Most people think that a home inspection only covers the big-ticket items such as the AC, roof and other components. Of course, these are major items that need to be addressed as they may be costly to repair or replace. But, our home inspectors check everything. We check every component of the home and most of them are small components. Why do we do that? Because these are the things a buyer should be informed about. While performing a home inspection in Myrtle Beach, SC, I came across a relatively cheap repair and fix. The electrical outlet is wired correctly and functioning well. But, the whole box is moving and the receptacle is broken out. This issue doesn’t seem very large on a scale but is considered a safety hazard. This can lead to fire, burn, and even deadly shock to the occupants of the home.
Electrical outlets provide constant convenience that it’s easy to overlook the fact that behind the plastic shield is an electrical current. With constant use, the receptacle dries out and cracks. Unfortunately, some people still use a broken outlet without considering the dangers of a damaged one.
Cracked receptacle – This piece of plastic can fall out and expose the metal contact points inside the outlet. Cracked receptacle faces can also expose the loose terminals and slots. Any outlet in this condition shouldn’t be used and must be replaced.
Missing cover plates – A cracked cover can shift around within the electrical box. This leads to loose wires and premature wear on the outlet. The cover plate is an important device because it covers the electric terminals and the bare ends of the circuit wires. A missing outlet plate, especially in homes with children, is a dangerous setting. Touching any of the exposed parts can lead to electrical shock.
This is the second time we let John did the home inspection for us before we purchase the house. John is such a nice man, professional and trustworthy. Five stars for him. – Review of Ocean Breezes Home Inspections By Thuy Nguyen
Damaged outlet body – You may not see it but when the backplate of the outlet is cracked, the wiring and inner contacts can be exposed within the electrical box. This can cause a short circuit and can present a serious fire risk.
Loose Slots – Even if it’s a common wear and tear, loose receptacle slots are something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If the electrical grips within the receptacle have lost their tension, it will fail to grip the plug prongs. Once the plug slips out partway, it is highly dangerous. The energized metal prongs are now exposed, now prone to sparking, and can potentially cause a fire.
During our home inspections in Myrtle Beach, SC, we highly recommend that damaged receptacles be replaced right away. A bad outlet receptacle is not something you should hesitate to replace. If you plan to wire an outlet yourself, make sure you understand the process before doing so. There may also be other replacement issues such as GCI receptacle (ground-fault circuit interrupter). If you do, make sure to replace it right away as GFCIs are an important part of your home’s safety.
It is very important to understand that an electrical outlet covers a potentially deadly force that is only separated by thin plastic. We constantly remind homeowners during our home inspections in Myrtle Beach, SC that regular inspection of electrical outlets is a must. Any damages to these receptacles can dangerous and lethal.
Hiring a professional to perform these tasks is always the best course of action. Trained professionals are best suited to handle these situations given the dangers involved. Have a regular home inspection in Myrtle Beach, SC to ensure that everything is in order before any issues flare up into troublesome problems.