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Is it Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Outlets?

Today’s homes often feature the latest and greatest technology: smart TVs, smart light switches, even smart refrigerators. It’s important to homeowners to have modern appliances in their houses, and if you’ve lived in your home for more than a few years, odds are that you’ve replaced a few things, such as floors, dishwashers, or light fixtures.

However, it’s easy to forget about electrical systems and hardware such as electrical outlets, and these critical systems can sometimes go decades without being paid any attention. Electrical outlets are an essential part of home health to keep you and your family safe. Read below to know if it’s time to think about upgrading them.

Damaged outlets

If any of the electrical outlets of your home are visibly damaged—warped, broken, or with any signs of smoking or sparking—make sure to replace them. Similarly, since the technology inside outlets breaks down over time, especially with heavy usage, it’s important to be on the lookout for any signs of internal damage, such as a loose fit or malfunctioning/finicky power connection.

Non-grounded outlets

2-prong, ungrounded outlets can be inconvenient if you’re searching for a place to plug in your 3-prong laptop charger, but they can also be dangerous since ungrounded plugs pose a higher risk of electric shock. In fact, grounded outlets have typically been required for all new construction for years for this reason. Switching from a 2-prong ungrounded outlet to a 3-prong grounded outlet may require rewiring your electrical panel.

Non-GFCI outlets in areas prone to water

GFCI plugs feature ‘test’ and ‘reset’ buttons, and have built-in technology that shuts off electricity flow in the case of any abnormality or overload. All outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, outdoor spa areas, laundry rooms, and other areas with water flow should be GFCI to reduce the risk of serious electric shock if an appliance comes into contact with water.
Inconvenient outlets
Electrical outlets have come a long way, and if your home was built more than a few years ago you may consider upgrading to one or several of the new outlet options that are now available. These include:

● USB outlets for device charging while freeing up outlets for other uses
● LED night-light plugs for night illumination that’s energy-efficient and reliable, with a 20-year life expectancy
● Tamper-resistant receptacles (TRR) for homes with small children– these outlets have internal barriers to prevent toddlers from sticking small objects inside the plug, thus reducing the risk of electric shock

If the outlets in your home fall into any of the above categories, reach out to F.H. Furr in Delmarva, DE for more information and answers to any of your questions. Our highly-qualified electricians can replace and upgrade your outlets quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively, so your home can be as safe and up-to-date as possible.

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