One of the challenging aspects of owning your home has to do with home maintenance and repairs. There is a lot that can go wrong inside of your home. Some of these items are aesthetic and don't need immediate repair, while other items are more than aesthetic and need prompt repair. When it comes to loose outlets in your home, you may not know which side these fall on. If you have loose outlets in your home, here are a few of the questions you may have the answers to these questions.
What Causes Outlets in Your Home to Become Loose?
Outlets in your home become loose because the box they are mounted in is recessed. If your home is fairly new, the wrong depth of mounting box may have been used to mount your electrical outlets, causing the outlets to loosen. If your home is older, a combination of home settling and shifting may be to blame for the loose outlet. Using the correct mounting box helps to minimize the chances of your outlets loosening in the future.
Should You Be Concerned About Loose Outlets?
Loose outlets may appear to be just an aesthetic issue, but it is far more than that. When your outlet is loose, the wires behind the outlet can shift, rub or move in ways that they should not if the outlet was mounted and did not move. This can cause your wires to fray or become damaged. This can lead to electrical shorts or can even cause an electrical fire if the wiring becomes completely frayed.
How Are Loose Outlets Fixed?
Fixing a loose outlet is not a terribly hard task. There are two different ways that a loose outlet can be fixed. The first is to remove the faceplate from the outlet and then use electrical shims to secure the mounting box into place. If you were to go to a restaurant and your table was wobbly, the waitress may place menus or a towel under the table to stabilize it. A shim does the same thing for the mounting box. The other option is to replace your mounting box altogether. This is more time consuming and costly. Unless your mounting box appears to have rust, be dented or shows other signs of damage, the box does not need to be replaced.
Shimming a loose outlet is not a tough job and is something someone who feels comfortable making home repairs can do. However, if you do not feel comfortable making repairs to your home, do not want to touch the electrical system in your home, or notice the wires behind the outlet are fraying, an electrician can be called in to make the needed repairs. To learn more, contact an electrical company like Bausum & Duckett Electric Company Inc.