If It Ain’t Broke – Do Fix It!

Written By: Ryan Bowman

When it comes to household maintenance, an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude often leads to spending more money on repairs or prematurely having to replace your systems and appliances. Although your electrical work might seem like a “set it and forget it” system, it is actually not. Major upgrades and circuits need to be made for your home to run efficiently. Regular electrical maintenance is also the key to limiting the risk of fire and increasing the safety of your family. If you haven’t updated your outlets lately, with the holiday months quickly approaching, now is an excellent time.

When Should You Replace Your Electrical Outlets?

According to studies and the electrical guidelines of many states and municipalities, you should replace outlets every ten to fifteen years. Most homeowners only update electrical outlets and circuits when they need to be repaired, but letting old circuits and outlets sit unchecked for decades at a time is a real risk to your home’s safety and energy efficiency. When it comes to GFCI outlets, which are ground-fault circuit outlets, they can last upwards of 15-25 years, but you should inspect them frequently and test them to ensure that they are working properly.

What Are Signs that Your Electrical Outlets Need to Be Replaced?

The Outlet Won’t Work

Most people assume that there is a faulty circuit breaker if an outlet ceases to work. If you have some that are not functioning, do not ignore them. Outlets that aren’t working can be a sign of a bigger problem on the horizon. When an outlet stops working, it can affect the entire electrical system of your home. If one doesn’t work, it could be the case that all the room’s outlets aren’t, and they all need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Your Home Is Older

Most people only upgrade their electrical outlets and systems when a new home is built or renovated. When you have outdated electrical outlets, they can begin to wear with age. Over time, they can begin to experience loosened connections that will pose a fire hazard as well as the risk of electrocution. If your outlets are outdated, you might want to consider upgrading your entire electrical system.

Two-Pronged Outlets

When you have two-pronged outlets, that means that the outlet does not have a ground wire which is necessary to redirect the outlet in case there is an overload. If you have two-pronged outlets, it is best to upgrade to three.

Cracked or Damaged Outlets

Not only does a cracked or damaged outlet make your home’s interior look worn and aged; they also pose electrical hazards. When the outlet is not well maintained, there is the risk that within the electrical outlet, dust, pet hair, and other combustible materials can seep into the electrical system and pose a fire hazard.

Outlets That Are Burned

If your outlet is hot to the touch, that is a surefire sign that it needs to be replaced immediately. An outlet that is discolored, a melted faceplate, or brown or blackish marks are all signs that your outlet is burned. There is the potential that the outlet is short-circuited due to a moisture leak…or worse. Make sure to call an electrician in Augusta if you notice one in your home. 

Plugs Won’t Stay Put

Not only is it highly irritating when a plus won’t stay put and falls out easily; it can lead to connection issues. When your plugs don’t fit properly, it can lead to sparking inside the wall, which is a serious fire hazard.

Although not many homeowners think very seriously about their electrical outlets until they have a reason to, fire safety is real. If your outlets are outdated or showing signs that they need to be replaced, don’t ignore them! Your electrical outlets should be replaced every ten to fifteen years, and if it has been longer than that for you, now is the perfect time to call Morrison and have yours replaced in time for the holidays. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for an upgrade!