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Electrical  /  September 6, 2021

Signs You Need To Upgrade Your Outlets

Signs You Need To Upgrade Your Outlets

The electrical outlets are things in a home that are essential but tend to go unnoticed, especially when everything is working as it should. However, outdated or old electrical outlets can put your home at risk of a house fire or other issues. An electrician in Calgary will probably tell you that most houses built between the ’90s and earlier likely have outdated outlets, so you should consider an upgrade. With technological advances and the growing demand on a home’s electrical grid, homeowners should consider replacing older receptacles or at least having them inspected.

The Need To Replace Aging Outlets in the Home

While it is true that older outlets can lose colour or appear dated compared to other elements in your home, in most cases, outlets are covered over by furniture or merely fade into the background. Unfortunately, not noticing — or worse ignoring — outlets is a potentially dangerous problem. Aging outlets can present a significant risk to your family’s safety, which is why you need to understand the potential issues of outdated or damaged outlets.

Outdated Receptacles

For most modern homes, you will need grounded outlets (outlets with three holes). Your home is at risk without properly grounded outlets, especially if your electrical demand is consistently more than your house can provide. Replacing dated two-prong outlets should be a priority for most homeowners; it is especially crucial for maintaining current smart devices and appliances.

Wire Degradation

Did you know that the wires behind an outlet can age out within as little as five years? Older wires can cause significant issues, including:

  • Sparking
  • Arcing
  • Fires

The primary issue is wire settling, leading to variances in points of contact. While the risks of a fire or severe disaster are minor, you still need to be aware of the potential dangers and remain vigilant. Having your home wiring inspected routinely is a good option for keeping your house up-to-date and safe.

Advancements in Technology

The rapid improvements and changes to household tech can be demanding on home electrical systems. The current required to maintain consistent power varies based on the devices and appliances in use. Traditionally, homes could accommodate conventional household equipment, but the electrical demand is growing with the advent of smart devices and integrated houses. While you might not notice consistent issues, you might see flickering or dimming of lights during peak use times — signs your outlets can’t keep up with demand.

3 Signs It Is Time To Upgrade Your Outlets

Understanding the potential problems of outdated or inadequate outlets is the first step to identifying the need for new outlets in your home. The next step is to identify problem receptacles and the need for replacements. Figuring out when to replace outlets comes down to three tell-tale signs: flickering lights, outlet damage, and visible sparks or arcing.

Flickering lights are a clear sign that the outlet cannot provide consistent power to the device. The lack of consistency can stem from a receptacle that is too weak, improperly installed, or damaged.

While not all damage is visible from the outside of the outlet, some are. A crack in the outlet cover or on the outlet’s face is a clear indicator that a replacement is necessary. Breaks and cracks can lead to problems like arcing, so it is crucial to replace the outlet as soon as possible.

Finally, if an outlet is sparking or arcing when you plug something into it, you should replace the outlet. The sparking can result from a short in the outlet itself, the wiring, or the misalignment of contact points.

It is always advisable to hire electrical repair services when dealing with electricity rather than a DIY approach. If you need to replace your outlets or have some other electrical trouble, contact the professionals with Handyman Connection and schedule a consultation.

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