Are you dealing with beatdown or discolored outlets in your home? Do your outlets absolutely refuse to keep your plugs in place? Are these even things that you think twice about? There are both visual and functional clues to help indicate that it’s time to replace the outlets in your home. Here is some information to know about what can happen to them so that you can have a better idea of when you should replace your outlets.

When you insert a plug in an outlet and it falls out

A plug falling out of an outlet regardless of what is connected is a sign that the contacts inside of the outlet are most likely worn out. If this is the case, the main reason why you should replace your outlets is that missed or loose connections inside of an old outlet can cause electrical arcing and put your home in serious danger of catching on fire. If you notice the same outlet repeatedly rejecting plugs, it is a good idea to replace that outlet and any other ones around it to ensure the safety of everybody in the home.

Outlets feel hot when you touch them

Outlets that feel noticeably hot when you touch them are a clear sign that you are having an electrical issue. This can be an indication that there are loose, damaged, or extremely worn out wires behind the wall. This should be dealt with quickly because it poses a serious fire hazard to your home. If an outlet or the surrounding wall area looks to be discolored, this is another sign that your outlet might be burned or damaged, or even that the outlet might not have been installed properly. When outlets experience short circuits, it is common for them to leave scorch marks and melt the plastics surrounding the area, which is another serious fire hazard. You should never continue to use these outlets if you are noticing these issues happening to them or around them. Contact an electrical professional to schedule an inspection and get your outlets upgraded and replaced.

When you plug in an appliance it sparks, smokes, or smells like it’s burning

Any of those signs listed above are a clear indication that your outlets need to be replaced as quickly as possible. If your outlets are experiencing any of these things, there is a chance that there has been a short circuit or the outlet has been exposed to water. If your outlet starts to make sizzling or popping noises, you should take action even quicker because this is a sign that a fire is practically inevitable. If you have the ability to, turn off the power to the outlet immediately and contact a licensed electrician to conduct an inspection on all of the outlets in your home.

Your outlets are outdated or ungrounded

If there are any outlets in your home that are not able to fulfill your electricity needs, or if they’re ungrounded, meaning that they only have two holes instead of the more common three, then your home is at risk and this is when you should replace your outlets. Ungrounded outlets or ones that aren’t able to provide electricity at a high enough level to meet your technology needs must be replaced. Make sure your outlets are grounded and protect your family.

If your outlet cover is cracked

Your outlet cover being cracked is more than just a design flaw messing up the interior design of your living room. Cracks in outlets are the perfect way for dust and debris to find their way into your electrical system. Just changing the cover might not be enough if the dust has already caused significant enough damage to the system. It is still a good idea to call a licensed electrician to inspect the outlets to make sure that they are still able to function properly and safely.

When to update your outlets

Even if you are not experiencing a direct problem or your outlets aren’t necessarily worn out, you might want to consider just upgrading your outlets to fit in with new technology. There have been many recent advances in outlet technology that can offer you various advantages.

One reason to update your outlets is to save space. With all of the different technology and electronics that are becoming more and more common to own, replacing your current outlets with USB outlets is a smart way to maximize your outlet space, given how many things need to be plugged in and charged throughout the day.

Another reason to upgrade your outlets is to increase the level of safety in your home. Upgraded outlet technology can provide new features that might not have been offered when your outlets were first installed. Recessed outlets prevent plugs from sticking out while pop-up outlets prevent cords and wires from hanging out, preventing children or pets from getting injured.

Upgrading your outlets also allows for increased convenience. Advanced Wi-Fi outlets let users monitor and operate their outlets from anywhere. This can provide much-needed peace of mind and security for people who tend to leave their irons on or their hair straightener plugged in when they leave the house, and can also aid in helping to reduce vampire energy which is the unnecessary energy usage caused by electronics being plugged in even when they’re not being used.

You might also think about upgrading your outlets if you have recently updated the appliances in your home. Some of the major appliances that might require outlet upgrades include microwaves, portable air conditioners, washers and dryers, stationary desktop computers, and hot tubs. Contact an electrician to prepare your home for your new additions so you can use your appliances and equipment without any safety problems or risks.

How often do you think about the electrical outlets in your home? Even if you aren’t able to easily spot the problem, old outlets can be putting your home at risk without you even knowing it.  Knowing when to replace your outlets isn’t easy, but if you are experiencing any of these technical issues or simply want to update your outlets with the newest advancement in electrical technology, contact a licensed electrician to get the job done.   

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