Is A Loose Electrical Outlet A Serious Problem?

Most El Paso residents have no idea how many electrical outlets are in their homes. These small yet essential devices are something that we take for granted, even though they are an integral part of everyday life. We plug-in appliances and device chargers while barely paying any attention to the outlet itself. It is only when we discover a significant issue like an outlet that is not functioning or one that is exceptionally loose and hard to remove the plug from that we begin to see the physical outlet and its condition.

It is essential to understand that the outlets in your home are mounted to the studs that frame the house’s walls. And just like anything else, they can become loose over time. And when this happens, the box mounting and protecting the electrical connections no longer provide the safety for you and your home that it was designed to deliver.

Not Necessarily A Simple Solution

In some cases, a few turns of the screw at the center of the outlet will do the trick. But all too often, that loose screw indicates the box has been damaged, or the mounting bracket is damaged or broken. In addition, it can be hazardous to go poking around an electrical outlet with a metal screwdriver.

How Did The Damage Occur?

You plug and unplug items in outlets countless times in a day or week. But do you ever think of the amount of force used for this simple task? There is more resistance than you might imagine in the electrical box, mounting bracket, and the outlet itself. You must tug with enough force to remove the plug. Each time, a little more stress is placed on the connections securing the outlet in the box and the box to your house. Over the years, that stress adds up to damaged electrical boxes and is a hazard to anyone using the outlets.

The Potential Hazards

While you might consider a loose electrical outlet a minor inconvenience that requires a bit of care to use, there are some real safety issues related to this issue.

  • A Cracked Faceplate – The faceplate on an outlet is designed to ensure that users are never shocked by an arc of electric current. A cracked outlet no longer protects you and your loved ones from that hazardous shock.
  • Damaged Wiring – When an electric outlet moves, it places undue stress on the electrical wires and connections. When the wires are moved sufficiently, they can break short, or even start an electrical fire.
  • Inconsistent Power – Loose wires can result in intermittent power that causes a lamp to randomly dim or prevents your electronic devices from charging completely. The fluctuating power can also damage the batteries in items like a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

When you discover a loose outlet in your home, call (915) 221-8214 to schedule an appointment with the experts at Secure Electrical Contractors. Our pros will repair the outlet and ensure the safety of all the electrical outlets and components in your home.