Signs You Need To Upgrade Your Outlet

If you feel a little zap of excitement whenever you charge your phone. We bet that almost everyone who has ever had an electrical problem in their home has experienced this sensation. After all, what better way to know there's a problem than feeling that spark? If you are debating whether your home's electrical outlets need an upgrade, we break down some signs that point to yes!

Older Two-Pronged Outlets

Two-prong outlets are a staple in old homes, so they should be a staple in old homes. We are in the future, so why stick with older technology? They're not efficient, especially if you use power tools and other high-wattage items. Plus, they don't work with your new iPhone charger or anything that requires a three-prong outlet. If you've got two-prong outlets in your house, it's time to upgrade!

Outlets Feel Hot

If an outlet feels hot to the touch, you have a fire hazard on your hands. If you touch it, you could get electrocuted and seriously hurt yourself. If this happens to you, quickly unplug any appliances from the outlet, then schedule a service appointment with our team ASAP.

Sometimes outlets can feel warm even when they aren’t plugged in. Typically this heat happens because metal wiring under the plastic casing of outlets conducts electricity even when the outlet isn’t being used for anything else (like charging devices). Typically this requires replacing the outlet and wires, so we advise homeowners not to do any DIY solutions for their safety. Electrical repair is a delicate art, and there is small room for error.

It's also worth noting that some outlets can get extra warm when plugged into something like your laptop charger or other electronic devices. Sometimes the extra heat can cause discoloration of the outlet, which is a sign you need a service repair to avoid potential malfunctions.

Spark, Smoke, or Smell Something Burning

Sparks from your outlets are not necessarily abnormal, but the issue lies in their frequency. Occasionally we get calls from homeowners worried about sparks from their outlet, which is a valid concern. Sparks can happen sometimes, but if you notice that your outlets spark consistently, you have a problem.


Likewise, the sight of smoke or the smell of something burning is a sign you need electrical repairs immediately. Often when there are electrical malfunctions with an outlet, you can have the plastic casing of the outlet melt from faulty wiring, giving off heat. The longer you prolong repairs in these scenarios, the longer you run the risk of electrical fires.

Loose Outlet

If your outlet is loose, it may not be adequately grounded. This can result in an electrical shock or even a fire. To fix this problem, we often look at the outlets in our inspections to ensure a simple screw is not loose or if there are structural problems from the previous installation of electronic components.

Circuit Breakers Trip Often

If your circuit breakers trip often, you’ll need to upgrade your electrical outlet. This is because it's a sign that you have an overloaded circuit. If too many appliances are plugged in at once, their current being drawn can cause a breaker to trip to prevent dangerous conditions such as overloading and fires.

Nothing Works When Plugged In

If most of your outlets are not working, it’s a good idea to call our team.

Check your outlets individually and see which are working; typically, we use receptacle testers that test an outlet for properly functioning currents. We do not advise plugging in random electronics to test your outlets, as you can damage your appliance or potentially cause dangerous sparks if the problem lies in the wiring. Typically the sign of a damaged outlet manifests in a lamp that will not turn on in one socket but will turn on in the plug above. These issues are not always necessarily dangerous, but they can be inconvenient for comfort and your wallet.

We stress electrical outlet repairs for safety and our customer's energy efficiency. Damaged outlets can be silent energy hogs if you are not careful, and nobody wants to pay more for utilities than they need.


Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Electric is the best in electrical repair, so we want to help you with all your electrical safety needs. Just call us today at (334) 231-6980, and we will be sure to help you get the repairs you need!