When To Replace Your Electrical Outlets: What You Need To Know

Author: Passey Electric. | | Categories: Electrical Wiring


When it comes to safety in the home, the electrical outlets are an often overlooked but critical component. Electrical outlets allow us to plug in and use appliances and other electronic items in our homes. But how long do electrical outlets last, and when should they be replaced? Read on to find out how long outlets should last and when is the best time to replace them.

How Long Do Electrical Outlets Last?

Electrical outlets last an average of 20 years, although this can vary depending on the type and quality of the outlet. Outlets that are exposed to moisture or frequent use may need to be replaced sooner. Older outlets may also need to be replaced due to wear and tear over time.

It is important to inspect all outlets in your home regularly to ensure they are in good condition. When replacing an outlet, it is essential to use the correct type and grade of outlet. If you are unsure of the type and grade of outlet you need, it is best to consult a qualified electrician. Replacing an outlet improperly can create a safety hazard and should be avoided.

How to Tell If Your Electrical Outlet Needs Replacement

Replacing electrical outlets can be an important part of home maintenance. Faulty electrical outlets can be a safety hazard and lead to the overheating of electrical wiring. If you're not sure if you need to replace your electrical outlets, here are some signs you should look out for.

1. Outlet Has a Burning Smell: If you notice any kind of burning smell coming from an electrical outlet, it is a sign that it needs to be replaced. This could be due to faulty wiring, which can be a fire hazard. 

2. Discoloration around Outlet: If the area around an outlet looks discoloured or charred, then it is likely that the outlet needs to be replaced. This could be an indication of an electrical overload, which could be dangerous. 

3. Outlet Feels Hot to the Touch: Whenever you plug in something to an outlet, and it feels hot to the touch, it could indicate that an electrical overload has occurred. Heat is a sign that the electricity is not able to escape the outlet and is becoming trapped. 

4. Sparks When Plugging In: This is a sure sign that the outlet needs to be replaced. If you see sparks when plugging in an appliance, then it is a sign of faulty wiring and needs to be addressed immediately. 

5. Outlet Does Not Work: If you plug in an appliance and it does not work, then it could be a sign that the outlet is not functioning properly and needs to be replaced. 


Knowing how long electrical outlets last and when you should replace them can help keep your home safe. Regular inspections and prompt replacement of worn-out outlets can help ensure your home remains safe and free from electrical hazards. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, you should replace the electrical outlet as soon as possible.

When it comes to maintaining the safety of your outlets and electrical systems, there's no better company to trust than Passey Electric. We provide commercial, farm wiring, and residential electrical services in Southern Alberta. Our team of professional Lethbridge electricians can help you with any of your electrical needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services.