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Being a homeowner in Mattoon, IL is incredibly rewarding, but maintaining a safe, comfortable, and convenient home is hard work. From scheduling HVAC maintenance to replacing obsolete appliances, there’s seemingly always something to do. One thing that sometimes goes overlooked is the electrical outlets that power all of your appliances, electronics, and other gadgets. They may seem like permanent fixtures in your home, but certain warning signs may indicate that it’s time to upgrade.

You’ve Noticed Sparks or Smells

On average, household electrical fires are deadlier and more destructive than fires caused by any other source. They’re also alarmingly common. Fortunately, potential fire hazards are sometimes easy to spot. Sparking, crackling, or sizzling when you plug in a device is a huge red flag that requires immediate attention. Similarly, pay attention to any outlet that smells hot or otherwise unpleasant when in use.

Your Outlets Are Discolored

Even if you don’t notice any sparks from the receptacle, faulty electrical outlets often leave behind other signs. In particular, the heat from a short circuit may leave an electrical outlet visibly scorched, discolored, or melted. The area of the wall near the affected outlet may also become discolored or changed. You can also carefully feel with your hand to check whether the outlet is heating up while in use.

You’re Short on Grounded Outlets

A sparking or overheating outlet is a major problem, but it’s not the only hazard you might encounter. Many homes in Central Illinois still have receptacles with only two prongs. These outdated receptacles are dangerous because they lack the proper grounding needed to power your devices safely. They also don’t comply with modern electrical codes. If your home has ungrounded outlets, consider having a professional electrician replace them with three-prong outlets as soon as possible. Additionally, outlets located in your kitchen, bathroom, or certain other areas should be replaced with GFCI outlets.

Electrical issues inside your home can be frustrating, inconvenient, and downright dangerous. If your electrical outlets aren’t up to snuff, check out Mattex Heating, Cooling and Plumbing’s professional electrician services or call 217-355-9700.

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