When the fixtures and appliances in your house operate as designed, it’s easy to forget them until they stop working. The switches and electrical outlets in your home all have a generic lifespan, but that lifespan is impacted by factors like wear and tear. You can typically view how well a switch or outlet cover is aging by performing a simple visual inspection. Light switches get touched throughout the day, and sometimes a single switch can be touched multiple times within a single day. Switches used every day may need to be replaced. Well-made switches and outlets can last for many years, especially with a little maintenance and cleaning.

Signs It’s Time to Replace an Electrical Outlet or Light Switch

While it’s true nothing lasts forever, your outlets and switches will serve you for many years. While many homeowners choose to replace switches and outlets to modernize their homes or for stylistic reasons, there are functional reasons why you may need to replace your fixtures. If you’re unsure whether your outlets or switches need to be replaced, we can help you spot the signs. Let’s start with light switches.

If you notice any of these issues, it may be time to replace your light switches:

  • The light switch is noisy when the switch is being flipped
  • The light switch or its plate feels hot when touched
  • There’s a delay between flipping the switch and the lights turning on or off
  • The light switch being used is cracked, loose, or covered in dirt and grime
  • There are noticeable sparks or signs of electrical current when using the switch

If your switches show any of these signs of problems, you should contact a trained and licensed electrician for assistance. They can help you troubleshoot any issues and make suggestions for appropriate next steps.

Much like the light switches in your home, outlets are created to withstand a bit of abuse. These durable goods will, however, eventually need to be replaced. There isn’t a hard and fast schedule for how often you will need to replace your outlets, the replacement frequency depends on how heavily they are used. For example, outlets in high-traffic areas of your home that are used with heavy frequency will need to be replaced more than outlets in seldom-used spaces. If you live in an older home, your electrical outlets were not designed to handle modern equipment.

Electrical outlets work so reliably it can be easy to take them for granted. There are signs to watch for that signal it’s time to replace or repair an electrical outlet.

If you notice any of the following, it’s time to call a trained and licensed electrician:

  • Your outlet can’t make a secure connection with plugs
  • There are noticeable electrical issues when appliances are plugged into the outlet
  • Your outlet isn’t grounded
  • You notice smoke or sparks when using an outlet
  • The outlet is hot or warm when touched
  • The outlet is nonresponsive
  • It’s been many years since your outlets have been inspected or upgraded
  • The cover on your outlet is dusty, damaged, or dirty
  • You need to plug in a device that requires more power than your outlet can deliver
  • You notice a burn mark or discoloration
  • Your outlet has burn marks or discoloration caused by electrical current

If your outlets have exhibited any of these signs of disrepair or malfunction, contact an electrician for assistance. A professional can inspect your outlets and give you suggestions on how best to proceed.

Make Electrical Safety a Priority Before the End of the Year

Electrical outlets and light switches last for many years, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore them or avoid maintenance. Remaining alert to the condition of your outlets and switches can save time and money while preventing damage to your home from electrical issues. Catching problems early keeps your home safe for you and those you love. If you’ve noticed any of these issues around your home, contact the experienced electricians at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air and Electrical. We can help you keep your home safe.

All Pro Plumbing, Heating & Electrical offers residential and commercial customers safe and affordable electrical services. Call our experienced technicians today at (909) 500-8193 to schedule an appointment.