Frequently Asked Questions on Updating Outlets

Outdated electrical outlets can put your house at risk. Knowing when and how often to update outlets is essential to the safety of your home.  

In this post, our licensed residential electricians address some of the most frequently asked questions about upgrading electrical outlets. 

What problems come with aging outlets?

Outlets and the wires behind them can become worn in as little as five years after installation. Wires can settle over time, which changes how they make contact. These changes can result in sparking, arcing and fires. While this is a minor risk, we recommend inspecting your wiring every few years to ensure your home’s safety. Replace electrical outlets that are undergrounded or can’t handle your electrical needs. You’ll know the outlets can’t meet your electrical demands if you notice  flickering lights or inconsistent power. 

When do I need to update my outlets?

You’ll need to contact your local residential electrical repair experts if your outlets are sparking or getting hot. In addition, cracks in your outlet covers can allow debris to get into your electrical system. Two-pronged outlets aren’t grounded or safe. Any of the aforementioned outlets require immediate replacement because they put your home at risk of fire, so you’ll need to upgrade them for your household’s protection. Get in touch with professionals if you’re noticing any of these issues at home. 

What are my options?

LED night lights provide longer-lasting light with more plugs, and have a lifespan of up to twenty years. In addition, more homes are upgrading to USB outlets where you can directly plug in your electronic devices. Recessed outlets, which are installed deeper into the wall to prevent plugs from extending beyond the wall’s surface, are another option.

Tamper-resistant receptacles are recommended for homes with kids. These outlets have barriers that prevent children from inserting objects in them. Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) can be integrated into your main service panel for protection from sudden overheating. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) monitor electricity flow and shut off power to any interrupted circuits. 

Bailey & Shipp is here to help you with all your electrical projects. We offer residential lighting, hot tub wiring, generator installation services and more. Call us at (410) 457-3507 or complete our online form to request a service. We work with clients in Columbia, MD. 

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