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How To Fix Loose Electrical Outlet To Avoid Danger At Home


People use electrical outlets daily to run their electrical appliances, charge their phones, and do several other things that require electricity. In the kitchen alone, homeowners utilize an electrical outlet for their most necessary appliances like the refrigerator, oven, microwave, coffee maker, and more.

It's easy to forget that the electricity running through these outlets is very dangerous, and a loose outlet may result in serious injuries to yourself or your family members, especially kids. You are truly only separated from high-voltage electrical currents that flow through the wires of your electrical system by a plastic outlet cover.

At Custom Electrical Services in Auburn, WA, our expert electricians are here to provide you with all of the electrical maintenance, installation, and repairs you may need throughout your home. From a loose electrical outlet to issues with your electrical boxes and more, we are available to assess your situation and give you the service you need.

How Do Loose Outlets Occur in Your Home?

In general, loose outlets occur when the whole outlet faces wobbles, or the receptacles are loose enough so that plugs fall out of the outlet.

It is important to be aware of the anatomy of your electrical outlet so that you can figure out what is wrong with it and how to fix it. The outlet is mounted inside the electrical box in your wall, and those electrical boxes that are recessed in the wall too far do not have the proper security to hold the fixture in place permanently.

This problem with the housing box will affect the stability of the whole fixture, which means that loose outlets can occur when they are attached to the boxes. Loose wires and damaged or disconnected wires can potentially shock you or lead to a house fire. If you have a broken outlet, loose plugs, or issues with the outlet’s wires, it is important that you fully examine the electrical concern and decide the best way to fix it.

Ways to Fix Your Loose Outlet

There are a few items you will need to fix your loose outlet if you choose to make it your next DIY project. These items include outlet shims, a wire tester, and a screwdriver.

You should then ensure that you follow these steps to maintain safety:

  • Turn off the power to the outlet by using the circuit breaker in the electric panel for the specific room you are working on.
  • Use your wire tester to test the outlet and ensure the power is no longer running to that outlet.
  • Use your screwdriver to remove the outlet cover and screws. Your outlet should be removed from the box and hanging freely.
  • Use the outlet shim between the screws and the recessed box so that there is no gap.
  • Insert the replacement outlet back into the housing box, tighten the screws, add more shims if needed, put the outlet cover back on, and return power to the outlet.

This type of repair is fairly straightforward and can be done with little to no experience in electrical service as long as you remember to follow the steps and turn off the power to the outlet.

Common Mistakes Homeowners Make Fixing an Outlet or Electrical Box

When you do not have a qualified electrician’s proper training and experience, it is easy to make mistakes during DIY electrical projects.

Some of the most common include:

  • Connecting wires outside of the electrical box
  • Cutting wires too short
  • Not connecting outlets tightly enough to the terminal box

If you are not comfortable trying to fix your loose electrical outlet or you think you may have made a mistake during your repair, all you need to do is make a simple phone call to the qualified and experienced electricians at Custom Electrical Services. Our electrical team will come to your home and take care of your electrical issue quickly and effectively.

When Should a Qualified Electrician Be Called for Electrical Outlet Repair?

In certain instances, it is better to call an experienced electrician to repair the issues with your outlet. This is especially true with plugs that constantly fall out of the outlet. The problem is usually a matter of needing to replace the outlet’s receptacle, which has become worn over time or damaged contact points. It is important to replace or repair these outlets and receptacles to prevent electrical problems and fires.

You can easily find new outlet receptacles at your local hardware store, and they will be pretty inexpensive. However, the problem is with the actual replacement process because this requires rewiring it into the electrical box. You have to avoid shorts by attaching the right wire to its connection, but any mishaps can result in more serious electrical issues.

Contact Us for Residential Electrical Services in Auburn, WA

If you are a homeowner with a loose electrical outlet or other electrical issues, contact the certified electricians at Custom Electrical Services. Our team prides itself on excellent workmanship, punctuality, and communication with all of our clients in the Auburn, WA, area.

We are happy to provide you with a free estimate for your electrical service, and our team is available. Contact us for all your electrical needs, including new outlet installation or fixing bad wiring. Call us today to book an appointment for electrical work in your home!