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5 Signs It's Time to Upgrade Your Outlets


While you may not think about your outlets and switches very often, the fact of the matter is that you use these devices every day. That’s why you should never wait if something looks or seems off with your outlets to call a professional for service. At Mel Carr Electric, your safety is our top priority. If any part of your electrical system is out of date, our electricians are here to replace it for you. Keep reading for the top five signs it’s time to upgrade your outlets, and do not hesitate to call Mel Carr Electric for all your electrical service needs.

The Top 5 Reasons to Call for Outlet Replacement

  1. The Connections Are Worn Out: Do you find that plugs keep falling out when you put them in your receptacle? It could be because the connections behind your outlet have worn out. Not only is this frustrating, it is also extremely dangerous, as loose connections can cause sparking. The good news is that it is easy enough to replace your outlets so that the connections are tight and your plugs fit securely once again.
  2. The Outlets Show Signs of Sparking: If you have ever found that your outlets are warm to the touch, or discolored with a singed look around the holes, make sure to call an electrician ASAP. You could be dealing with a wiring issue in the wall, which is causing your outlets to spark. Wiring can become loose and damaged over the years for any number of reasons, from flooding to gnawing by rodents. It’s also possible that your system is short circuiting, in which case we may need to look at the corresponding circuit breaker and see if there is a problem with your panel. Regardless, you should never wait to deal with this issue—especially if you have actually seen sparks or smoke coming out of the outlet.
  3. The Outlet Is Two-Pronged: Not only are two-pronged outlets a pain because they are outdated and prevent you from plugging in certain devices, they can also pose a hazard to users. While you may already have a whole-home surge protector to prevent your electrical equipment from getting damaged, two-pronged outlets are often a sign that your larger electrical system needs an upgrade. Call an electrician to look at your electrical panel, and make sure to install three-pronged GFCI outlets, too. Speaking of which… 
  4. The GFCI Is Not Working: Almost all modern outlets are GFCI, our Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets. GFCIs work a little like circuit breakers, sending sudden electrical currents, or “faults” to the ground, so they don’t short circuit in your system. To see if your GFCI outlets are working, locate the test button on the bottom of your receptacle. If the device you have plugged in does not trip and shut off when you press it, call an electrician to get it replaced. Moreover, if you press the test button after a circuit has been tripped and the outlet does not start working again when you press the reset button (this is usually the red one located under the test button,) then you will also want to call an electrician for an upgrade.
  5. The Outlet Is Not Safe for Children: Mel Carr Electric has talked on our blog before about child-proofing your outlets. Obviously, any outlet with exposed wires or visible damage is not safe for kids (or anyone else for that matter,) but we suggest taking things a few steps further, especially if you have young children in the house. While you could buy plugs or caps to put on your outlets, we suggest installing tamper-resistant receptacles. Tamper-resistant receptacles, or TRRs, make it easy for you to still access and use your outlets, without your little one being able to put their fingers in the sockets. 

For more information on outlet replacement, call Mel Carr Electric now at (518) 500-3042, or simply contact us online.

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