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Why Are My Electrical Outlets Shocking Me?

Electrical Outlets

If you’re like most homeowners, you take your electric system for granted. You expect your appliance to work when you plug it in, and you expect your lights to turn on when you flick their switch. Unfortunately, your home’s electric system may experience a malfunction from time to time. One of the most common calls that our electricians get is outlets that shock.

Faulty Receptacle

The most common culprit of an outlet that shocks is a faulty receptacle. This could be an outlet that is defective from the factory, or it could be one that had installation issues. This often happens when a wire wasn’t adhered to a terminal screw on the receptacle. If this happens, it could’ve become damaged or frayed during installation. This can lead to an electric shock for those who touch the receptacle. Electricity will always take the path of least resistance.

It’s Two-Prong

Outdated electric outlets will have only two-prong connections. Newer electrical outlets use the three-prong style. Older outlets are not grounded as they should be. This is a concept that came about with the three-prong updated receptacle. Whenever there is unstable electricity, there is no ground for the outlet to use. This means that it will use your body to ground itself. To fix this problem, update your wiring to accommodate three-prong receptacles.

There’s Water Involved

Whenever electricity goes through water, it can lead to an electric shock. This is a severe situation that could be fatal. It’s never a good idea to be touching a submerged or wet outlet. Many newer code standards need GFCI outlets in wet rooms. These outlets kill the power before it shocks a user.

Faulty Appliances

Another potential cause of an electric shock from a receptacle is a faulty appliance. This will happen when you plug the appliance into the receptacle. If you assess your appliance wiring, you’ll likely find one of many issues. These include frayed wiring, broken cords, or damaged circuitry.

You’re Touching the Metal

It’s very important that you pay close attention to how you handle a plug when you put it into your receptacle. You want to ensure that you don’t touch the metal prongs on the plug, as you will receive an electric shock. Always keep your fingers on the plastic portions of the plug. These are well insulated from the metal and won’t cause any electric shock to occur.

Call Us Today

If you have any of the electrical issues above that have caused outlet shock, then it’s time to give us a call. Let our experienced electricians check out the issue and get it fixed. We want your family to be safe when using the outlets throughout your home.

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