- • Dri-Box® Weatherproof Outlet Covers
- • X-Treme Box Portable Power Distribution
- • Leviton 1, 2, or 3 Gang Duplex Receptacle Wallplates
- • PROTECT IT!® Series Surge Protectors
An inexpensive and easy way to update a living space’s décor is by replacing the wall outlet plates. It can change a room’s look from bland to beautiful. Changing out a wall plate can additionally be important for safety reasons. Many electrical professionals recommend outlets are replaced within 15 to 20 years of initial installation, because of wear from years of use. CableOrganizer® features several scenarios below — some you may have even experienced yourself — outlining when it is appropriate to replace electrical wall outlets.
- Outlets with Cracks and Gaps
- Prior Installation Issues
- Overheating Potential
- Replacing Outdated Outlets
- Selling a Home or Other Property
- Other Outlet Replacement Considerations
OUTLETS WITH CRACKS AND GAPS
Cracked outlet plates risk becoming a dust trap and fire hazard. Undersized wall plates with gaps greater than .17 inches or 4.5 millimeters, additionally increase the chance of a short-circuit. Lint, dust, and hair act as kindling when accumulated, with electrical outlets a prime location for buildup. Excessive dust can cause fires and explosions in some circumstances, as well as clog outlets, and create danger when encountering live electrical wires. You can find a range of electrical receptacles at CableOrganizer® and wall plates to help avert these hazards.
PRIOR INSTALLATION ISSUES
Most electrical work is not intended for DIYers, though replacing outlet plates can be performed easily by most individuals. If you are in doubt about anything with an outlet, light switch, or outlet plate, contact a professional. One prior installation issue some people encounter, for example, is a light switch or outlet plate painted over. There are different schools of thought with painting or not painting them, that if you have a question, it is important to ask an electrical professional. A simple solution could be to have the wall plate replaced, if it makes you feel uneasy. If you detect any charred or burned appearance to your outlet or plate, you also should consult with a licensed electrical contractor. That may be a sign of a hot wire that is not grounded, in which case the outlet should be rewired, or replaced entirely, along with the wall plate.
You may like to check your electrical outlet covers for overheating if you detect issues with charred or burned outlets or plates. If there is soot or scorched areas by the connection slots, it could be caused by worn-out outlets, instead of faulty electrical wires. If the plate is warm, and screws holding the plate to the wall are hot to the touch, this is a sign of overheating. Unless you are versed in working with electricity, leave this to a licensed electrical professional. You are likely running a larger load through your outlet than it is designed to take, if you are noticing soot and scorching. Running some items like hair dryers, can warm up an outlet, but if the screws are hot to the touch, the item plugged in is not the likely cause. Scented candles may be another culprit if you burn them in your home. Be sure to check for soot, which can adhere to the outlet from this source.
REPLACING OUTDATED OUTLETS
Electronics and electrical objects become more sophisticated over time. It is important that outlets can additionally keep up with new technology. The electrical codes and standards at the time of the installation may also be outdated or the methods used to wire the wall outlet. CableOrganizer® has electrical switches, receptacles, electrical boxes and other electrical supplies to assist with the update, whether you are a DIYer or professional.
SELLING A HOME OR OTHER BUILDING
If you have a home or commercial building you plan to put on the market, it is an ideal time to check your wall outlets and wall plates for damage. It may put your best foot forward during a sale to have both items updated. If you are not comfortable completing this project yourself, be prepared to speak to an electrical contractor for an estimate. You may even like to consider dimmer switches and sensor switches for energy savings on lighting or fans, with those types of switches attractive options for many buyers.
OTHER OUTLET REPLACEMENT CONSIDERATIONS
One random reason to replace outlet covers is one that may not cross people’s minds frequently: bed bugs. These creepy crawlers are classified as “hitchhikers” because of their abilities to latch on to a person’s belongings. Travelers are often the most vulnerable, with a bed bug known to hang out in a five-star hotel bed, plane seat, bus seat, and similar places, before they hop into — or lay their eggs — in luggage or on clothing. This is how these stowaways make your home their home sweet home too. An environment does not have to be dirty for them to thrive because their ultimate destination is surviving on human hosts, becoming vampire-like to extract a person’s blood for survival. Along with being expert hitchhikers, bed bugs are versed in their hiding techniques, and are known to dash behind electrical outlet covers. If your outlet cover is cracked or with gaps, this is a way the bedbug can thrive. Experts recommend making outlet covers airtight and then using specific bed bug-related treatments to eradicate them.