There are numerous dangers associated with a loose electrical box. It’s important to acknowledge the warning signs of a loose box and know who to call in a crunch.
What are the warning signs for a loose outlet and why call an electrician?
An electrician can assist with the associated problems arising from a loose outlet—and prevent any damage to your home.
- Watch out for circuit breaker trips.
- Be vigilant of flickering or buzzing lights.
- Check for damaged wiring.
- Note any change in color, scorched outlets, or smoke.
- Don’t ignore vibrating our heated outlets.
- If you smell burning, it’s time to act.
Sure, there are some things you can “DIY.” But when it comes to electrical problems, leave it to the pros.
Circuit Breaker Trips
We’ve all experienced the dreaded circuit breaker trip, whether in the middle of watching Netflix, cooking in the kitchen, or just doing chores around the house. When the electrical system is overwhelmed, its defense mechanism is to just shut off. Typically, you can use your electrical box to turn the power back on.
Most trips happen every now and then. It definitely shouldn’t be a frequent occurrence, and if it is, it’s time to call in the big guns. Consistent power trips could be a sign of electrical damage in your home’s wiring, and at that point, it would be a good idea to assess the devices you’re using and call your electrician.
If you haven’t noticed frequent breaker trips, that doesn’t mean you’re free and clear. If you notice your lights flickering or making a buzzing noise, there could be an issue. It’s a clear sign to re-up your home’s electrical wiring.
Whether pests ravaged your wiring and natural wear-and-tear happened, damaged wiring is perhaps the most obvious sign of an electrical problem. If you notice frayed wiring, call your electrician immediately. An exposed wire is considered a fire hazard and can shock anyone handling the wire.
Discoloration, Scorching, and Smoke
If your once white outlets have turned a completely different color, don’t ignore the obvious. If your outlet smells like a barbeque, that’s not normal. Any sign of a physical change in your outlet’s appearance could indicate damage to your electrical system.
Vibrating or Heated Outlets
Outlets shouldn’t sound like a back massager when used. If your outlet is vibrating, it’s time to grab the phone and call your knight in shining armor, the electrician. The outlets shouldn’t be hot to touch, either. Address these problems immediately, otherwise, overheated outlets could spell for disaster.
When you’re cooking and notice a burning smell, you do something about it, right? The same goes for electricity. If you notice a burning smell, and there’s nothing in the oven, you’ve probably got electrical damage. Any unusual odors in the home can arise from an overheated electrical system. The last thing you want is a home fire, too. Have your electrician on speed dial for times like this. It can save your family, your electrical system, and your home.
How Do I Fix a Wobbly Outlet?
If you notice your outlet is just a bit loose and feel you can adequately fix the problem without an electrician, go to your circuit breaker and turn the power off in the room containing the outlet. Then, use a wire tester on your outlet to ensure the power is in fact off. Next, unscrew your outlet, take it off the wall, and set it in a safe location. Take the outlet shims and place them onto the outlet screws. Finally, replace the outlet, screw it back in, and see if it’s still loose.
Keep in mind, the above steps are only for a slightly wobbly outlet. If there is deeper damage, such as signs for scorching, burning, or damaged wiring, don’t touch the outlet. Call your electrician immediately. And when in doubt, even if the problem seems minor, it’s always a safe bet to leave the outlet alone and call in an electrician to take a look.
With all of the risks associated with damaged outlets, don’t ignore the signs of an overloaded electrical system. If you suspect damage to outlets or wiring in your home, make sure to have a reliable electrician on-call to check it out. It’s always better to have peace of mind after bringing a professional to your home to check out your power. Even if the electrician finds everything’s fine, at least you have the confirmation you need to safely operate your devices in your home.
Bratcher Electric can help with all electrical upgrades and services needed in your home. We are a full service electrical contracting firm that has been working with businesses and residents throughout Michigan for over 50 years. We take care of our customers by providing complete customer satisfaction for every job we perform; residential, commercial and industrial. Our electrical services include new home wiring, generator service and installation, electrical code and service upgrades, surge protection and much more! Contact us today for a Free Consultation!