It is so easy to ignore broken electrical outlets because we often forget how dangerous they are. They hold high-voltage electrical power, which is why it is essential to fix loose outlets right away. But how do you know when & how to fix loose outlets?
When should you fix loose outlets?
Several indications will tell when it is time to repair or replace electrical outlets.
- Receptacles are difficult to plug into
First of all, check what type of receptacles you have. Some outlets are tamper-resistant, which makes them more difficult to plug. This safety feature is designed to block foreign objects from being inserted.
Electrical receptacles come in different types. There are the Standard Receptacles that you usually see around your home. These are: the Range Receptacles, which are designed only for the electric range cooker, the Dryer Receptacle with three or four pins, and the GFCI receptacles that have narrow slots and semi-circle hole.
- The outlets are ungrounded and outdated.
If the electrical outlet only has two holes instead of three, it is ungrounded, hence will not give off enough electricity for high-powered devices. In other words, this kind of outlet could severely damage your devices.
Discoloration and scorch marks from the plastic covering are signs that the outlet is outdated. Cracks are also an indication of old outlets. For instance, debris and dust trapped inside might have significant damage to the entire outlet.
Fix these problems immediately. You could be putting your life at risk leaving these problems untreated. Have you heard about GFCI devices? Here is a short article we wrote about GFCI benefits. Installing GFCIs in your home will help eliminate your problem of ungrounded and outdated outlets.
- The outlet works 50/50
Does the outlet you are worried about works one day and then not again? Does it work for one device and not the other? These are signs of loose outlets.
The complication could be from the electrical wiring. Never attempt to open, rewire or replace it on your own. Hire a professional that will look into the problem.
- Plugs won’t stay put in the outlet.
The receptacles or prongs might be the reason why plugs keep falling from an outlet. Be sure to try out other devices to ensure the outlet is loose.
Contact points get damaged over time. Bad wiring that causes heat and sparks could damage the whole outlet. That is why it is essential to contact a local electrician nearby to conduct an electrical inspection.
Ask an electrician to rewire your outlet. Trained professionals can conduct home electrical repair services and know the correct electrical kits to use.
- The outlet feels hot when you touch it.
Outlets should not feel hot when you touch them. So if they are, that could indicate that the connections insides are loose or too close to each other. This electrical issue poses serious consequences when not dealt with right away. Call an electrician nearby to fix it.
Young children are curious beings, so if you have kids at home, it is crucial to make your home childproof. We listed the top 9 tips for electrical outlet safety to help parents create a safer environment for their children.
How to fix loose outlets
First, the primary tools you will need to fix loose outlets include safety gloves, wire cutter, screwdriver, replacement outlet, and a multi-tester.
- To start, turn off the circuit breaker of your home. Make sure it is flipped off the whole time you are working.
- Next, use a multimeter to check whether electricity is still flowing in the outlet. Make sure there is no power.
- After double-checking there is no electric current, you can now unscrew the plastic housing of the outlet.
- Next, unscrew and detach the receptacle from the housing.
- Removing screws should also allow you to separate the wires that are connected to it.
- If you see any torn or burnt wirings, stop and reach out to an electrician nearby. ElectriCall is an expert when it comes to repairing and replacing loose outlets. We do all kinds of home electrical repair service!
- If electrical wires just became loose, use a wire cutter to strip the cable. Expose only just enough wire to go around the terminal screws. Do not overexpose the cables.
- The most crucial part is wiring the cables to the screws. To save you from any accidents, call our hotline. ElectriCall will help you fix loose outlets spick-and-span!
- Once all the wirings are in place, you can now reattach the receptacle and the plastic covering.
- Flip on the electrical box to test the outlet. Use the tester to check if the correct voltage is passing through.
- Lastly, check if the devices will connect and work when plugged in.
For non-electricians, it may be difficult to track the cause of loose electrical outlets. To prevent any further damage and problems, ask for the assistance of professionals. ElectriCall has years of experience serving the community. We are just one phone call away!