Preventative Maintenance Tips

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Electrical Outlet Preventative Maintenance Tips

Christmas lights, keep shining! This month as your family enjoys the holidays with gorgeous lights and beautiful decorations; we are here to help keep you safe with some helpful tips to maintain your electrical outlets.

christmas electrical

Over time, natural use wears outlets down. Plugging and unplugging devices into home outlets several times a day causes those plugs to grind against metal terminals. Eventually, connections between the wires and the terminal screws become loose. If the voltage can’t efficiently complete the arc from wire to terminal to appliance, you could have a potentially dangerous problem.

Electrical resistance in the outlet causes heat buildup, warping the plastic, damaging internal components, or potentially setting objects on fire. Electrical resistance also inhibits the flow of voltage through the circuit correctly. This can trip circuit breakers, crack or damage outlet components, or generate sparks.

Upgrading Your Electrical Outlets

We highly recommend you replace existing electrical outlets if you encounter any of these issues:

Your outlet shows visible damage—If you’ve noticed any damage or warping, immediately replace your outlet. A warped, cracked, or discolored outlet and any visible sparking are all signs the outlet may be impaired. Replacing it is the fastest and easiest fix. 

Your outlet is a “senior citizen”—Even if your outlets aren’t visibly damaged, consider replacing them if they’re aging. Older outlets usually aren’t rated for the voltage amount present-day use requires. Current fixtures also last much longer than older ones.

Your outlets don’t have a ground socket—Verify that every outlet has three sockets, including a ground socket. The National Electrical Code requires that new construction outlets be grounded. Ungrounded outlets in old construction aren’t illegal, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe.

Regular outlets in the bathroom and kitchen instead of GFCI outlets—Ensure all outlets in your kitchen and bathrooms are GFCI outlets. GFCI** (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets can detect if the voltage-current running through them behaves irregularly. They’re designed to temporarily break the connection to help prevent electric shock if you’re using an appliance that suddenly comes into contact with water. 

**GFCI outlets are three-pronged. You will see “test” and “reset” buttons built-in. “Testing” the GFCI outlet cuts it off from power. “Resetting” restores that connection, allowing voltage to flow again. GFCI outlets are crucial for electrical safety in your kitchen and bathroom. If you haven’t already installed them, ProActiv highly recommends investing in GFCIs to keep you and your family safer in these high-moisture environments.

Customer Success Story

“Thanks to ProActiv’s tips and maintenance, I feel better equipped to safely take care of my home!”

electrical outlet safety image

Most Home Electrical Issues Can Be Avoided With Proper Preventative Maintenance

Include inspecting and maintaining your electrical outlets in your home maintenance routines. Avoid costly repairs and even dangerous fires by checking your outlets regularly. 

ProActiv Prevention recommends you follow this electrical preventative maintenance checklist:

  • Test outlets: Invest in an inexpensive outlet tester that can immediately detect unseen issues.
  • Visually inspect all outlets and wall plates: Look for signs of warping, cracking, or scorch marks.
  • Replace faulty wiring: Be careful not to tamper with wiring if you are unfamiliar with electrical work. Call a professional to help replace any frayed or damaged outlet wiring.

ProActiv Prevention can help you with electrical outlet maintenance by performing a close inspection and quickly repairing any issues. Call ProActiv today! We can also assist by providing a preventative maintenance checklist and demonstrating each step.

Get Your Free Preventative Maintenance Estimate

No need to worry about tackling that to-do list on your own. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation handyman estimate! We can’t wait to help you.

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