Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Outlets

Mr. Electric electrician installing a power outlet

When you think of upgrading your home for the future, outlets don’t always come to mind. But if you’re not thinking about your outlets, you should reconsider your priorities. Many households are scrambling to be on the cutting edge of smart devices and home entertainment, but few are giving any thought to the outlets that power their prized devices.

 Is your home’s electrical system stuck in the past? If so, it’s time to upgrade your outlets.

Indicators That It’s Time to Upgrade Your Outlets

Nothing lasts forever, including electrical outlets. Thankfully, there is plenty that you can do to better prepare your home for modern electrical systems and devices. Here are some reasons you should upgrade your outlets to make them safer and more functional:

  • You Can Never Find a Three-Prong Outlet
    Two-prong, ungrounded outlets aren’t just ill-equipped for modern electronics – they’re a huge safety risk. Two-prong outlets pose a shock risk and can damage sensitive electronics. If you have two-prong outlets in your home, adding properly grounded three-prong outlets to your home should be at the top of your to-do list.

    Unfortunately, a simple outlet upgrade won’t cut it. Rewiring your panel with a three-wire circuit and verifying your electric box is likewise properly grounded are essential. Otherwise, new electrical outlets and surge protection devices won’t work as effectively as they should.
  • Your Home Has an Outdated Electrical Panel
    Today’s devices require more power than the outdated electrical systems in older homes can handle. If your breakers trip constantly, or the lights in your home flicker or dim, you need to upgrade your service panel. Putting off an upgrade can lead to shocks, overheating, and even fires.

    In addition to service panel upgrades, very old homes may need to upgrade their amp service. In the past, homes ran on 60-amp services, but today, most homes run on 200-amp. Upgrading your home ensures that you get enough power where you need it.
  • You Don’t Have GFCI Protection in the Right Rooms
    GFCI outlets protect against dangerous shocks and short circuits by shutting off at the outlet before a short occurs. Today, the National Electrical Code requires GFCI outlets in any area with water hazards, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, unfinished basements, utility rooms, crawlspaces, near pools, near spas, and outdoors.

    Without GFCI outlets, you and your family are at risk of seriously injuring yourself with an electrical shock should an appliance ever come into contact with water while it’s in use.
  • You’ll Have Children In Your Home More Frequently
    Properly childproofed outlets protect children from disaster. This simple and inexpensive solution keeps kids safe and helps prevent electrical fires and other issues by preventing foreign objects from being inserted into an outlet. Unlike old childproof outlets, newer models require no additional work to use; all that you need to do is apply equal pressure to all the prongs in the outlet. If you’ve recently had kids, have friends with children, or plan to have younger family members visit, childproof outlet upgrades are a must.

Is your home behind the times when it comes to electrical outlets? The electrical experts at Mr. Electric, a Neighborly company, can install new electrical outlets to get your home up to date. Keep your family – and your devices – safe. Contact Mr. Electric today.