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Is It Time to Upgrade My Outlets?

Tips & Advice

We use our outlets and switches so much, it is sometimes easy to forget they’re even there. But outlets and switches, just like the rest of your electrical fixtures, can be very sensitive, and may occasionally need to be replaced. Waiting to do this could be dangerous, and end up costing you more money in the long run. Fortunately, our skilled electricians are here for all the switch and outlet services you may need. Keep reading to learn if it is time to upgrade your outlets, and do not hesitate to contact Roby Services anytime you need electrical repairs and replacements.

5 Reasons to Call for Outlet Replacement

  1. The plugs always fall out of your outlets: Are the slots on your outlets loose? If so, chances are the connections inside are worn out. While this may seem more annoying than problematic, loose connections can actually be very dangerous, end even put you at risk for shocking and house fires. Fortunately, it is easy to upgrade your outlets so plugs fit tightly into them, making your receptacles both safe and aesthetically pleasing.
  2. Your outlets feel warm: Outlets, or any other piece of electrical equipment that are warm to the touch for that matter, are extremely dangerous, and should never be ignored for any length of time. If you find that there is heat emanating off your outlets, there is a good chance that the wiring behind them is loose and damaged, and may need to be replaced. To reiterate, this is an issue that should never disregarded, especially because warm outlets may eventually lead to…
  3. Your outlets are sparking or smoking: If you can see your outlets smoke or sizzle when you go to plug something in, call an electrician immediately. Chances are they have been affected by water damage, short circuiting, or various wiring issues. Regardless, an outlet that is releasing sparks or smoke is a major electrocution hazard, so turn off the panel that is directing electricity to the outlet in question and call an electrician for an inspection if you notice this happening in your home. You should also look out for outlets that are discolored, as this is an indicator that smoking or sparking has happened at some point. In addition to looking bad, this discolored outlet could melt the next time a short circuit happens, thus causing a dangerous electrical fire.
  4. Your GFCI outlets are not working properly: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI outlets, have a similar purpose to your circuit breaker. They redirect dangerous power currents, aka “faults,” to the ground so they do not damage your equipment. However, if you have pressed the test button (this is the one on the bottom of your receptacle, above the “reset” button, which may have a red color,) on a GFCI outlet, and found that it does not trip, you will want to get that outlet replaced ASAP. The same is true if you hit the test button after a circuit has been tripped, but the outlet does not start working again when you press the reset button. The average GFCI outlet lasts ten years, so if you have not tested yours recently, do so now, and call an electrician for an upgrade if necessary.
  5. You have two-pronged outlets: For this type of upgrade, the problem isn’t necessarily that your outlets have been damaged, but rather that they are old and outdated. Two-pronged outlets not only prevent you from plugging in three-pronged devices (which, let’s be honest, are the standard at this point,) they also pose a greater risk for shocks. While you may think you can protect your appliances and yourself with whole-home surge protectors, this will not work if your larger electrical system is outdated. The same is true for simply swapping out two-pronged outlets for three-pronged (GFCI) ones. Instead, you will need to hire an electrician to rewire your panel, thereby giving your outlets the power they need in a way that does not pose a danger to your household.

Dealing with outlet problems in your home? Call Roby Services now at (980) 308-0200, or fill out our contact form online for more information.

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