In this blog post, we are going to talk to you about when you should replace your outlets and switches.

Internal house wiring is a home improvement project often ignored or put off. One common reason for the delay in getting around this project is the safety concern.

For most homeowners, any job requiring tinkering with the electrical system conjures up electrical shock and electrocution images. It doesn’t have to be that way if you replace your outlets and switches with new ones wired according to current electrical codes.

Aside from the fact that some of your outlets and switches are decades old, the rationale for replacing them is for your house to be “code-compliant,” which means your electrical system meets the latest safety standards.

Even if your building contractor assured that your outlets and switches are designed to last a lifetime, there are still logical reasons why you should replace them.

1 – Your house is up for sale.

Installing new outlets and switches increases your home’s value – something you’d welcome if you’re selling it. Home inspections that see issues on your electrical system will create a red flag on safety, which in turn decreases the sale value of your property.

2 – You want to modernize your home.

Replacing old outlets and switches gives a fresh look to any room. Modern designs are available in matte finishes, metallic colours, and even clear glass. They’re also available in different shapes that fit into almost any décor scheme.

Outlets and switches may be subtle in appearance, but old ones can be quite an eyesore. Replacing them will improve the overall look of your house.

3 – There’s a growing need for more outlets in your house to accommodate modern appliances.

From mobile phones to smart TVs, electrical outlets are needed more for modern conveniences. You’ll likely be adding at least one new plug-in device in the coming years – if not now.

Even without the need for additional outlets, your old ones can become loose or flimsy because of wear and tear. The insulation of the wiring may also be compromised from time, which is a safety risk.

4 – You want to avoid electrical fires.

Loose or frayed wires combined with worn-out outlets and switches are a dangerous combination that has caused countless house fires. This is not something you’d want at your home.

Exposed wiring is one of the most common causes of electrical fires, which can lead to severe damage to your home and potential injury or death. Replacing old outlets and switches minimizes the risk of fire.

5 – Your outlets no longer provide power properly.

Electricity is the lifeblood of your home’s electrical system. Without it, you won’t have lights or appliances used for various household tasks.

Old outlets lose their charge over time due to dust building up inside sockets, which leads to decreased energy flow to other outlets. This causes your appliances to malfunction or even break down.

Replacing all your old outlets and switches ensures that power is properly distributed throughout your home’s electrical system.

6 – You don’t want your outlets and switches to pose a tripping hazard.

Loose outlets that are tumbling out of their sockets become dangerous trip hazards for guests and family members who may be walking around your house.

When an outlet is detached from its wall, it can cause people to lose their balance and fall over. This may even be fatal if the person trips over furniture or appliances. Replace loose outlets, so you ensure everyone’s safety.

7 – Your switches are not giving you full control.

Old switches can get stuck from use, leading to fingers being pinched. If the switch is high off the ground, it may be especially dangerous because children or pets can pull on it out of curiosity, causing electrical problems or even fires.

8 – Your switches feel hot to the touch.

Over time, your home’s wiring gets hot with use. Switches that feel warm or hot to the touch are signs of an overloaded electrical system. This is also a fire hazard because it causes overheating of outlets, which leads to melted insulation and possible short-circuiting.

Electrical outlets may also warm up unexpectedly. If your outlets are already warm to the touch or have melted plugs, don’t use them until you have them replaced. This is another fire hazard that should be replaced immediately.

9 – You hear a buzzing sound.

Buzzing noise in your switches is one good reason to consider replacing them. This sound is typically heard when the switch has been in use for a long time, warning that there may already be problems within those switches.

The buzzing sound is indicative of worn-out components. When these components develop resistance, they’ll heat up from the friction, which can cause electrical fires or damage to your home.

10 – You’re still using two-prong plugs.

Electrical outlets typically have two prongs, especially in older homes. They accommodate appliances with two-prong plugs. There’s a growing need for three-prong plugs because of the increasing number of gadgets used in a modern living space.

The reality is that two-prong plugs represent outdated technology. Although adapters are available to use three-prong plugs on old outlets, they may not be safe to use all the time. You’re better off replacing your outlets instead of using adapters. It’s also safer that way.

Work with a Licensed Vancouver Electrician

Replacing your outlets and switches is not a DIY project unless you’re a professional electrician yourself. Once you’ve identified the problems with your outlets and switches, put them on a list. Then, call an electrician to inspect them for you.

A licensed electrical contractor knows how to properly inspect and test your outlets and switches. They’ll check for signs of electrical damage like cracking, peeling, or scorch marks on any of the components in them.

They’ll also figure out a need for further repairs such as rewiring or breaker replacement. Overall, they’ll do an accurate and much better job of assessing the current condition of your outlets and switches.

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