A loose electrical box is a common problem. Despite it being such a prevalent issue, most people don’t do anything about it. They live with the annoyance that comes with a shifting box and don’t usually realize how dangerous it is. However, the reality is that loose outlets are fire hazards. As they disrupt the flow of electricity, arcing occurs. To keep your home safe, find out why it’s important to have an electrician in FL fix loose outlet boxes and what causes the issue.
What are the Signs of a Loose Outlet?
Before you learn about the dangers of a loose outlet box, you should learn how to identify the problem. All of the following are signs of a loose electrical outlet box:
Outlet Moves When You Unplug a Device
When you pull a cord out of the outlet socket, does the whole outlet box move? If so, you have a loose outlet box. The outlet should feel secure, even as you pull out a plug.
Faceplate Slides Side to Side
You probably don’t play with your outlet’s faceplate much. But if you do, the plate should not move from side to side.
Faceplate Isn’t Flush with the Wall
Even if you don’t feel that you have a loose outlet, you might be able to see it. The box may not be flush with the wall. If there’s any gap between the wall and the faceplate, there’s a loose outlet box.
Why Loose Outlet Boxes are Dangerous
When you have a loose outlet box, you have many problems. Your electrical wires aren’t designed to move. However, the wires move quite a bit when there’s a loose box. If those wires rub against a sharp or hard material, they could fray. Using that outlet comes with a risk of fire.
Other issues from your loose electric box include:
When an outlet box repeatedly pulls on a faceplate, the faceplate could crack. From an aesthetic point of view, you probably don’t want to look at a cracked faceplate. But this problem also has more dire consequences. The crack could expose live wires, which puts you and your household in danger of experiencing a shock. You shouldn’t use a cracked faceplate until you fix it.
Devices that Don’t Charge Consistently
A loose electrical box could result in an interrupted connection with your power cords. As you try to charge your devices, they might suddenly stop charging. In addition to being an annoyance, this can damage the batteries in your devices. Your cell phone or computer might not hold a charge well.
Do you need to forcefully push your power cords into the wall? If so, you probably need to pull it out with force. When you do, you cause wire connections to loosen. Your cord could stop working or shock you when you plug it into an outlet.
Perhaps the worst issue that comes from a loose electrical box is shock. Depending on the severity of the situation, you or a loved one could experience a significant shock.
Types of Loose Outlets
Any loose outlet box has the potential to cause damage to your home. However, there are different types of loose outlet boxes. All of the following are examples of loose outlets, and the consequences that come from having them:
When an electrical receptacle isn’t flush with the wall, it is in need of repair. The cover plate could be the only component keeping your outlet box in place. Unfortunately, the plate doesn’t have the strength to keep the receptacle from moving when you plug in devices.
As you plug and unplug devices, the plate experienced stress. Eventually, the plate will crack, and the moving electric components could spark a fire. To fix a floating outlet, you should hire an electric company in Tampa, FL. They can unscrew the receptacle and attach electrical spacers to the screws. The amount of spacers they need depend on the fit, so it could take multiple spacers.
Once repaired, your floating outlet will be stuck in place. It won’t move around every time you place something into or out of the receptacle.
A recessed outlet is similar to a floating outlet. However, it happens when the receptacle is too deep inside a wall. The unit doesn’t sit on the wall, and gets all of its support from the electrical box behind it. When you use the outlet, the receptacle shifts and wires may loosen. If unrepaired, your recessed outlet could cause a house fire.
Either plastic spacers or an electrical box extender could fix your problem. An extender goes behind the box and fits into the walls. After it’s installed, the extender pushes your electrical box forward, making it flush with the wall. Although you can find spacers or extenders in hardware stores, installing them isn’t as easy as you might think. You should contact an experienced electrician to handle your repair. There could be unseen damage to your electric wires.
What Should You Do About Your Loose Electrical Box?
If you have a loose electrical box, you shouldn’t waste any time. It takes an experienced professional to fix your box and any other electrical problems you might have. Generally, a repair isn’t as easy as using a screwdriver. At times, you may need to replace the box or resize the hole. Additionally, there may be other issues hiding behind your walls.
When you work with a licensed electric company in Tampa, FL, you can ensure that your electrical boxes are no longer loose. Furthermore, they can look for other potential problems. They make their repairs safely and effectively, keeping your safety their top priority.
Your Electrician in FL
The longer you out your electrical problems on the back burner, the worse they will become. Don’t wait any longer, and call an electrician in FL. Here at Comfort All-Stars, our team is ready to help. Call us now to learn more.