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How to Know When to Replace Your Electrical Outlets

Electrical Outlet in need of Repair
Replace Electrical Outlets
There are many visual and functional signs that tell you it’s time to replace the electrical outlets in your home:

Your outlets only have two-prongs

All outlets that do not have three-prongs should be immediately replaced. Besides preventing you from plugging-in three-prong appliances, two-prong outlets are ungrounded. This presents a significant and dangerous shock risk and puts your electronics at risk of permanent damage. Even using surge protection won’t help when you’re using an ungrounded electrical system. Your electrical panel must be rewired to provide the necessary ground to make older two-prong outlets safe.

Plugs fall out

If the slots of an outlet are loose, and plugs fall out no matter what appliance is connected, then the contacts within the outlet are worn. This can cause electrical arcing and put you at major risk of house fires. If you notice plugs falling out of problem outlets, it’s definitely time for a replacement.

Outlets feel hot to the touch

Outlets that feel hot to the touch are a sure sign of electrical trouble, indicating loose, damaged, or worn wires hidden behind the walls that pose a huge fire hazard.

Your outlets are discolored

If an outlet or the surrounding wall are discolored, this is a warning sign your outlet may be burned, damaged, or improperly installed. Short circuits commonly leave scorch marks and melt plastics surrounding the receptacle. These can easily result in fire. Never attempt to use a discolored outlet. Cut power to the outlet at the panel and contact an electrical professional to have it inspected and addressed immediately.

You see a spark, smoke, or smell something burning

Any of the above signs are a clear indicator your outlets should be immediately inspected and replaced due to short circuit or water exposure. Sizzling or popping sounds are especially worrisome, indicating a fire waiting to happen. Turn off power to the outlet at the panel, and have your outlets inspected as soon as possible.

Your GFCI outlets won’t trip

If you press the TEST button and GFCI outlets don’t trip when they have a power source, they’re no longer protecting you and should be immediately replaced. The same goes for if you hit the TEST button, the outlet is tripped, but the RESET button won’t restore power. GFCIs only last about five to ten years. Replace them with new GFCI outlets as soon as possible, because they are critical in areas of your home exposed to water. Once your outlets are replaced, test them monthly.
Do any of these situations sound familiar? Give us a call and stay safe with the help of Speedy Electric and AC. Contact us for a quote to replace your electrical outlets.