Are your electrical outlets acting up? If so, don’t ignore the problem! Electricity is never something to be taken lightly, and when your family’s safety is at stake, prompt action is critical.

At Harrison Electric, we know a thing or two (or everything) about residential electrical outlets and the signs they display when it’s time for an upgrade or replacement. If you’ve been dealing with any of the following five electric outlet issues, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

1. Loose, Wobbly Receptacles

If your outlet jiggles or wobbles around when you plug things in, it’s time for an outlet replacement. The outlet and its cover are the only protection standing between you and your home’s wiring system. But, when the outlet is loose, the internal wiring may also be loose, which presents a significant safety hazard.

Dangerous electrical arcing can easily occur when wiring damage exists, and unfortunately, the phenomenon can cause significant injuries and damage to personal belongings.

2. Outlets Feel Warm When Touched

When you touch certain outlet plates, do they feel hot to the touch? If that’s a yes, it’s definitely time for new outlets. Behind each outlet is a system of live electrical wires, which can generate significant heat as they conduct electricity to the outlet.

Warm outlets often occur as a result of improperly installed wiring, normal wear-and-tear, or certain types of wiring malfunction, all of which must be promptly addressed for your own safety. Contact a residential electrician who can perform an electrical inspection and recommend the appropriate course of action.

3. Sparks Fly

Flying sparks might be thrilling in certain areas of your life, but when they fly out of your outlets, they’re anything but exciting. If any of your outlets emit sparks when you plug in devices or appliances, that is a hallmark sign of electrical deterioration and impending damage.

Don’t wait around to get this issue fixed, or you might end up short-circuiting your home’s electrical system. 

4. Inconsistent Power Supply

When you plug appliances or devices into your outlets, do they flicker on and off? Flickering, inconsistent power supply is a strong indication that a particular outlet cannot keep up with a device’s power demands.

As outlets age, wear-and-tear is completely normal, but to minimize your risk of short-circuiting and device damage, have a licensed electrician perform outlet replacement on any offending receptacles.

5. Ungrounded Outlets

If any of your electrical outlets only contain two holes, that means they are ungrounded, and you are unprotected from electrical shock. For your own safety, it’s essential that you contact a residential electrician to perform outlet replacements on any receptacles that do not feature three-pronged plugs.

You may also want to consider having your electrician install GFCI outlets for an extra layer of protection.

6. You Have an Overabundance of Extension Cords

Unless you have an electrical outlet positioned precisely where you need it to be every time you charge an appliance or device, the standard practice is for individuals to plug in an extension cord to help supply power to different areas of their homes.

While this can seem like an efficient way to get the results you want, most people don't understand that each electrical cords have wattage requirements to follow.

Ignoring this can result in too much current flowing through it, creating multiple issues, including:

  • Overheating
  • Frequent short circuits
  • Damage to the plastic insulation of the wiring
  • House fires
  • Damage to the device or appliance plugged in

So, if you are using an overabundance of extension cords or power strips, this is a major indicator that you need to call a professional to upgrade your outlets.

7. Tripped Breakers or Blown Fuses

You need everything to work efficiently in your home as designed. When you flip on your light switch, you want the light to come on, and your fridge needs to continue running to keep things cold, or when it's time to charge a device, you need to know that it will provide you with the necessary power for this. However, if the switches and appliances are not working, this could signify a tripped breaker or a blown fuse.

Tripped breakers happen for several reasons, including:

  • Overloaded circuits, which has resulted from using circuits that can't provide the level of power needed for the device or appliance.
  • Short circuits occur when neutral and hot wires come in contact with one another or from a loose connection.
  • Ground fault surges are similar to short circuits and will cause the breaker to trip if more electricity passes through it than it can handle.

Specific appliances can also cause blown fuses and tripped breakers, so if you are finding this is frequently happening, This is another indicator that it may be time to upgrade the outlet.

Need Professional Outlet Replacement? Contact Harrison Electric Today

At Harrison Electric, we’ve been serving conscientious homeowners throughout the Minneapolis metro area for over 30 years. It’s our goal to help your home function as safely and efficiently as possible, and we achieve this by providing a wide range of residential electrical repair and upgrade services.

Whether you’re in need of outlet replacements, new electrical panel wiring, or you need to bring your home’s electrical work up to code, our expertly trained team guarantees your full satisfaction.

To learn more about how our residential electricians can help you keep your home safe, give our team a call at 763-544-3300 or reach out to us on our contact page. For your convenience, you can also request your service appointment online.