Electricity is a major component of your home’s functionality. We often use its power without even thinking twice. We plug in our lamps, our laptops, and our hair dryers and go about our business. But what happens when something is awry? Electricity is not something to take chances with. If you notice any of these five things, take it as a sign it’s time to upgrade your home’s electrical outlets.
An ungrounded outlet is one that accommodates only two-pronged plugs like those found on toasters, lamps, and radios, not the three-pronged plugs that are attached to larger appliances. Sometimes, homeowners improperly replace two-pronged receptacles with three-pronged receptacles to allow them to plug in these larger items, but this can be dangerous. The third prong is supposed to connect to a ground, which helps to safely dissipate excess energy and is absent in an ungrounded outlet.
Particularly if you have an older home, make sure that every outlet that you use to plug in electrical items with three-pronged plugs is grounded. Homes built prior to 1960 are likely to have several ungrounded outlets, which may need to be upgraded.
If you notice an abnormal amount of warmth around your outlet, it may be a sign that your outlet needs to be replaced. Overheating is a sign that the electrical connection is too much for your outlet to handle. Other signs of overheating include sparks, soot, and scorching. Pay close attention to these outlets, and replace them as soon as possible to prevent an electrical fire.
3. Cracks or Breaks
Significant damage to your outlet plate may be a sign that it needs to be replaced. If your outlet plate is so damaged that you can see the wiring underneath it, it should be replaced immediately. Exposed wires are a safety hazard to everyone in your home. Cracked plates, in general, are a safety hazard. Cracks in your outlet cover can collect dust, which also becomes a fire hazard.
4. Loose Connections
If a plug continues to fall out of an outlet, it could be because the inner workings are worn out or damaged, preventing your plug from making a proper connection. Loose connections can lead to fires or electrical shock. Be sure to have outlets with loose connections replaced as soon as possible.
5. Inconsistent Power
If your outlet provides power inconsistently, it should be replaced. Inconsistent power can be a sign of improper wiring or a damaged outlet connection. You may notice that your lights flicker or that your devices don’t always charge. Inconsistent power isn’t just a nuisance; it’s a sign of a larger problem that may be a danger to you and your home.
If your outlets are showing one or more of these signs, it’s time to get them replaced! Improper use of electricity can lead to injury or death. If need an electrician in or around Aspen or Carbondale, choose RFV Plumbing and Electrical. From regular maintenance to emergency repairs, our electrical contractors have you covered!