Electrical injuries can happen as a result of low-voltage or high-voltage injury, and are usually associated with the rising injury and death. Most electrical injuries are accidental and frequently, avoidable. When not directly fatal, the damage associated with electrical injuries can lead to the dysfunction of multiple organs and tissues in the body.
Our home electrical outlets also known as receptacles are the pillars of your electrical system. The receptacles are where appliances, lamps, electronic equipment, and several other devices plugged in our home electrical circuits to complete their functions. Over time, a receptacle can see cord plugs inserted and removed several times every day, and like the other mechanical devices, they get damaged and wear out sooner or later. The modifications in electrical code requirements could also signify that a receptacle needs to be changed from time to time, although it works properly.
Here are some of the common problems with electrical outlet:
Worn Receptacle Slots
The outlet receptacles contain metal contact points inside the device, which are intended to firmly hold the hot, neutral, and grounding prongs on cord plugs. Gradually, these contacts start to wear out and lose out their gripping property. Once the exposed contact points lack power to grip the plug, it generates better electrical resistance and heat, which can lead to problems in the wiring and may result in circuit breakers to trip. You could also start to hear crackling sounds in the receptacle as a result of the sparking, and appliance plugs will feel slack inside the receptacle slots.
Loose Wire Connections
One of the most common issues with the outlet that is overused is that the circuit wire connections start to loosen. When current is withdrawn through a wire connection, an amount of heat is produced, and this recurrent contraction and expansion of the wires can result in the screws to loosen after some time. You may hear the outlet start to crackle when this occurs, and when the wire connections come loose completely, a short circuit may result in the circuit breaker to trip.
Cracked Receptacle Body
A worn receptacle is a hazardous outlet. Modern receptacles are made of a hard vinyl and they hardly break, but old receptacles were designed with a rather weak bakelite plastic that is vulnerable to cracking. At times, cracks or chips are seen on the front surface of the receptacle, particularly surrounding the slots, but it is also likely that that the side or back of the receptacle can break.
Improper Device Rating
The receptacles of an outlet are rated between 15-amps or 20-amps in standard household circuits. A 20-amp outlet is the receptacle with a small horizontal “T” that extends from one of the vertical receptacle slots on the receptacle. It is a usual error to use outlet receptacles with the inappropriate rating for the circuit voltage. In cases like this, there is the possibility of plugging in a 20-amp appliance to a circuit that can supply only 15-amps of voltage. As a result, if you are fortunate will be a worn circuit breaker, however the damage to the wires and fire is also highly possible.
Poor Brand Quality
A cheap, substandard receptacle may function efficiently for a time, but it will be vulnerable to problems in time. The electronic devices manufactured in other countries can be doubted unless they get an approval certificate from an authorized testing agency.
Reversed Plug Polarity
The receptacles are used for neutral and hot wire connections, so that the polarized plugs found on several appliance units and lamp lights, will direct the neutral and hot current in the appropriate route through the device. When those wire connections are altered, the appliance units will still function, but there is an increased risk of electrical shock or fire should a short circuit happen.
No Ground Connection
One common problem with outlets is the inefficiency of a ground connection, which happens either because the receptacles have not been correctly loaded to the circuit grounding wire, or when the system is not grounded like what happens in outdated wiring systems that lack grounding safeguard. When the outlets utilize two-slot receptacles without a round grounding slot, it is an indication that the system itself may not be well grounded.
When you work with electricity, there is always a potential danger involved. The risk of electrical injury is there, even for repairs you may regard as minor. Take the electrical wiring of an outlet as a good example. You may opt to do this minor work on your own rather than calling an expert electrician for help. However, Electrical Services Team has four reasons why is it a bad idea to attempt to fix your outlets yourself:
When you don’t have the skills to wire the outlet correctly.
All outlet wires can be more delicate than those in light switches and other electrical devices. Any failure to properly wire an outlet such as when neutral and hot wires are altered can result in serious electrical issues, not to mention the potential risk of getting electric shocks. Even if you don’t get injured when you are doing the repair, it may happen to anyone who tries to plug a device into the outlet.
When you may be fixing while the electric power is on.
Shutting off the power before you start an electrical repair doesn’t necessarily mean unplugging a device or pulling a light switch. You need to turn off the power at the breaker box before starting any wiring repair on an outlet work. When you fail to do so, it could be hazardous. Expert electricians are knowledgeable about it and will shut down the power themselves, then see to it that the outlet with a voltage sample to double-check it is completely safe.
When you may not have the right outlet plates.
It is very important to note that you also need to appropriately size and match the plate to the outlet receptacle. Failure to do so could result in electrical issues, frustration, and perhaps even an electrical injury.
When you don’t have experience as an electrician.
If you have never done any electrical work before, it is highly recommended to pass this work to an expert. Electrical knowledge and experience are essential for doing this type of work. Never put your safety on the line.
Seek for professional assistance when you experience problems with your electrical outlets from a trusted and experienced service provider. Talk to the residential or commercial electricians at Electricians Service Team today.