You probably have dozens of outlets across your home or business depending on its size and needs. You may be wondering how often should I replace GFCIs and outlets? We will show you when and more below.
How Long Do Outlets Last?
Unfortunately, there is no one answer. Your outlets will naturally wear down over time as a result of normal use. Metal plugs grind up against the terminals each time you plug, unplug, or even jostle the cord. Eventually, the connections loosen between the wires and terminal screws. After time, voltage can’t arc from the wire to terminal to appliance which can lead to all sorts of different issues.
In addition to performance issues, there are other reasons to replace electrical outlets. As the years pass, your bright white outlets tend to grow yellow and dingy. Replacing the decorative plate around the outlet isn’t enough. It will just show how discolored your outlets are. Additionally, many homes and businesses were built with older style outlets that don’t perform as well. New outlets make your property run better, look better, and add value if you are attempting to sell.
How Long Do GFCI Outlets Last?
GFCI outlets, or ground fault circuit interrupters, are designed to protect from electrical shocks and other hazards. These outlets can be found in most modern homes within six feet of a water source, such as a sink, tub, dishwasher, clothes washer, etc. You may also find GFCI outlets in other random areas such as an attic, garage, outdoors, and even crawl space. GFCI outlets are most typically identified by their option to Test and Reset straight from the outlet.
Most GFCI outlets can last anywhere from 15 to 25 years. However, GFCI outlets that undergo a lot of stress, blackouts, and other issues can fail after just five years.
How Do I Know if I Need New Electrical Outlets?
Many issues can arise when your outlets need replacing. A few include:
- The outlet is damaged, warped, or faulty – A cracked, discolored, or warped outlet should be replaced.
- The outlet is old or doesn’t meet your voltage needs – Today’s appliances and electronics use more electricity than when the outlets were first designed. Use a quality outlet for your high tech machinery.
- The outlets are not grounded – All outlets nowadays should have three sockets, or be able to handle a three-pronged plug. Those that can’t may not be grounded, which can be unsafe.
- If the outlets near a water source aren’t GFCI – These outlets should be able to protect your home in the event they come in contact with water.
- If the outlet’s behavior changes – You may notice your outlet may be cracking, sparking, or constantly going out. They should be examined by a professional immediately.
You may view a video of a failing outlet by clicking here.
Replace GFCIs in Sudbury
We do not recommend that you attempt to replace a regular or GFCI outlet on your own, as it can be dangerous for both you and your property. Our techs can professionally inspect and replace your GFCIs and outlets, as well as a number of other HVAC and residential improvement needs. Our service areas include Sudbury, Chelmsford, Garson, Lively, and the Valley Area. Contact us today to get a free, no-obligation quote on your outlet replacement.