3 Signs It’s Time to Replace an Outlet

The average household outlet flows with 120 volts of alternating current electricity. A residential electrical contractor needs to keep your outlets in good condition to meet building codes and protect you and your family. Knowing the signs of a failing outlet will help you schedule an appointment and ensure you’re safe at home.

When an Electrical Contractor Should Replace an Outlet

1. Overheating
When the wiring in the outlet is insufficient for the power in the system, it will overheat. Excessive heat can also be caused by a defective electrical system that’s sending too much power.

Either way, an overheating outlet needs to be replaced. The plate in front of the receptacle should never be warm to the touch. There shouldn’t be any signs of short-circuiting. If you find melted plastic or a dark discoloration on the material, call a professional for assistance.

2. Arcing
Arcing occurs when a damaged component inside the outlet causes the power to jump outside of the wires. It might look like a spark shooting toward metal. This can start an electrical fire or overheat the outlet itself.

It may occur right before you plug in an appliance, as the voltage reaches for the metal prongs. If you don’t see the arcing electricity yourself, you might see smoke or burn marks on the wall or outlet plate.

3. Old Age
As they get older and start to fail, your outlets will need to be replaced. Common signs of old age include plugs that fall out easily, visible cracks and chips, or a yellowed plate cover.

If you have an older home, check if you have GFCI outlets. These variants have sensors inside that monitor the electrical flow and automatically shut off if there’s a problem. They’re often required in rooms with water fixtures, such as kitchens and bathrooms. If your house was built before 1975, your fixtures might not be up to code.

If you need to replace an outlet or upgrade your electrical system, leave the job to Patnode Electric in Mansfield, CT. Since 1988, this residential electrical contractor has built a reputation for outstanding service at fair prices. Their factory-trained and certified electricians will provide fast work that meets all electrical codes. Learn more about their services online, or call (860) 429-3574 to schedule an appointment with a residential electrical contractor.

Scroll to top