Every home needs some TLC to help keep it in tip top shape, especially older homes. In fact, unless you keep up with the big and small upgrades and repairs, the task can become downright daunting.

While many home improvements are purely cosmetic, many more are not. That’s especially true of home electrical fixtures and wiring, which forever has an impact on family safety and home security.

Outlets and switches are easily the most noticeable of home electrical fixtures. Why is that important? Because if something goes wrong, you have an immediate opportunity to make the necessary repair.

Right now, for example, would you know exactly when and why an outlet should be replaced?  Here are several good reasons.


Charring On or Around the Outlet

A healthy, functioning outlet doesn’t spark and char.  That’s a clear sign of a wiring or appliance problem. In either case, remove any cords from the outlet and have it tested before using it again. Better yet, just go ahead and replace it.  If it chars again, the problem is with the appliance plugged into it.

Crack and Gaps On or Around the Wall Plate

If a wall plate cracks or space opens around it, it’s like putting out a welcome mat for dirt and dust.  Over time, the dirt and dust act as kindling would in a fireplace and can start a fire rather easily.

Paint Inside the Slots

Getting ready to paint?  As part of your prep work, place tape over the outlets to keep paint out. Paint is another potential cause of an electrical fire.

Warm or Hot to the Touch

Electrical outlets should always feel cool or room temperature. But they can heat up, making it a good idea to check them all periodically. Should one feel warm or hot, stop using it and have it replaced.

Dimming and Flickering Lights

A certain amount of dimming or flickering is normal.  But if it happens often, there are a few common causes:  worn or frayed wiring, an overloaded circuit, or a problem with the light fixture. The cause should be investigated by a licensed and experienced electrician.

Speaking of which, Burton is your local, full-service electrical service resource – just as we are for plumbing, heating, and other home comfort needs.  Contact us today for the service you need, when you need it.