The Dangers of Loose Outlets & How to Fix Them

Electrical outlets have become an integral part of our daily lives since all the appliances that we use, from televisions, computers and lamps are all reliant on outlets to send energy coursing through them so they can start up. After all, these plugs are what separates us from high-voltage currents. If they become loose, it’s important to fix them right away. In today’s post, the electrical and residential electrical repair expert, Bailey & Shipp, shares the dangers of loose outlets and how to fix them. 

Why Is My Outlet Loose?

Outlets often loosen up because they’re attached to an electrical box that’s installed far away from the wall. A distant electrical box isn’t secure enough to stabilize the entire fixture. This could bump or cause the wires to become loose, which can cause bigger problems in the long run. These problems include sparks, fires or shocks that are dangerous for you and your home’s structure.

How Can I Fix a Loose Outlet?

This issue can be fixed through the use of outlet shims, a wire tester and a screwdriver. Follow the steps below created by licensed residential electricians to safely accomplish this:

  1. Turn off the breaker that supplies power to that room. For more safety, you can shut off the main breaker to prevent electricity from flowing around the house. Be ready with a flashlight.
  2. Use the tester to check to make sure there’s no power. Don’t proceed until you’re 100 percent sure.
  3. Unscrew the outlet from the wall.
  4. Get your outlet shims and place them onto the outlet screws. The shims will make up for any gaps between the electrical box and the screws. The number of shims you’ll use will depend on how far  away the electrical box is.
  5. Swap out the outlet, secure it in and see if it sits snug. If it’s still loose, add more shims until it’s secure. Once done, turn on the breaker and take a breather.

For all your residential and commercial electrical needs, turn to Bailey & Shipp. We offer exterior lighting, hot tub wiring, generator installation services and more. Call us at (410) 457-3507 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve homeowners in Columbia, MD, and the surrounding areas.

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