Electrical outlets, also called receptacles, are the life force of your residential electrical system. Lamps, space heaters and all electronic equipment are connected to the outlet receptacles so they can tap into your home's electrical circuits. Since electrical devices are plugged in and out of an outlet receptacle multiple times, outlets can eventually get worn out or damaged.
Many homeowners are unsure of when to replace their wall outlets or when to call in an electrician for the task. Here are some signs that your wall outlets need to be inspected.
The Outlet Does Not Work
It may seem obvious, but when your outlet doesn't work anymore, you need to replace it. Ensure the rest of the outlets are working before you make any changes. If you still get no power after replacing the outlet, confirm whether the circuit breaker has been tripped.
The Outlet Is Not Grounded
If you want to know whether your outlet has been grounded, look at the number of prongs. If it has two prongs, then you have an outdated design. Therefore, replace this outlet with a three-prong design.
If the casing surrounding your outlet is damaged, this is a sign of electrical damage or dangerous wiring. A damaged outlet will affect the safety and effectiveness of the wiring of the system. Additionally, if the outlet is cracked to the point that you can see some of the wiring, you need to have it replaced immediately.
Discolouration on Wall Outlets
The danger of discolouration on wall outlets often goes unnoticed. Discolouration of receptacles is a sign that the socket is shorting when you turn on your appliances. In the long term, this can cause overheating and pose the risk of an electrical fire.
When a receptacle is warm or is shooting off sparks, then there's probably faulty wiring. If an appliance sparks after being plugged in, your receptacle may need to be checked. Loose or broken wires in a wall outlet pose the risk of an electrical fire. Therefore, if you notice sparks or a burning smell, you should consult an electrician immediately.
Falling-Out Plugs and Inconsistent Power
When a plug is always falling out of an outlet, then the mechanisms inside the outlet are damaged. Inconsistent power is another sign that your wall outlet needs an inspection. For example, if your your lamp is flickering, this could indicate that it is receiving inconsistent power.