Are the outlets in your home discolored and dingy? Are they unable to hold a plug? If so, it may be time to invest in replacements.
Some of the visual and functional cues that let you know it is time for you to replace your home’s outlets can be found here.
There are Only Two Prong Outlets in Your Home
If you have any outlets in your home that don’t have three-prongs, they should be replaced immediately. These not only prevent you from plugging in your three-prong appliances, the two-prong outlets are also ungrounded. This creates a significant shock risk and puts your costly electronics at risk of suffering permanent damage and surge protection won’t help in this case.
Also, just swapping the old, two-prong outlets for the newer three-prong ones won’t be enough. You also need to have your electrical panel rewired. This will provide the necessary ground, which makes everything safer.
Your Plugs Fall Out of the Outlet
If the slots of your outlet are loose, and the plugs fall out regardless of what’s connected, then it means the contacts in the outlet are worn out. While this may not seem like a huge issue, loose or missed connections that are created by worn outlets can result in electrical arching and create a serious risk of a house fire. If you begin to notice plugs falling out of a problem outlet, then it is time for you to replace it.
The Outlets Feel Hot
If you notice that your outlet feels hot when you touch it, then it’s a sure sign of electrical problems. This indicates worn wires, damaged wires or loose wires hiding behind the walls in your home. If this is the case, it poses a huge fire hazard.
Your Outlets Appear Discolored
Are there outlets or areas on the wall near an outlet that are discolored? If so, this is a huge red flag that your outlet may be improperly installed, damaged or burned. A short circuit can leave behind scorch marks and even melt plastics around the receptacle. They can also result in a fire. Don’t ever try to use a discolored outlet. Instead, cut power to it and contact an electrical professional to have it inspected and fixed right away.
You See a Spark or Smell Something Burning when You Plug Something In
If you see a spark or smoke, or if you smell something burning when you use an outlet, then you need to have it inspected and replaced right away. The issue could be water exposure or a short circuit. Popping or sizzling sounds are particularly problematic, and they indicate a fire that’s just waiting to happen.
If you are concerned about the outlets in your home, or if you are unsure if replacement is necessary, the best thing you can do is contact the professionals for help. They can provide an inspection, evaluation and the necessary repairs to ensure everything is operating properly.