This blog comes courtesy of my wise friend Jack Gilleland who owns Home Inspection Services in Clayton, Ohio.
With Christmas season right around the corner his timely advice about the importance of the correct tension inside the outlets in your home may save your life and home too! I've been guilty of being one those creative people he was talking about in his blog, but not anymore.
Thank you Jack for your great advice!
Please leave your comment on his original blog but you are more than welcome to let me know how you are doing today, ok?
One of the most aggravating things at my house are having the plugs fall out of the outlets when I'm using whatever it was at the other end of the cord. In an older home you can have this happen repeatedly because the tension on the contacts inside the outlet lessens over time. If you have a new outlet you can feel the tension as you insert the plug, an old outlet offers little or no resistance to the plug being inserted.
This is not only aggravating, but it can also be dangerous. Less tension can cause the plug to slide out and possibly create an arch that could cause a fire. Considering how cheaply this can be repaired, there is no reason not to fix this problem. If your one of those creative people that bend the prongs on the plug to create more tension, your fooling yourself. I bought 3 outlets Sat. and it cost less than 5 dollars.
The arrow on the outlet cover points to a burnt mark that was most likely caused by a loose plug that was brought on by the loss of tension in the outlet. This WILL happen to your outlets. There is no maybe or wait and see, over time it will happen. A word of caution to the household handyman or handywoman: This is 110 to 120 volts on a 15 or 20 amp breaker and that is enough to at least burn you and at most KILL you. Seek professional help (and I don't mean a psychiatrist). If your going to ignore my recommendation then PLEASE TURN THE POWER OFF. By the way if you don't know how to turn the power off then you need to call an electrician.
Now, maybe you did know all that and if that is the case I apologize for repeating it. If you didn't then you now know something about your house you didn't know before.