It is easy for people to overlook issues with their electrical outlets. However, it is important to notice issues quickly before they become dangerous. Some signs that an outlet has problems and might need to be replaced are if it is not working, if there are burn marks and melting around the outlet, if there are chips on the outlet, if plugs easily fall out, if the outlet is hot when touched, when there is a smoke smell or a spark, if the outlets are not grounded, and if the power flickers.
- Check for blemishes on the faceplate, outlets, and the wall. Dark discoloration and melting are major red flags, as they indicate short-circuiting and sparking.
- Cosmetic blemishes like chips and cracks are also a cause for concern because they allow dust and other debris to build up inside the outlet.
- Outlets that are hot to the touch indicate worn, damaged, or incorrectly installed wiring. Any wiring or electric current malfunction has the potential to cause an electrical fire.
“This may seem obvious, but if the outlet is no longer powering your electronics, it may need to be replaced. Make sure the other outlets in the room work before making any changes. If there is still no power, check if the breaker was tripped.”