrade your electrical outlets:

  • Cracked or damaged outlet covers – When the plate around the outlet is either cracked or damaged, this can be the result of faulty wiring or electrical damage. An outlet plate with severe damage which includes exposed wiring can compromise your home’s safety.
  • Plugs won’t stay in your outlets – If you discover that your plugs are not able to securely fit in your outlet, it is a clear sign of a damaged electrical outlet, specifically involving its internal workings. Either the mechanisms within the outlet is damaged or simply worn out due to constant usage over the years.  If you plugs only go in halfway, it is considered a fire hazard.
  • Your house has only two-prong outlets – Besides being unable to plug in three-prong appliances, two-prong outlets are not grounded. Not only can these outlets cause significant (and costly) damage to your electronics, but they also present a serious shock risk, putting you and your family in danger. By contrast, three-prong outlets are known as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets, which are designed to shut off prior to a shock and improve the safety of your outlets. However, making this change doesn’t involve a simple switch. Rather, the entire panel must be rewired with a three-wire circuit. Additionally, the electric box needs to be properly grounded in order for the switch to be successful.
  • Outlets are not tamper resistant – A tamper-resistant outlet are designed to cover the openings of the electrical socket and opens only when plugging an appliance in while applying pressure to each slot of the outlet. If you have small children at home, this feature prevents them from inserting objects into the sockets.
  • Inconsistent power – If an outlet doesn’t provide consistent power, this could be faulty wiring within the outlet or another electrical issue. One common way to test it out is plugging in a lamp with a new light bulb. If the light flickers despite using a brand new bulb, there is a problem.

If you notice any of these signs above, it is imperative to contact a licensed and insured electricians to make the necessary upgrades to keep your home and your family safe. At All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, our experienced team of professionals can get the job done right the first time.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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