Keeping your home safe and comfortable is a top priority for any homeowner, but how can you protect against a threat you didn’t know was there? Your outdated or broken electrical outlets could be dangerous if you don’t replace them quickly and properly. But, how do you identify the dangerous outlets? Over time your electrical system could sustain damage, or it could simply become outdated. Or, if your home was previously owned by a do-it-yourself owner, that previous resident could have installed outlets incorrectly. Whatever the case, it is important to look for the following signs which may indicate that you need to replace your outlets.
Cracked or Damaged Outlet Plate
If the plate surrounding your outlet is significantly damaged, it may be a sign of some dangerous wiring or electrical damage. Sometimes insignificant damage can be just that—insignificant. However, if an outlet has been damaged severely, it could affect the effectiveness and the safety of the wiring underneath. Also, if your outlet is damaged so much so that wiring is visible, it should be replaced immediately.
Plug Won’t Stay In the Outlet
When a plug continues to fall out of the outlet, is a clear indication that something isn’t lining up correctly. This could mean the mechanisms inside our outlet are worn down or damaged and can no longer maintain the connection with the plug.
If your outlet only gives off power sometimes, it could be indicative of bad wiring or another electrical problem. For example, if your lamp flickers, but the bulb is fine, your power may be faltering. If this happens, call your electrician for immediate help.
Should You Replace Two-Prong Outlets?
The two-pronged outlet design has not been used for decades, so if your home is still equipped with these outdated outlets, you should have them changed. While they may still work well enough, the two-pronged design does not support many modern electrical appliances. New electric equipment requires more power than the two-pronged outlet can safely conduct, which can lead to a dangerous fire and shock hazard if ignored, not to mention it can damage any expensive appliances or electronic devices you plug in!
The reason three-prong outlets are safer is because the third prong is a "ground connector." If your home has been electrically grounded, excess electricity delivered to the outlet can be safely discharged via a ground wire connected to this third prong. Chances are, if most or all of the outlets in your home only have two prongs, your home doesn't have electrical grounding. However, keep in mind that just because your home has three-prong outlets does not automatically mean that you have a grounding wire set up. If you have any questions about the safety of your outlets, you should contact a qualified electrician as soon as possible.
At Tidal Electrical Services, Inc., our professional technicians can survey your home and check for any safety hazards or electrical issues. If you need your outlets replaced, we can gladly help.
Contact Tidal Electrical Services, Inc. today to schedule your free estimate.