Electrical Outlets: Common Questions, Problems, and Solutions


As a homeowner in Edgewater, keeping your home safe from electrical danger is a priority. To keep your home from being among the 5,300 per year in the United States that have fires related to outlets, it’s important to keep an eye out for common electrical outlet problems.

Below is a list of outlet issues you’re likely to experience as well as solutions for how to solve them.

Common Electrical Outlet Problems

These are some common signs of electrical issues and how to fix them:

  1. Electrical surges keep happening. Power surges are common during a storm. They can also indicate damaged power lines or wiring. If you’re experiencing electrical surges repeatedly, your electrical system could sustain serious damage.
  2. The outlets and switches are hot. When unplugging an appliance, the outlet plate should not be hot. If it is, poor electrical wiring, a malfunctioning circuit, or a bad outlet could be the culprit.
  3. The circuit breaker trips. Simply tripping isn’t an issue- it’s proof your home has protection from surges of electricity. Repeated tripping indicates your system is working too hard to supply current. However, if your breaker trips regularly for what seems to be no reason at all, it might be worth having the circuit breaker checked to be sure it isn’t faulty.
  4. You have too few outlets. It's not uncommon for older homes to have fewer outlets than newer homes. By stringing extension cords together to make up for your home's lack of outlets, you’re potentially creating a fire hazard in your home.
  5. You suffer electric shocks. The stinging zap you feel plugging in your appliance may be from low-grade or damaged electrical outlet wiring.

Electrical Outlets FAQ

Understanding how safety features work and why some types of electrical outlets are safer than others gives you an advantage in securing the safety of your home.

  • How does ground wire affect me? Protecting against electric shock, the third (ground) wire in outlets offers less resistance for the electricity to flow through than you would. Without this protective measure, the hot current could make human contact and surge through you rather than running back through the neutral wire.
  • How do GFCI outlets work? A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), which should be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, and other rooms where surfaces can become wet, detects fluctuations in electrical current flowing through the outlet, which increases if the outlet becomes wet (since water is an efficient conductor of electricity). In a fraction of a second, it can cut the power to the receptacle, saving you or a loved one from severe danger.

Because wet places in your home, such as the kitchen or bathroom, are prone to electrocution hazards, GFCIs are now required to meet safety codes.

  • How can I ensure my outlets are safe? To optimize the safety of your home, replace or upgrade all worn-out outlets and wiring. Also, add ground wiring and install GFCI outlets where needed.
  • What do dead outlets mean? An electrical outlet not working can be caused by a tripped GFCI. After cutting the electric current to its outlet, the interrupter also stops the current from continuing to other outlets.
  • When should I seek professional assistance? Electrical work should not be attempted by untrained individuals. While you may try small tasks such as replacing an electrical outlet or light switch, we recommend seeking assistance from licensed Edgewater electricians for anything beyond that.

Find Expert Electricians in Edgewater, FL

You should feel safest at home. At Advanced Air Home Services®, we put you and your safety first. Our Flagler and Volusia County electricians are specialized in electrical outlets and can resolve any of your issues with ease. For skilled electrical service, give us a call at (386) 260-2330 or request service online.