An outlet is one of the last things a homeowner thinks about replacing over the years. This part of the house is often overlooked because many homeowners do not think they need to replace any of their outlets. However, as an electrician, I recommend that a homeowner should at least get their outlets inspected over time to prevent any future electrical problems.
The first reason why homeowners should replace an outlet is that over the years of plugging and unplugging various devices into an outlet can actually reduce the tension of the blades that hold the plug blades. A loose connection can create heat. Heat can eventually melt, burn or create a fire. An electrician has a blade retention checker that can test the tension of an outlet to see what level it is at and whether it is time to replace it.
The second reason why homeowners should replace outlets is something an electrician sees everyday in houses. Poor connections can cause problems without anyone realizing it. It could eventually lead to an outlet to not work properly. Code allows the wires to be either stabbed into the back of the outlet, requiring a blade to hold them tight (not recommended) or have the wires wrapped around the screws and tightened (recommended). Obviously, many electricians take the path that costs the least and is much quicker. However, the connection is not as strong if an electrician uses the former method rather than the latter.
The next reason why homeowners should replace outlets is to swap series circuits with parallel circuits. In a series circuit, if anything happens to one outlet, then all the ones near it will be affected. An electrician can wire a parallel circuit. If one outlet goes bad, it does not affect any others around it.
The final reason why homeowners should replace outlets is to update your home with all the new styles and colors available. You do not need to have just little beige rectangles in your home anymore. Once a local electrician has inspected your outlets and made recommendations about which ones should be replaced, think about updating them to fit any other changes you have made in your home.
It is the simple things that can make all the difference in your home. Replacing outlets is as important as replacing any others aging appliance in your home. Routinely inspecting your outlets is the first step in maintaining your electrical system for many years to come.