Electrical Outlets: Common Questions, Problems, and Solutions

Indoor Outlets

You work hard to make your home in the Carolinas your safe haven. Staying on top of potential electrical problems will help you keep it that way. To guide you, the team of professionals at Five Star Plumbing Heating Cooling [11] put together this list of common electrical outlet problems and how to fix them.

Common Electrical Outlet Problems

You and your home may not have experienced any electrical issues so far, but these are the common signs of electrical outlet issues to look out for:

  • A circuit breaker tripping is a sign that the electrical safeguard in your home is working. On the other hand, when it trips frequently, you may have wiring damage or your grid may not be strong enough to run the appliances you’re trying to use.

Solution: Install improvements to your system that allows it to sufficiently handle the current.

  • Frequent power surges can be related to poor electrical outlet wiring, malfunctioning appliances, or damaged power lines. They often last for a fraction of a second, but frequent surges can damage your electrical system.

Solution: Replace faulty power boards connected to the home grid. Call an electrician if the surges continue.

  • Hot outlets and switch plates can signal that there is an issue with the wiring, the circuit is malfunctioning, or the outlet is faulty. Regardless of how long your appliance was plugged in, the outlet shouldn’t be warm to the touch.

Solution: Hire a trusted electrician to inspect and repair the system’s damage.

  • Insufficient outlets are common issues in older homes that are incompatible with the demand of modern technology. Extension cords serve as simple solutions but quickly become fire hazards when used excessively.

Solution: Equip your home with more outlets connected to a new breaker.

  • Electrical shock is a risk in older homes. In this situation, the circuit can’t handle the high electric draw that modern appliances pull. Shocks can also result from poor wiring or lack of ground wires.

Solution: Rewire your system, including ground wires, as needed.

Questions to Consider to Improve Outlet Safety

As you look for ways to make your home a safer place, consider these questions about electrical outlet types:

  • How does the ground wire affect me? Before 1962, most homes were equipped with two-prong outlets. If contact was made without the third ground wire, electricity could jump through you to return to the ground. To avoid this dangerous electric jolt, electricians now include the ground wire to offer less resistance than either the neutral wire or, more importantly, you.
  • Where do I need GFCI outlets? Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) must be installed in wet locations, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Because GFCIs assess the flow of the electrical current and can freeze it in a fraction of a second, they prevent countless electrocutions.
  • Can I optimize the safety of my outlets? Absolutely. The best route is to repair weathered outlets and wiring and rewire to include a ground wire when needed. You should also install GFCI outlets and insert rubber stoppers in outlets when not in use.
  • Why won’t my outlet work? Searching for the cause of a dead outlet typically leads you to the breaker. But if nothing is tripped, where do you turn? Try looking for a tripped GFCI. Your electrical outlet not working may be downwind from the interrupter, which prevents electricity from flowing through.
  • Why should I avoid DIY electrical work? While we admire ambitious individuals with a drive to get things done, we don’t recommend performing your own electrical work. All it takes is a small mistake for you to harm yourself or damage your home. Professional electricians undergo rigorous training and certification to ensure your home stays safe. For anything more than learning how to replace an electrical outlet, let the professionals handle the task.

Find Expert Electricians in Spartanburg SC

Keep your home the cozy, safe place you love by ensuring your electrical system and outlets are in optimal functioning condition. Recognizing the warning signs is only half of the solution. You’ll need the help of a skilled electrician to repair any damage.

At Five Star Plumbing Heating Cooling, our team of licensed and insured electricians in Upstate SC specializes in working with electrical outlets and switches and is ready to help. For expert services to repair or update your home’s electrical system, give us a call at 864-306-4898 [15] or request service online.

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