Albrite Electric Blog

Why Should You Call an Electrician to Repair a Loose Electrical Outlet Box?

Why Should You Call an Electrician to Repair a Loose Electrical Outlet Box?

Many of the shows we all know and love on those home improvement channels make us feel as if we can do anything ourselves. Before you know it, you’re at the local hardware store purchasing shiplap for a new accent wall, hanging new light fixtures above the kitchen bar, and re-tiling the guest bath. While many people are accomplished DIYers, not everyone should try everything. There’s an old saying that ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,’ and we feel DIY electrical work is a prime example of this saying. With that in mind, let’s talk outlet boxes. Sometimes, they’re a little loose, and homeowners feel quite confident and comfortable handling them on their own, but we simply do not recommend it. Here’s why.

An Outlet is Much More Than a Few Screws

Looks can often be deceiving, and that’s how electrical boxes come across. It’s loose, so you just need your screwdriver or drill and a few seconds time to tighten it into the wall, right? Wrong. This is so much more than meets the eye. What you’re doing here is seeing the first layer. The electrical outlet is attached to an outlet box, which is attached to drywall, which is attached to a stud. If it comes loose, it might not be loose from the wall itself, but it might be loose from something inside the wall, and that’s not a DIY project. That’s a project for the electricians at Albrite Electric.

Your simple DIY might involve something a little more complex. The electrical box inside the wall might not be correct. It might need replacement. It might need a smaller box. It might need a new, resized hole right in the wall. Additionally, there could be situations inside the wall you cannot see from when your intial electric outlet installation, like wires that are frayed, broken, or ready to ignite and start a fire. You don’t want to find this issue yourself and try to fix it without electrical knowledge. These are issues that are potentially life-threatening, which means you need to call a professional. Our team can help you in no time at all.

How Can I Tell if I have a Loose Electrical Box or Outlet?

The most important thing to note here are the warning signs of a loose electrical box. Think about what happens when you unplug something. Does it feel as if the entire box might just come right out of your wall? Does the faceplate move around when you touch it? The faceplate might not be flat against the wall, either. Now, ask yourself how long you’ve noticed any of the above? Is it a new situation that you’ve just noticed? This might mean you simply need a new box and that all else is all right. However, if it's been going on for some time, it might mean that the wires inside the box need to be replaced, too. They’ve likely been pulled, stretched, and damaged over time as this has been an ongoing issue. It could become even more dangerous if the wires rub against anything inside the wall as they are being pulled.

Potential Damage Caused by a Loose Electrical Outlet

Nothing broken or damaged should be left alone for too long. If you do leave an electrical box loose for any period of time, you run the risk of having more damage occur. One of those issues is a cracked faceplate. This is not a danger, per se, but it indicates danger. A cracked faceplate means you now have exposed wires, which is always dangerous.

If your devices are not charging consistently, that is also a problem. It might mean that the connections of your power cords are not constant, and that might mean that the power flow is a problem. This extends past the issues in your house and into your actual devices. If there is not a consistent power flow over enough time, it might begin to cause issues with the devices you plug into the outlet. What could have been an inexpensive, quick outlet box fix could turn into a much more expensive problem that requires you purchase new electrical devices such as computers or televisions or even kitchen appliances.

If there is cord damage, you face the real risk of a fire. When you forcefully remove items from a plug, it pulls the wires inside. This causes some major issues you might not be able to handle for very long on your own. This might mean you expose wires, cause electric shock, or even find your house on fire.

Electrical shock is a huge problem. It’s one of the most potentially hazardous issues of a loose electrical box. If you see signs of this occurring when you plug or unplug a device, it’s time to call our professionals and have the issue fixed. We recommend you simply stop using that outlet until one of our electricians is able to repair the box.

Call Albrite Now to Fix Your Loose Electrical Box

Electricity is power. Power, as they say, can be very dangerous when it’s in the wrong hands, and that certainly means when someone who is not familiar with electricity and power tries to fix an electrical project at home. In our professional opinion, there are two types of home improvement or repair projects that should always take a professional – electrical and plumbing. We commend you and applaud you for wanting to DIY your jobs around the house, but electricity is something you should leave to the professionals at Albrite Electric. Call us now to have someone come out and handle your loose electrical boxes. We have what it takes, and we can keep you safe.