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When Should You Replace an Outlet?

Power outlets are an element of every home and commercial property that is commonly overlooked. While it is often easier to assume that every outlet in a building is in good condition, this can drastically increase the risk of electrical fires and other hazards. If an outlet is not functioning properly or showing signs of wear, it may be time to have it replaced. Knowing when you should replace an outlet and what to look for will help you keep your property functioning as it should while minimizing the risk of various electrical hazards. That is why the residential and commercial electrical contractors at BNR Electric have put together a list of signs that it is time to replace an outlet.

Read about some common warning signs of electrical fires.

5 Signs That it is Time to Replace an Outlet

The following signs are the most common indicators that it is time to replace an outlet:

1. It Does not Provide Power

If a device does not work when it is plugged in, most people will assume that there is a problem with it instead of the outlet. While this can be true in some cases, it is always best to plug multiple items into an outlet to determine if it is providing power. If every device fails to power on or respond to being plugged in and no circuit breakers have flipped, your outlet is likely defective and will need to be replaced.

2. It is Showing Signs of Physical Damage

It is highly recommended to visually inspect an outlet every few months to ensure that there are no signs of physical damage. If an outlet has burn marks, melted sections, or cracks, it is unsafe for use and should be replaced immediately.

3. Plugs Fall Out Easily

While loose plugs may feel like more of an annoyance than a hazard, they can be a clear indicator of a worn outlet. If your plugs are extremely easy to remove or fall out on their own, you will likely need to have a new outlet installed.

4. Smoke, Heat, and Sparks

When it comes to signs of electrical fires, outlets can be a fast way to detect them before it is too late. If an outlet smells like smoke, is hot to the touch, or sparks when a device is plugged in, it is time to contact a licensed electrician to inspect and replace it.

5. It is Ungrounded

If your outlets only have two prongs instead of three, this means that they are ungrounded and unsafe for most modern devices. This is especially prevalent in older homes that are equipped with knob and tube wiring. To minimize the risk of electrical hazards for your home, it is strongly recommended to replace all ungrounded outlets with modern GFCI outlets.

To learn more about when to replace an outlet or to inquire about our electrical service solutions, get in touch with the team at BNR Electric. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your residential or commercial project.

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