Electrical outlets are essential parts of your electrical wiring since they are the access points for your electrical supply. That means your electrical outlets should always be perfectly suited to your use, safe, and in excellent conditions. Replace any outlets that don't suit those descriptions. For example, you need to replace the following outlets.
Electrical grounding is a safety feature. The ground wire provides stray electricity with a suitable path so that the electricity can flow to the ground where it does not do any harm. Unfortunately, some older electrical outlets don't have grounding – you can recognize them by their two (instead of three) prongs. Replace such outlets before a disaster strikes.
Some outlets come with integrated safety features. For example, outlets with ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) protect against electrical shock in moist areas. Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) protect against the dangers of electrical sparks that can cause fires. These outlets are required in specific areas of the house. For example, bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor receptacles should have GFCIs. Replace such outlets if they don't have the necessary protection.
Outlets with Physical Damages
Physically damaged outlets are a serious risk. For example, if the outlet cover is cracked, water can easily seep into the outlet, trigger a short circuit, and cause a fire outbreak or electrical shock. If you have kids, one of them might slip something into the crack and trigger a disaster.
Over time, the wear and tear of electrical outlets widen the holes and lead to loose connections. Loose electrical connections can trigger electrical sparks when the outlet is in use. A quick DIY fix is to bend or widen the spaces between the prongs to improve their grip. A permanent solution is to replace the affected outlet.
The outlet rating is the maximum power you can safely draw from the outlet. For example, for an outlet rated 60A, you should not plug in appliances that draw more than 60 amperes. You should know how much power each of your appliances draws so that you can plug them into the correct outlets. Replace the existing outlets if they are not appropriately rated.
Electrical outlets, just like other products, come in various qualities. It's possible to find outlets that have not passed quality tests, especially if they were imported, and whose safety and quality you cannot confirm. It's best to err on the side of caution and use only outlets whose quality you are certain of.
To learn more about electrical repair and outlets, reach out to a local electrician.