When to replace electrical outlets?

21 October 2021

We recently wrote about electrical installations and how to update them. One thing that often gets overlooked is electrical outlets. It’s easy to forget that they, too, have a lifespan. More often than not, they become obsolete and no longer work with current technologies.

Product updates

Most of today’s electrical appliances have three plugs, one of which—the round one—is a ground. The ground is to prevent arcing and shocks. In many homes, not all outlets have been updated, so people can be tempted to simply remove the ground. This is a mistake! Technology evolves for a reason and it’s up to us to adapt. Sockets near water sources (kitchen and bathroom sinks, garage and yard hoses) need a special design with a stop device in case of short circuits. When buying a house or condo, have a professional inspector identify problems areas and request that safe outlets be installed.

Checking your installation

The electrical equipment in your home is key to your family’s health and safety. Broken outlets, unprotected and exposed wires, or missing cover plates are signs that your home may be in danger. You need to have your equipment regularly inspected. When homes get inspected prior to purchase, it’s not uncommon for inspectors to find rust in the electrical boxes (in fact, they’re the only ones other than electricians who are authorized to open and diagnose electrical boxes). This is a sign of wear and tear and moisture infiltration, especially when the box is located in a basement that is not well used or heated. Be sure to have your equipment inspected regularly by professionals, just to be on the safe side. Read this article for great tips on preventing electrical incidents.