Electrical outlets start to wear out after a few decades. With newer technologies available, outlets installed before the turn of the twentieth century may be outdated. It’s important to know when to replace your outlets or consider an electrical outlet upgrade. Bad outlets can cause shocks, burns, and fires, so are very dangerous.
Whether your electrical outlets are aging or faulty, here are 5 sure signs you need to upgrade your outlets and possibly your home wiring too.
- Burning Odor: If it smells like an outlet is burning, it most likely is. Plastic or rubber material has probably melted. When things get hot enough for that to happen, an electrical fire can be just around the corner. Turn off the outlet and unplug anything that’s in it as soon as possible, then call an electrician. Other warnings that often occur along with burning odors include discoloration of the outlet, a buzzing or sizzling sound, and a tingling sensation when you plug something in.
- Cracked Outlet Covers: A damaged faceplate can put you in serious danger if you try to plug anything in. Electrical arcing can occur even if the outlet cover is only mildly cracked or chipped. Seek an electrical outlet repair professional immediately to protect yourself and your home. A cracked cover is something you can easily see, and it should never be ignored.
- Two-Pronged Outlets: If you have an older outlet with only two slots, it is not properly grounded or designed to modern safety standards. In fact, it can be quite dangerous if you continue to use it. Remedying the issue isn’t as simple as replacing the old outlet with a newer grounded one. It doesn’t offer enough protection. The best solution is to have an electrician install a GFCI outlet that protects you and your family from ground fault events. Rather than get a shock, the outlet will shut off if there’s a surge in electricity.
- Loose Outlet Slots: When the slots are loose, the weight of the cord can cause the plug to fall out. The electrical plug won’t be secure enough for a safe connection. If it is powering an appliance, dangerous sparks and shocks can occur at any time. The outlet must be replaced because the plate is likely damaged, or the metal contacts inside have worn to the point they can no longer hold the plug.
- Seeing Sparks: A sparking outlet is an immediate threat to the safety of your family. Sparks can be a sign of a short circuit or that the outlet has reached the end of its service life. Water exposure can cause it to spark as well. In any case, sparking means there is something seriously wrong with the outlet. A faulty component can cause an appliance that’s plugged into it to spark as well. When this occurs, consult a professional for an electrical inspection and repair right away.
Contact CMC Electric
At CMC Electric, we handle all types of electrical repairs in Wake Forest, Cary, Fayetteville, and other parts of the Raleigh area. We specialize in residential electrical construction, installation, and maintenance as well as electrical outlet repair. If you have an outdated outlet or one that is burnt, smelly, cracked, loose, or sparking, you can call us 24/7 and we’ll dispatch a licensed electrician to your home. Book service online or call 919-351-6409 today!