If you live in an older home, replacing your electrical outlets (also known as receptacles) is something you should definitely think about. Not only will your home be better equipped to handle a modern home’s electricity demands, but it will also make your home safer. Here are five signs that indicate it’s time to consider calling an electrician to replace the electrical outlets in your Flushing home.
You Notice Cracking or Chipping
Electrical outlets are made from materials that grow brittle over time and start to break down. Damage to your receptacle is more than just a cosmetic problem. If it is cracked, chipped, or broken, you are exposing anyone using that outlet to a dangerous situation. Electrical arcing can occur when a plug is inserted into a damaged outlet, which could cause an electrical shock or even a fire.
The Outlet Feels Hot or Shows Other Signs of Overheating
If the plastic parts on any of your receptacles or the faceplates surrounding them feel warm to the touch, have dark discoloration on them, or give off a burning smell, you want to have the outlet changed right away because it is a very real fire hazard! Call a Flushing electrician as soon as possible, and in the meantime, go to your circuit breaker and find the switch that controls that particular outlet and switch it off.
The Plug Falls Out of the Receptacle
If you plug in a device, and the plug falls out or comes partially out simply due to the weight of the plug itself, you should look into having an electrician change out that outlet. This can happen with receptacles that see frequent use, as the spring mechanisms start to fail. This isn’t just an annoying problem—it can actually cause dangerous electrical arcing.
You Don’t Have Grounded Outlets
If you live in a home that still has two-prong outlets, as opposed to those with three prongs (grounded outlets), you should consider an upgrade. This may be a fairly simple and relatively inexpensive process if your house is already grounded, but if it isn’t, it will require some rewiring to bring your home up to modern standards. Grounded outlets are important because they give appliances and other devices a place to safely discharge any excess or misdirected electrical currents. Using a surge protector strip won’t help you overcome the problem of having ungrounded outlets, as some homeowners are prone to believe. A surge protector is only as good as the ground it’s connected to. So, if your house isn’t grounded, a surge protector is giving you nothing more than a false sense of security.
You Want to Install Tamper-Resistant Electrical Outlets
Tamper-resistant receptacles are a great option, especially if you have small children in your home. These types of outlets basically block off the slots in the outlet, keeping children from being able to insert foreign objects in them. The slots remain closed unless equal pressure is applied to both sides, like when a plug is inserted. If you already have grounded outlets, changing them out for tamper-resistant ones is a fairly easy upgrade, but like any electrical work, you should contact a professional electrician for help.
Contact Electrician Express in Flushing for All of Your Electrical Needs
If you want an estimate from a Flushing electrician about upgrading your outlets, or for any other electrical work you need to be done, contact us today. We are happy to come to your home and provide you with a quote and answer any questions you may have.