Can a Wall Plug Wear Out Featured Image

Electrical parts, like everything else, can wear out over time. I received a call from a lady with a 1972 house who reported a fire in her kitchen counter plug. This raised concerns for me, considering the potential dangers associated with overheated aluminum wiring. Upon arriving at her home, she directed me to the kitchen, where I observed the burnt original 1972 wall receptacle above the kitchen counter, typically used for plugging in the microwave.

Vintage plug-ins, with continued use, can experience wear and tear. Signs of wear include a loose feel and possible crackling when inserting the male prongs of the cord. Inside the plug-in, metal contacts weaken, leading to a loose grip on the male cord end prongs. This loosening creates arcing between the prongs and the internal contacts of the wall receptacle, causing overheating and, eventually, damage or fire.

The only solution to this problem is to replace the worn wall receptacles with new ones. It’s advisable to replace all receptacles instead of attempting to identify specific worn-out ones. In the mentioned case, where aluminum wiring was present on the main floor of the bungalow, we were asked to address that issue as well.

In another instance, a man from Millwoods in Edmonton discovered a concerning situation when he removed plugs and switch covers while preparing to paint his house. He noticed something alarming inside the electrical box of the switches by the front door. Taking immediate action, he turned off the main breaker and contacted me for assistance. Upon investigation, I found a situation I had never encountered before as a Master Electrician.

Aluminum Wiring Cause Fires Featured Image

The front three switches controlling the kitchen lights, hallway, bathroom, and an exterior outlet were all on the same circuit, leading to an overloaded breaker. One of the switches at the front entrance even controlled the exterior outlet that had been used to plug in a car during winter. It was evident that this breaker was handling an excessive load.

If you have any electrical-related questions or concerns, we are always here to help. Contact us at 780-238-8195.

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