Electrical Outlets: Common Questions, Problems, and Solutions


Issues with your electrical outlets can be more than simply a nuisance; some of them could be a danger. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5,300 fires every year happen because of electrical outlets. Keep your home safe by knowing the warning signs. Here we discuss common problems with your electrical outlets and how to solve them.

Electrical Outlet Problems

These are some common electrical issues you will likely experience and how to deal with them.

  1. Too few outlets can result in compensating with extension cords, which adds a fire danger to your home.
  2. Circuit breaker tripping is a sign you have protection against power surges. The issue is when it trips regularly. This would happen when the demand for current is more than the circuit is fitted for or there is damage to the wiring.
  3. Electrical surges can be caused by poor electrical wiring, storms, faulty appliances, or damaged power lines. They often last for a fraction of a second, but frequent surges can leave your electrical system damaged.
  4. Faulty switches could indicate poor workmanship or faulty equipment. Sometimes the electrical outlet not working is from the installation of the wiring or a faulty circuit or outlet.
  5. Electric shocks are common in older homes, where the circuit is fitted for a lower electric flow. You will also find them in homes where the electric outlet wiring is damaged or improperly installed.

Improve Outlet Safety

To keep your home safe from electrical hazards, consider these questions about electrical outlet types.

  • What is a GFCI outlet? A ground fault circuit interrupter monitors the imbalance between the hot wire and the neutral wire and kills the current when the fluctuation is too great. Often required in wet locations such as kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms, etc., GFCIs could save you from electrocution. Their extreme sensitivity to the danger of shock means they react much faster than a breaker would trip.
  • What does a ground wire do? Modern electrical outlets include a ground wire. This protective measure offers the electricity an alternate return path to the ground. This protects you from having the current unexpectantly jump through you to reach the ground.
  • How can I make my outlets safer? Repair deteriorated outlets and wiring, and upgrade to modern standards of safety. Rewire sections to include a ground wire. Ideally, install GFCI outlets.
  • Can I attempt my own electrical repairs? Because electrical work requires specialized skills and licensing, we don’t advise attempting it yourself. For the safety of your home, anything more than learning how to replace electrical outlets or light switches should be handled by a certified professional.

Find Electricians in Wake County, NC

Learning the warning signs of dangerous electrical outlet problems helps you keep your home safe. Once you’ve identified the issues, trust the work to skilled professionals like Yellow Dot Heating & Air Conditioning®. Offering expert electrical services in Raleigh and throughout Wake County, NC, our team of professionals is here for you. Give us a call at 919-925-4235 or request service online to get started.

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