Outlets and switches are important components of the electrical system in every property. Outlets are used to plug in appliances, in order to get the electrical power that they need to function, while switches are used to turn on outlets, as well as electrical fixtures such as lighting and ceiling fans. While outlets and switches are typically durable, they still suffer from wear and tear due to different factors. As a result, it is important to know when it is time to replace them by recognizing signs of defects. Below are four signs that it is time to replace your outlets and switches.
Signs That You Need To Replace Your Outlets and Switches
- Buzzing Noise: The way that it works, flipping a switch on completes a circuit and allows electricity to flow, thereby allowing the light bulb or outlet to stay on. Flipping that switch off then stops the flow of electricity by interrupting the circuit. Hearing a buzzing sound whenever you flip a switch on is a sign that you need to replace such a switch. It is an indication of resistance from such a circuit in allowing electricity to flow freely. This resistance usually develops when the switch is old and starting to wear. It is important to replace a switch with buzzing noise immediately, as it can become a fire hazard if left unchecked.
- Loose Plugs: Outlets are made up of metal clamps that are attached to the neutral and hot wires in the electrical system. Whenever you insert the prongs of your device, these clamps pass power to the device through the wires. Every time a device is plugged in, these metal prongs flex and bend to accommodate it. With time, these clamps might become stiff and loose due to use. This will cause plugs to fall out, making it difficult to connect your devices and appliances to such an outlet. Asides from loose plugs being highly ineffective, they also come with the risk of electric shock.
- Two-Prong Plugs: If you still have outlets that can only accommodate plugs with two prongs, it is high time you replaced them. This is because two-prong outlets have become outdated and are marked as safety hazards. Every outlet needs the third prong, as it serves as a ground wire which helps to prevent electrical shock, in case there is a short circuit. Find a professional electrician to replace all the two-prong outlets in your property with three-prong ones.
- Heat: A switch emitting heat every time it is on, is a sign of resistance within the circuit. If such a switch is not checked and replaced, the heat can melt the components of the circuit and cause an electrical fire. It is crucial that you flip off the switch whenever you notice warmth around it.
If these defects are not checked, the entire electrical system in the house can be affected. This will leave you at the risk of electrical fires or even power outage. Contact a level 2 electrician today to carry out a replacement exercise for your faulty switches and outlets.