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Electrical  /  December 14, 2022

4 Warning Signs Your Home’s Electrical Outlets Need Repair

Signs your electrical outlets are bad

Protecting your Edmonton home, family and property from a possible fire is probably something you make time for, but have you ever considered that malfunctioning electrical outlets in your home can cause a serious fire? When these outlets age or the wiring no longer conducts electricity properly, they can short out and increase the risk of a house fire. At Handyman Connection, we can help you keep your home and family safe with a few tips for electrical outlet safety and what to watch for, along with a variety of electrical repair services

1. Outlet Covers Are Hot To the Touch 

Because the wiring inside your outlets is not visible to the naked eye, it is difficult to know when it might be shorted out or malfunctioning. However, you might spot a problem if an outlet cover feels unusually warm or hot to the touch while an appliance is plugged in. 

If you notice an outlet cover feels hot, carefully unplug the appliance and cut the power in that area before calling us for assistance. Turning off the power may reduce the risk of fire, especially if the wiring is already overheating. 

2. Melted Plugs and Cords 

Damaged wiring can cause outlets to overheat both inside and out, which may in turn melt appliance cords and plugs. This may happen slowly or the outlet may smoke or spark before the cord or plug shows signs of melting. If you are using a power strip or extension cord, turn its power off before you attempt to pull out the plug. 

An overloaded or malfunctioning outlet may pose a risk of electric shock. If the outlet sparks visibly, it is wise to wait until we can send an electrician in Edmonton out to assist you. Monitor the outlet if possible but make no attempts to repair it on your own. Touching exposed wiring behind the outlet can cause electrical burns, even if they are not visibly hot or smoking. 

3. Loose Plug Problems 

When you plug an appliance into an outlet, the plug should fit snugly and neatly, without gaps or wobbling. If a plug consistently falls out of an outlet, the socket likely needs replacing. Not only can old sockets cause appliances to work inconsistently, but they can also shorten the lives of certain electrical items, such as computers and cell phones. Loose plugs can cause these items to charge slowly or ruin the internal battery. 

Loose plugs can also affect an appliance’s power supply, and this inconsistent flow might also cause damage. Supporting the plug with tape or pinning it behind furniture can increase the risk of fire, so replacing these damaged outlets is usually the safest option. Our electricians can advise you about what types of issues loose plugs can cause and whether they need to repair or replace your outlets. 

4. Strange Outlet Odours 

Damaged outlets can alert you to internal wiring issues by giving off certain odours when you plug in an appliance. You may smell smoke, an odour like burning plastic or a scent that smells somewhat fishy. This latter smell is especially concerning, as it usually indicates an electrical fire somewhere within the system. 

If an outlet smells like smoke or you see smoke emanating from the socket, cut the power in that area and wait for one of our electricians to arrive. Trying to remove the outlet cover or discover the issue on your own could put you in danger, especially if you are not familiar with such systems.

Our Edmonton handymen are waiting to hear from you and to provide you with safe and effective outlet repairs. Contact us today for an estimate and update your home’s outlets and wiring for the health and safety of your family and home.

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