Electrical outlets are fastened to outlet boxes, which in turn are attached to the drywall or a wall stud. Over time, the outlet box can come loose from the material it was once anchored to. If you have ever pulled a cord out of an outlet and it felt like the whole outlet was going to come out of the wall, this is probably what’s going on. Fixing a loose electrical outlet box isn’t just a matter of tightening a couple of screws. You may need to replace the outlet box with a smaller one. You could even need to resize the hole in the drywall. There could also be underlying issues happening, like frayed wires that can pose a real danger to you and your family.
That’s why it’s so important to have a licensed electrician repair your loose electrical outlet boxes.
Warning Signs of a Loose Electrical Outlet Box
There are a few sure signs that indicate an electrical outlet box is loose. It might feel like the whole outlet is coming out of the wall when you unplug a device from the socket. Perhaps you can slide the faceplate side to side. Or did you notice that the faceplate doesn’t lay flush against the wall? All of these are indications of a loose electrical outlet box.
If the outlet box has been loose for some time, so are the wires attached to that outlet. If the wires have been rubbing against any hard objects or sharp edges, there could be significant wire damage. This requires professional repair to ensure the outlet is safe to use.
Other Potential Damage Caused by Loose Electrical Outlet Boxes
If a damaged outlet box is left unaddressed, it can lead to several possible issues. While some of these subsequent problems seem minor, others can be catastrophic.
- Cracked faceplate – After the loose outlet box has been pulled against the faceplate enough times, the faceplate may crack. A cracked faceplate can also expose live electrical wires. Don’t use the outlet until its faceplate has been replaced.
- Inconsistent device charging – If an outlet’s electrical box is loose, it can cause inconsistent connections for power cords and therefore unreliable charging of electronic devices. Over time, the varying power flowing to the device could damage the device’s batteries.
- Cord damage – If a cord takes force to plug into the wall socket, chances are it will also require force to remove the plug from the wall socket. This can lead to loose wiring connections, making the cord ineffective. Worst case, exposed wires in the cord could result in electric shock.
- Electrical shock – One of the biggest hazards of a loose electrical box is electric shock. If this happens when plugging in or unplugging a cord, it is important to get it fixed as soon as possible for the safety of yourself and your family.