We’re referring to a loose outlet when we talk about the wire behind the panel. Ultimately, a high-energy discharge occurs between two slack blades inside the outlet. With an arc fault, temperatures can soar beyond 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Fire can break out in a home in a matter of seconds at that temperature, much above the flash point of most building materials. Because of the constant insertion and removal of plugs, most wall outlets loosen up over time. Abuse of power outlets can hasten their wear and tear, albeit this is not guaranteed. Since drywall is typically used as the structural material behind a wall, forcing anything trapped in it out will eventually result in the drywall crumbling and loosening. The wires in the outlet will start to separate from their connectors once you get them loosened up enough. If the procedure is carried out far enough, an arc fault, which can result in a fire, becomes a real possibility.
Electrical problems result in countless deaths, injuries, and millions of dollars in property damage every year. While some factors may be immediately apparent, others may be more subtle and concealed within the dwelling. You’ve come to the proper location if you want to keep the future from becoming a raging inferno. We’ll explain how a fire might start in the wall due to a loose outlet and what you can do to stop it. Together with the Electricians Service Team, learn all about outlets and switches, including how a faulty outlet can start a fire and what you can do to prevent it.
- Broken Outlets And Switches
Please get rid of any outdated outlets or light switches that aren’t properly grounded or get them replaced immediately. A faulty outlet could cause an electrical fire. The wire underneath old switches and outlets can become loose and break, which poses a fire hazard. The failure to properly secure the circuit wire termination to the outlet after installation is another cause of fires in unoccupied outlets. Overheating and fire are possible outcomes due to the uninterruptible power supply provided by an outlet’s breaker.
- Aluminum Wiring
If nothing is hooked, an outlet can still cause a fire. This is a real risk in houses with aluminum wire. In general, aluminum wiring signifies that your home was constructed more than 50 years ago. Since aluminum is softer and stretches more than copper, it catches fire more easily in aluminum wires. It overheats rapidly, breaks easily, and produces loose connections. Warm light switches, flickering lights, the smell of burning plastic, and the presence of sparks are all warning signals that could suggest a significant problem if you have aluminum wiring in your home.
- Old And Worn Appliances
Similarly, a worn-out or outdated appliance might be a fire hazard in an electrical socket. Electrical wiring can unravel as it ages, and many older appliances use more power than their modern counterparts, even if they have energy star ratings. Further, many older appliances’ insulation is highly flammable. Therefore, it is prone to rapid overheating and subsequent fire.
- Extension Cords
How frequently do you reach for an extra cord when you need one? If so, remember that extension cords provide their own fire risk. Overloading the electrical system is likely if you use a single extension cord for all your gadgets. A circuit overload is dangerous because it increases the likelihood of a house fire.
How Do You Secure A Loose Outlet?
Do you know how to wiggle a plug out of its socket? Also, did you have to pull obliquely because the plug changed locations? You may ask what causes electrical outlets to become loose and what you can do to secure them. Electrical sockets can become loose due to the frequent movement over time and the position of the electrical box. Not only is this annoying, but it could be hazardous if left unfixed. Multiple approaches to fixing this issue are discussed in my video. Simple solutions include doing things like tightening screws, while more involved solutions involve doing things like installing spacers behind the electrical box. You need not fear; I have discovered multiple simple methods of fixing this bothersome and potentially hazardous issue.
- SAFETY FIRST:
Before doing any work with electricity, always turn off the main breaker. Use a circuit tester to double-check that the electricity has been cut off at the breaker. Use this simple and cheap device to check the outlet’s power status in a flash. Most commonly used circuit testers resemble pens with a pointed end that may be inserted into an electrical socket or take the form of an AC plug with a pair of lights to indicate a proper and improper connection.
- TIGHTENING SCREWS:
Screws can loosen for various reasons, so it’s important to check outlets periodically. Because the outlet had been moving about inside the electrical box, I had to tighten the screws. Simply removing the cover plate and re-securing the screws that attach the outlet to the box should do the trick. The outlet plate is now securely flush with the wall.
- ELECTRICAL BOX SETBACK:
If it doesn’t work, the electrical box may be installed too deeply into the wall and require a setback. If that is the case, you will see that the outlet is no longer flush with the cover plate after tightening the screws. You can use spacers to help the screws attach to the electrical box if you discover that it is flush with the wall. A variety of spacers are available for use. The first category of spacers is extremely adaptable because they are sold in long strips that can be folded and trimmed to the desired dimensions. With a little folding, you can get them to the thickness you need to stabilize the shaky outlet. Plastic round tube spacers are designed for this purpose and can be easily positioned between the outlet and the box before being snugged to provide a watertight seal. These are available in various lengths. Therefore it is preferable to use a utility knife to customize it to the specific space being filled. Carefully remove a section of plastic tubing from the outlet using the utility knife, then reverse the outlet’s screws and insert them within the spacer. Pull the outlet down until it is flush with the cover plate and secure.
- ELECTRICAL BOX IS SET TOO FAR BACK:
The electrical box may be too deeply recessed into the wall for a spacer to reach if it is located behind backsplash tile, wainscot, or an extra layer of wallboard. If the depth of the recess in your electrical box is too great for the use of spacers, you may need to resort to a box extender such as this Receptacle Outlet Box Extender. The receptacle may be removed from its packaging, and the adapter easily slipped over the outlet. Secure it in place by screwing it in further. A shaky electrical box may cause a loose outlet in your wall. This issue can be remedied without breaking into the wall by installing a plate spacer. Put the spacer plate behind the receptacle, then screw it on securely.
Now that you have all the information you need to secure your outlets, you can protect your home from electrical hazards. But if you feel that the undertaking is out of your capabilities, feel free to contact us anytime.
Don’t hesitate to ring our lines if you need help with your electrical system issues at home, and our experts at Electricians Service Team will provide you with the necessary aid!