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Electrical Outlets

Electrical Outlets are very utilitarian pieces of a home’s architecture, which is to say, the best ones are invisible, reliable, and bulletproof. Most home builders settle for pretty good outlets, so at some point you may have to replace a conspicuous, unreliable or broken electrical outlet. The most useful approach is to determine what replacement parts are needed, and then determine whether you can replace it yourself.

Types of Electrical Outlets

Ideally, you should already have a two-pronged grounded outlet in your wall. These outlets have two flat blade receptacles and a round hole for a grounding pin. You may also want to upgrade to a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlet if your old outlet was in a kitchen or bathroom. A GFCI outlet will shut off the circuit if your outlet is experiencing a hazardous short; and in some cases will shut down other electrical outlets which operate on the same circuit.

Electrical Outlet Repair

If an electrical outlet is damaged or just old, it can be replaced fairly easily by a homeowner with a little knowledge and a lot of respect for electricity. If you don’t have that knowledge, are color blind, or aren’t sure where your home’s electrical panel is, then you may be better off calling an electrician. Additionally, if the wires inside your outlet are damaged, you will probably need an electrician anyway to make sure there isn’t a larger and more dangerous problem lurking.

Electrical Outlets are not quite rocket science, but anything with a current running through it should be given equal measures of maintenance and respect. The proper and timely repair of your electrical outlets will allow you to go on happily ignoring them for a long time.

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