The longer damage persists on old electrical outlets, the more issues there are that can arise. Electrical outlet issues may seem unnoticeable and insignificant —after all, it’s not as perceivable as if your refrigerator just shut off or the air conditioning unit no longer works effectively— but the small issues can quickly compound into larger issues. There are plenty of reasons why you should take careful notice of when to upgrade your electrical outlets in order to maintain effectiveness and safety in your property.

Wear and Tear: Electrical outlets can wear down naturally over time due to standard use. As metal plugs are inserted into the outlet, the force shifts the connection a small amount each time. Over a long period, this usage can loosen the connection to a point where the voltage doesn’t transfer as easily. This can cause a variety of issues, such as a build up of excess heat, which can melt and warp the plastic casing of the outlet.

Visible Warps: If you notice that there are signs of warping, cracking, or other types of damage, replace your outlets with a newer version as soon as possible. These visible defects indicate that there is internal damage to your devices. Older models will damage easier than modern options. Damaged outlets can expose the terminals and slots inside the device itself, which can create a risk of electrical shock or even become a potential fire hazard. Electrical fires are especially dangerous. Rather than trying to salvage a faulty device, it is recommended to upgrade your electrical outlets to a newer, functioning model.

Voltage Doesnt Match: Older models of electrical outlets might not always match with the voltage needs of your appliances. A replacement could be necessary if this is the case, as improper voltage usage can cause a quicker deterioration of your outlets. This can affect the efficiency of your devices. Excess voltage can also cause damage by tripping circuit breakers, cracking other parts of your outlet, or even creating sparks.

Missing Covers: Access to damaged outlets can cause serious issues. A malfunctioning outlet without a safety cover properly attached can give a powerful shock upon contact. This is especially dangerous in houses with young children. Don’t run the risk of danger. If you notice that internal parts of the outlet, such as the wire, are exposed, upgrade your devices immediately.

Don’t want until small issues get worse. If you notice your electrical outlets displaying signs of wear-and-tear or damage, upgrade them as soon as possible.  Plastic outlet covers can be bought at any number of home improvement stores, but trained electrical professionals should be contacted for replacing the inner electrical components.