Although they’re more necessary than ever in our modern age, many homeowners tend to overlook their electrical outlets and the importance of keeping them up to date. But that’s a major mistake, and one you definitely don’t want to make! Outdated outlets can damage your pricey electronics, overload your electrical system, and even spark a house fire, so it’s important to ensure yours are in excellent condition at all times.
Think your house might be due for electrical outlet replacement? Read on to learn the most common signs that indicate it is.
Your Home Has Ungrounded Outlets
How many prong holes do your outlets have? Two or three? If they only have two vertical slits, that means they’re not grounded, and they may be unsafe to use. In the event the outlet becomes overloaded or static electricity builds, an ungrounded outlet has no way of discharging the excess electricity. Anything plugged into such an outlet is vulnerable to serious electrical damage, so if you want to protect your appliances and electronics, prompt outlet replacement is highly recommended.
You Lack GFCI & AFCI Outlets
GFCI and AFCI outlets are designed to cut electrical flow to the outlet in the event there’s a dangerous problem with the receptacle. GFCIs protect against electrical shock when an electrical circuit comes into contact with water, while AFCIs protect against fire when a receptacle experiences electrical arcing.
How do you know if you have GFCIs and AFCIs? You can easily recognize a GFCI outlet by its red reset button and black test button. AFCIs, on the other hand, aren’t easily recognizable because they’re incorporated at the circuit breaker. If you’re unsure whether you have these outlets where they should be, you should have an electrician inspect your electrical system stat.
If an inspection reveals you don’t have them, in the interest of safety, you should schedule the appropriate outlet replacements as soon as you can.
Electrical Plugs Fall Out of Receptacles Easily
Do you have any outlets that seem loose? Either the outlet itself or the prong holes? If so, those receptacles are well past due for outlet replacements. Loose outlets can prompt electrical arcing, which can easily spark a fire.
Your Outlets Are Warm to the Touch
Hot outlets indicate that something is wrong with the wiring behind them, so if your outlets always feel warm to the touch, they need to be replaced promptly. Otherwise, they could start a fire within your walls.
You Can See Discoloration on Outlet Plates
Have you noticed grey, brown, or black discoloration on any of your receptacles? Then they’re way past due for outlet replacement. Burn marks, melting, or other obvious signs of damage indicate the outlet has been arcing, sparking, or short-circuiting, so if you’re currently dealing with this situation, stop using the discolored outlets immediately.
As an extra precaution, consider turning off the circuit breaker, too, provided it doesn’t also control other outlets that you really need. As soon as you can, call an electrician to have the affected outlets replaced.
Need Outlet Replacements in Your Twin Cities Home? Contact Harrison Electric
Are the electrical outlets in your house seriously outdated? Then it’s in your best interest to have them replaced as soon as possible. Get in touch with our team at Harrison Electric to get an outlet replacement quote today! Our licensed residential electricians are fully bonded and insured and we’ve proudly served the Twin Cities homeowners since 1985. Give us a call today at 763-544-3300 or request a quote online, and we’ll be in touch!