You probably don’t think about your wall outlets very often. After all, why would you if they work reliably? However, wall outlets are under more strain than ever these days. We are always charging out appliances, whether that is our phone or computer, and our TVs, consoles and other entertainment devices are constantly plugged in.
This increase in a need for power, plus the usual wear and tear, means that an outlet can begin to fail in as little as five years. While many wall outlets can last for between fifteen and twenty-five years, this might not always be the case. So keeping an eye on yours is essential for both safety purposes and for ensuring you never have to go without power when you need it.
Keep checking on your wall outlets to be sure they are safe and functioning correctly, and make sure to call in the professionals for testing and tagging if you have a business, to check that every item and outlet is up to standard.
It’s time to think about upgrading if they are becoming warm when used, if your power is cutting out or tripping without apparent reason, or if your sockets feel loose and unstable. Even something as seemingly minor as discolouration could indicate a much more severe issue.
But it’s not all bad news! Wall outlets have come a long way in recent years, so even when it comes time to change them out for new ones, there is no need to do a boring like for like swap. We have collected seven of the best ways to upgrade your wall outlets so you can enjoy reliable, modern power – and keep your household safe and happy!
Otherwise known as ground fault circuit interrupters, GFCI outlets offer extra protection for your family members. These handy little outlets work by keeping the flow of electricity monitored and turned off if the current gets to shock hazard levels.
They are essential in areas where water and heavy-duty equipment is often present, such as your kitchen and bathroom areas.
Do you sometimes require more outlets than usual? Pop-up outlets are a great idea, especially for kitchen spaces. Occasionally, especially in the kitchen, we find ourselves needing more devices for cooking than we usually do – pop-up outlets can be installed in your kitchen countertops and remain neatly away until you want to use them. These handy little outlets keep the look of your kitchen from being interrupted by unsightly electricals and can add more power to places such as a kitchen island.
Gone are the days of requiring large plugs to charge our devices – most modern tech comes with a USB fitting, meaning that an outlet with a USB could be a new essential item in your home. USB wall outlets are more flexible for both you and your visitors (especially those from overseas!), as you can easily plugin and charge a whole host of devices without worrying about adaptors.
While all your wall outlets should not be a USB (most household items do still require traditional plugs), introducing some USB points into your home is a great idea. For example, adding USB points in your bedroom and living room will bring your outlets into the twenty-first century.
Arc fault circuit interrupters (ACFI) wall outlets are another essential for your home. These reduce the likelihood of an electrical fire by shutting down if there is an interruption in the circuit current.
Because you can have these installed either as a wall outlet or get the same protection from your circuit breaker, it is best to always speak to an expert to get the best kind for you.
Tamper-resistant receptacles (TRR) are ideal if you have children in your home. These keep anything that is not a plug from being placed into the wall outlet, ensuring that your kids cannot poke anything into the sockets and get a shock! When it comes to child-proofing, TRR wall outlets are a must-have item.
With an increase in the size and amount of items that come with a home entertainment system, you have probably discovered the pain of not arranging your TV and other items just as you want them. Recessed outlets are great for this, as they are set into the wall, keeping your plugs far back enough that they don’t interrupt the aesthetics of your entertainment system or furniture.
Another excellent choice for those with children (or just those who want extra light at night) are LED night light outlets. These outlets have an inbuilt LED light instead of a real socket, so you can reduce energy and save space when compared to your standard nightlight. Whether you have little ones who are nervous in the dark or want to brighten up your hallways reliably at night, these are a fantastic choice for many homes.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for keeping your wall outlets safe and up to date. Not only that, but you can bring more modern options into your home easily. An electrical safety check can help you to find out whether you need new wall outlets, plus you can discover how safe your home electrics are overall.
Get in touch with Smillie Electrical to discuss your needs now and make sure your electricals are running as smoothly as you want them to.