Many older homes throughout Fort Myers still rely on the original outlets installed during construction. However, these outlets are often outdated and can be dangerous.
At Southwest Florida Electric Inc., we have over a decade of industry experience installing and upgrading outdated electrical outlets.
Our technicians are fully licensed and insured, and we always back up our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Book your appointment today by calling (239) 745-5020.
We make childproofing your home easy with our childproof outlet installation.
Signs You Need Electrical Outlet Replacement
If you’re like most homeowners, you never think about your outlets because they’re pretty much invisible until you need to plug something in.
However, when an outlet fails, it becomes a hazard that can lead to property damage and electrocution, which is why we all should pay more attention to the state of our home’s electrical outlets and recognize when they need replacing.
Fortunately, the signs that you need to upgrade your outlets are ones everyone can notice easily.
The most obvious sign that you need to replace an outlet is when you don’t get power plugging in a device.
There are many reasons why an outlet will fail, such as a tripped breaker, which you can fix quickly by flipping the switch.
However, if you experience repeated breaker trips, it means the system is getting consistently overloaded. In some cases, the outlet is too old and can’t handle the regular electrical flow you demand.
If the panel around the outlet shows signs of excessive heat like burn marks or melted spots, or if it feels hot to the touch, it’s a serious situation that you must address immediately.
Overheating can happen because of arcing, when metal parts connected to the outlet become loose or damaged, preventing the current from moving through, leading to sparks.
Also, outdated wires can cause overheating. Many old wires are too small in diameter, causing a resistance to the electrical current. Electric resistance creates heat, which damages the outlet’s plate.
Chips or cracks in the outlet’s faceplate might seem like minor cosmetic issues, but they can be dangerous.
Dirt and debris can get into minor cracks and accumulate over time to build up a mass inside.
If the crack forms around the holes where the plug inserts, it can expose the metal contacts, creating a fire hazard or lead to shocks or electrocution when a person tries plugging something in.
Like everything else, outlets are prone to wear and tear. The metal contact points and springs that hold plugs firmly in place wear down with repeated usage, causing the plug to fit loosely or fall out.
While it’s annoying to have plugs that are loose and fall out, it’s dangerous too. Loose plugs conduct excessive heat, causing arcing, one of the leading causes of electrical fires.
The Outlet Has Two Holes
Before the 1960s, most electrical outlets came with two slots, one for the hot wire and one for the neutral wire. Back then, most wiring had only two pathways for the current to flow.
However, sometimes the hot wire produced too much power, overloading the circuit. This led to electrical codes requiring outlets with a third grounding hole, now standard in new homes.
Ground holes protect the circuit from overload and safeguard users from shocks if a power surge occurs.
Many homes around Fort Myers were built before 1965 that still use the old two-hole outlets, and if you’re living in one, it’s time to upgrade to safer, more efficient outlets.
Are you having trouble with your electrical system? Call us for effective electrical troubleshooting today!
What Are GFCI Outlets & Do I Need Them?
As mentioned, although most of us don’t think twice about our home’s outlets, they’re a significant part of our day-to-day lives. And one outlet, in particular, can save your life, which is why every home needs GFCI outlets in some areas.
So, what are GFCI Outlets?
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor or is sometimes called a ground fault outlet. These outlets react with split-second timing when they detect a ground fault to shut off the connection.
For example, suppose you’re using a hairdryer, and it falls into a sink filled with water. In that case, the GFCI outlet immediately senses the interruption, cutting the power to protect you from electrocution or shock.
Where should you install GFCI outlets?
GFCI outlets are necessary for areas where electricity is close to water, such as the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, pool, or garage.
Besides being a preventative measure, electrical codes require GFCI outlets in these critical areas.
If you live in an older home or want an expert to inspect the state of your outlets, call Southwest Florida Electric Inc. today.