Electrical malfunction is dangerous. It can cause incredible damage to property and life. Some electrical issues are visible at first glance, but few are not. A loose electrical outlet is one such issue. It can cause fire breakouts in the house, and you will not know there was an issue in the beginning.
If your outlets are far from the walls and hanging on the wires, they are loose. When you plug any cords, they will immediately fall out.
If you wish to avoid situations like fires from happening, you are at the right place. Here you will see why a loose outlet is risky and how to evade the damages it can cause.
How does a loose electrical outlet cause a fire?
We use electrical outlets constantly and forget that they can also be unsafe. An issue like inconsistent power supply to your phones, computers and other appliances is minor. A house fire is a prominent issue.
The loose electrical outlet means the improper wiring behind the panels you see. When the wirings are unfitting, high-energy discharge happens within the outlet. This issue is called arc fault, and it releases massive energy within a short time.
When the temperature rises to an extreme level, it results in a house fire. These fires usually start from inside the wall, and many flammable substances are in the walls. It means the fire can do substantial damage if not noticed.
During an arc, the fault temperature is high as 35,000⁰F. It is above the flash point of material used during the construction of houses. Therefore, fire can start and spread rapidly. It is how the loose electrical outlet provokes a house fire.
Why do outlets become loose?
When plugs are inserted and withdrawn from the outlets, they gradually become loose. Carefully plugging and taking them out won’t harm them. But when you are rough on the outlets, they get loose.
The outlets break or crumble because the walls behind them are dry. And when you apply pressure to something stuck in the walls, it will crumble. After the outlets get loose, the wires also become loose and come off the connectors.
When this process continues, the arc fault occurs and causes a house fire. You can detect the loose electrical outlet while you plug cords into them. The plugs won’t stay put.
You will feel the outlet flex while plugging.
When your outlets reach such a critical stage, stop using them. There won’t be an immediate threat, but arc fault can happen anytime. Sometimes the connectors also wear out from the inside, causing the loose electrical outlet. It can also cause a fire.
If the outlet box is too deep within the wall or is outdated, this can also make the outlets lose.
Is your outlet loose?
Identifying the problems begins with you. You need a professional to fix the problem, but you can detect them.
A good-condition outlet will hold the plugs firmly, while a loose electrical outlet won’t. The plug may fall at any moment.
If this happens with your outlet, then it is loose.
Preventing a house fire from loose outlets
The reliable method to detect loose outlets is installing the arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) on the circuits in your home. It will cut out the circuit breaker during arc faults.
Professionals can install them in your circuits. This way, you can protect yourself from any fire while plugging anything. Always do regular inspections of your electrical system by yourself or professionals.
Got a loose outlet?
A few problems in the house get solved by DIY solutions but not electricity. You can work on many things around the house, but electricity is dangerous. And you require proper precautions to do electricity-related work.
When you work with wires, switch off the primary circuit. Use a voltage detector before you touch any wires that can shock you.
You can use an outlet shim to replace the outlet box or stop the sockets from moving. Even if you do a simple task, you need to take protection. Calling professionals is best over here. They will get the job done safely and detect other problems as well.
If you find any loose electrical outlets in your new house, don’t fret. Cease using them and call experts.
Here’s a tip. When you call a professional, get your entire system inspected. You will become aware if any other problems are present.