The Dangers of Loose Electrical Outlets and How to Fix Them
If you’ve ever noticed that your electrical outlets are a little bit loose, you’re not alone. In fact, this is a pretty common problem. But why do outlets get loose in the first place? And more importantly, is it dangerous? In this blog post, we’ll answer all of your questions about loose electrical outlets and what you should do if you encounter any.
Are Loose Electrical Outlets Dangerous?
We’ll get straight to the point: The answer is yes, loose electrical outlets are dangerous. If an outlet is not properly secured, it can cause sparks and even fires by allowing electricity to arc. Additionally, loose outlets are a shock hazard. If you or someone else accidentally bumps into an outlet that is not properly secured, you could be electrocuted.
How Can You Tell if an Outlet is Loose?
The first thing you’ll want to do is check the screws on the faceplate. If they are loose, then the outlet is probably loose as well. You can also try wiggling the outlet to see if it moves, or if there’s any give when you plug something in or unplug it. If you notice any of these signs, stop using them as soon as possible. The outlet is definitely loose and needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Why do Outlets Become Loose?
There are a few different reasons why outlets can become loose over time. One of the most common reasons is simply age – as outlets get older, the screws can become loose and the outlet itself can become worn down. Environmental factors can also play a role, especially if you live in an area with high humidity or earthquakes. If your home has shifted or settled over time, that can also cause outlets to become loose.
Make sure not to yank any cords out of the outlet, as this can cause even more damage to the outlet itself and even the drywall the plate is screwed into. The gentler you are with your outlets, the longer they will last.
How to Fix a Loose Electrical Outlet
If you have a loose electrical outlet, the best thing to do is call an electrician. They will be able to properly fix the outlet and make sure that it is safe to use.
While loose electrical outlets are definitely dangerous, they are also relatively easy to fix. All you need to do is:
- Shut off the breaker the outlet is on
- Remove the faceplate by unscrewing the screws
- Tighten the screws holding the outlet to the electrical box
- Replace the faceplate and turn the breaker back on
Remember to always call an electrician if you are not comfortable fixing the outlet yourself or if you discover any damage that goes beyond a simple loose outlet.
And, of course, always make sure to keep an eye out for any loose outlets in your home so that you can address the issue before it becomes a bigger problem.
Tidal Electrical Services Offers Outlet Inspection, Repair, & Installation
If you are concerned about the electrical outlets in your home, or are experiencing any other electrical issues, Tidal Electrical Services can help. We are a team of licensed electricians who are experienced in outlet repair, installation, and inspection. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.