7 Signs You Need to Consider Replacing Your Outlets and Switches at Home17 Aug
Our experts at We Will Fix It are back with more in-depth insights into all things electrical in Dubai. If your light and electrical switches seem to be functioning without issue, they are probably not high on your list of ‘home update’ priorities. Yet it pays to be mindful that many Dubai properties have been relying on the same electrical systems for upwards of 15 years, in which case it could be high time you had those ageing switches, outlets and innards checked.
Here are 7 signs that it may be necessary to conduct professional trouble-shooting of your electrical systems:
1) Your property is more than 5 years old.
Although 15 years is a general standard benchmark for electrical outlet replacement, some mechanisms are known to last even less than 5 years depending on the quality of goods, materials and workmanship that was employed during installation. If your property is relatively new, it is unlikely that any electrical updates are due. Yet in the interest of safety, if your home encounters any other red flag detailed on this list, a thorough check by a qualified professional could pay dividends.
2) Your lights don’t turn on or they simply flicker.
If your lights suddenly fail, your breaker or fuse may simply have tripped, which can be rectified by locating the corresponding switch in your electrical service panel. However, if a light permanently fails, flickers or experiences a delay, the issue likely goes deeper and indicates that either you need a new switch or that your electrical system may not be in alignment with the array of appliances it is supporting. In which case the outlet and electrical panel should be inspected by a professional.
3) The switch emits noise, sparks or heat.
Any noticeable changes in your switch such as buzzing, clicking or a warmer-than-usual temperature could indicate danger. If you are in any doubt, the best thing to do is turn off the power to the outlet at your breaker box and contact a professional without delay.
4) Outlets are damaged, cracked, burnt or loose.
Don’t underestimate the seriousness of these indicators. A cracked or damaged outlet will invite dust, pet hair and other foreign bodies inside, while scorch marks or other forms of discolouration on the outer plate suggest that your outlet has sparked or short-circuited. Call for emergency electrical repair as soon as any of the aforementioned hazards are detected in order to avoid the risk of fire.
5) Some outlets are 2-pronged instead of 3-pronged.
2-pronged plug outlets have long been considered outdated and potentially dangerous because quite simply, they are missing the grounding wire that is necessary to provide protection from short circuits and high voltage. This can lead to power surges or in certain circumstances, even electrocution. Do your home and family a favour and ensure that any 2-pronged outlets are replaced as a serious priority.
6) Plugs fall out easily.
A Dubai trademark, this downright annoyance is usually caused by damage or wear and tear that may lead to problems with the flow of electrical service in your home. If left unchecked, it can also cause arcing or sparking inside the wall, which could have dangerous consequencesThis gives you a very good reason to upgrade those outlets and (at the very least) reduce the time you’ve been obliged to spend vacuuming your floors!
7) You are installing new large appliances.
To avoid overloading your system, it is highly recommended that a dedicated circuit is installed for every large appliance in your home as these can often draw more power than the current circuits safely provide. Seek to add a new circuit for items such as refrigerators, washing machines and dryers (if they are not already available) or consult a professional to receive a detailed report stipulating exactly what is necessary.
Think you might need some professional help with your electricals? Find out 4 Factors That Affect Your Electrician’s Service Fee for some tips on what to look out for. Or simply get in touch with us to know more.