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June 7, 2020

Does Your Plug Socket need to be replaced?

Does your Plug Socket need to be replaced?

These days we would not be able to live without plug sockets, they are an essential part of our homes providing power for all the appliances in our houses, including lamps, fridges, televisions and many more items.

However, we often take plug sockets for granted, always expecting that when we plug an appliance in it will work the first time, with little or no maintenance. As with anything plug sockets get worn and this damage, if not rectified, can result in power failures, electrical fires and expensive work to put it right.

Below we will be highlighting the 6 most common signs that a plug socket may need to be replaced and how we can extend the life of our plug sockets.

  • Electrics turning off temporarily – If an appliance is turning off and back on sporadically, it could be that the plug socket is damaged. First check that the appliance itself is not faulty by plugging it into another plug socket, if it works fine then you know there is an issue with the plug socket rather the appliance itself. This type of damage could have been caused any number of issues, so it is best to call in your local qualified Domestic Electrician.
  • Heat Scorch Marks –Excessive heat in a plug socket can be generated when in use, this can be caused by corrosion, a build-up of dust, overloading, or poor wiring. If scorch marks or hot plug and sockets are ever seen, make sure to switch off at the wall before unplugging any appliance, failure to take this cause of action could result in an electrical fire. This socket should not be used again until it has been properly inspected.
  • Fuses often Blowing – It can be very frustrating if you have fuses that are constantly blowing, and it can be caused by a number of issues. If there is a fuse that keeps blowing, first try plugging the appliance into a different socket, if the fuse does not blow, then there is likely to be an issue with the socket.
  • Cracks to the Plug Socket Face Plate – The plastic plates that cover the plug sockets can over time become worn down and cracked. These cracks may seem harmless, however, they could expose the live wires underneath and the dust that can be collected in them could pose a potential fire risk. Until a cracked plug socket is fixed or replaced it should not be used.
  • The Green ‘Goo’ – Characterised by its green appearance and high viscosity, this stuff has many names. The goo is degraded ‘di-isotyl’, a reaction between the copper and insulation found in wiring made from 1965 and 1971. If this goo is seen in one of your plug sockets then you must get in touch with your local qualified Electrician as soon as possible, it could be that an Electrical Rewire is required depending on the severity and scale of the issue.
  • Arcing Sounds – Any noise, such as a cracking, popping or buzzing, that is coming from your plug socket is an indication that there is a major issue. This is called arcing and is normally caused by damaged or loose wires. If left uninspected then this could result in a blown plug or a more severe electrical fire.

Top tips for Prolonging the life of your Power Sockets

There are many things you can do that will reduce the damage caused and hence extend the life of a plug socket. Here a few of our top recommendations.

  • Always buy appliances from reputable shops and sellers. Cheap knock-off phone chargers have been known to damage plug sockets and cause electrical fires.
  • Make a monthly inspection of plug sockets for any of the 6 signs listed above.
  • When removing plugs from sockets make sure to do so carefully and avoid pulling on the wire.
  • Make sure not to overload plug sockets with power extension cables. One extension cable should never plug into another, commonly known as ‘daisy-chaining’, as this can cause overheating.
  • Only use plugs that have the British Standard Safety Mark

Here at FBS Electrical, we are happy to quote for all your jobs from plug socket replacements to full Electrical Rewiring. In addition to regular power outlets, we can install modern outlets such as USB and HDMI. Do not hesitate to Contact Us today for a quote or just some advice on whether its time you had your plug sockets replaced.

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