When should I replace my electrical outlets and switches?
It is very important that you replace electrical outlets and
switches if they are hot to the touch, emit a burning smell,
as this can mean that they may be overheating, which is a
serious safety hazard. Additionally, if your switches and
outlets are outdated, they may not have newer safety features
(such as GFCI technology), or may not meet your area’s
electrical codes. Loose and wobbly connections are also a sign
it’s time to replace switches and outlets, as loose
connections can cause arcing or sparking, which is a fire
Can I install electrical outlets and switches myself?
Generally speaking, electrical work should be performed by a
licensed and experienced electrician, as working electricity
can be dangerous and even deadly if not done properly. In some
areas, it is illegal for electrical work to be done by anyone
other than a licensed electrician. Performing electrical work
yourself can even void insurance coverage on your home. While
we highly advise against doing electrical work yourself, be
sure to research and follow all safety guidelines and local
How does an electrical outlet work?
An electrical outlet has two or three prongs that connect to
the electrical circuit and a set of metal contacts inside that
make contact with the prongs of a plug when it is inserted.
When an electrical device is plugged into an outlet, the
electrical circuit is completed and the device is powered by
the electricity that flows from the outlet. Outlets have
safety features like a ground wire and ground fault circuit
interrupters (GFCIs) that help prevent electrical shock or
What is a GFCI outlet, and do I really need one?
A GFCI outlet is an electrical outlet that quickly shuts off
power to the outlet in the event of a ground fault, which can
occur when an electrical current flows through an unintended
path. GFCI outlets are required in certain areas of the home
where the risk of electrical shock is higher, such as
bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and outdoor areas. It's a good
idea to have a licensed electrician inspect your electrical
system and advise you on whether or not GFCI outlets are
necessary and where they should be installed.
How do I test my GFCI outlets?
To test a GFCI outlet, press the "Test" button to cut off
power, plug in a device to confirm there's no power, then
press "Reset" to restore power and confirm that the device
works. If the outlet doesn't reset or the device doesn't work,
it may be defective and should be replaced by a licensed
electrician. You should test your GFCI outlets monthly.
Considering Upgrading or Repairing your Electrical
Outlets or Switches?
Our knowledgeable electricians can help you with all
your outlets, switches, and electrical needs — request
service with AMS today!
How can I keep my kids and pets safe around my home electrical
There are many simple ways to keep your kids and pets safe
around home outlets. Inexpensive outlet covers can be
installed, which can prevent children and pets from inserting
things into the outlet. Some outlet covers are
tamper-resistant, which make it difficult for children or pets
to remove them from the outlet. Additionally, keeping cords
out of reach of children and pets can prevent them from
accidentally turning on electrical devices, or getting tangled
in the cords.