No matter how it seems, fixing a loose outlet is not a job to be taken likely. It’s more than just screwing a few nuts into the wall and calling it a day. Faulty outlets can result in electrical shocks and can even go on to cause house fires.
It’s also quite easy to overlook the problem initially as it may not seem like such a big deal. We guarantee you, it is. You should call for a repair when you notice a loose outlet. Sometimes, the signs may not be as clear as day. If your cover plate doesn’t lay flat on the wall, if it shakes or the plugs fall out, that can be a clear indication that you have a loose outlet. If you do want a quick fix before you call a professional then you should follow the next steps with precision and caution.
- Turn Off The Power:
Doing this would go a long way in your ensuring your safety and is a top priority. To be completely safe, turn off the main breaker. It’s far safer to carry this out during the day when it’s a lot brighter to avoid making mistakes due to the lack of a sufficient light source. Be sure to use a tester to be completely sure that there is no power.
- Unscrew The Outlet:
Using a screwdriver, unscrew the screws holding the cover plate in place to expose the outlet. You’d need to see what’s going on behind the cover plate so it’s best to take it off. Gently remove your outlet. Be careful not to cut any wires when pulling it out and if you do, you’d need the services of a professional immediately. Do not continue with the rest of the instructions.
- Add Electrical Spacers:
If your outlet is loose because the electrical box is too far back into the wall, adding outlet shims can bridge the gap between the screws and the electrical box. The number of shims you use depends on how far your electrical box is from the screws. You can also tighten your screws if they seem loose. Use your screwdriver to screw in the nuts tightly. Give it a little shake to be sure it’s nice and firm. Fix your outlet and tighten the screws. You can place more shims if the outlet still seems loose. Otherwise, proceed to fix the cover plate as well, and then turn on your breaker.
If your outlet still seems loose, do not proceed any further. The wisest and safest option would be to call a professional electrician to ensure that your outlet is properly fixed to avoid additional damages that could occur otherwise.
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