When replacing plugs and switches in the home, just finding the right circuit to turn off is a challenge for some home owners. This is even harder if the panel isn’t labeled or the labeling has worn away. There are also many new rules and laws about plug and switch replacement. In many of the homes we work on, we find the outlets have the neutral and positive wires backwards or the”re wired in series (which is a code violation). And more often than not we find that the ground has not even been connected to the device! When replacing a two prong outlet certain code rules need to be follow for safety.
Electric plugs (outlets) and switches are to your home’s electrical system as tires are to your car: this is where the rubber meets the road. These deceptively simple devices are where you and your family use and direct the flow of electricity throughout your home. Just like tires, outlets and switches, especially in high-traffic areas of the home, eventually wear out and need replacement. Depending on the age of the home and the type of wiring that runs through it, replacing plugs or switches can be more complicated than the do-it-yourself is prepared for. For your safety, it is always a good idea to call an experienced electrician for any electrical wiring jobs around the house, including replacing outlets and switches.
Signs that Your Plugs and Switches Need Replacement for safety
A worn plug or switch may show several different signs that its past time for replacement:
- If the switch feels loose, or no longer working its light, it needs replacement.
- Some switches may produce a cracking sound, and the lights may flicker when you attempt to use the switch to turn them on.
- Outlet plugs ordinarily used for vacuüm cleaners or electrical yard equipment often wear out faster than others.
- A worn outlet loses its ability to hold on to a corded plug; in other words, the plug will simply fall out of the outlet with very little intervention.
- An obsolete outlet might also lose power, either partially or completely when someone plugs an appliance into it.
- If you have an older house with several two-prong outlets that do not accommodate modern three-pronged plugs, its important to call licensed electrician, to replace these with the proper safety device in the correct place..
Building codes now requires installation of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets, in bathrooms, kitchens, outside and in the Garage . The GFCI outlets protect people from electrical shock by shutting off power locally at the outlet if there is a problem.
We can replace outlets and switches with the usual “toggle” switches and “duplex” outlets, or we can also install “decoratora” outlets and rocker switches. If you suspect your outlet plugs and switches need replacement, please call us at Positively Electrical before trying to do it yourself. Although it may seem easy to change some outlets or switches, there could be several underlying wiring issues that we will addressed when they safely replaced. The experienced hands of our electricians can replace the outlets and switches while also addressing any underlying fire hazards within the wiring, thereby making your home safer.
Is your house’s decor is feeling a little too bland and familiar, the first thing I recommend to do is replace the wall outlet & face plates. Have ever taken a second look at your wall outlet plates, have you? You’re missing out on that added touch that you can only really get by replacing your boring old beige outlet plates with new ones. Nevertheless by not taking a second look at them to see if they need replacing, you could be setting yourself up for disaster. Cracked or missing wall plates can lead to higher energy bills and worse fire.