The world is an imperfect place, and time is a thief. It sounds depressing, but eventually just about everything will wear out, break, or become obsolete. And while certain things like fashion trends are cyclical, you can safely bet your kid’s college fund that a two-pronged outlet is something that will never come back into style.
When it comes to our homes, we regularly redecorate, repaint, rearrange furniture, and modernize our kitchens and bathrooms. However, what is probably the most used component of our daily lives, is almost always the last to get an update. In fact, in most homes, the electrical outlets are as new as the most recent renovation (or in worst cases), as old the home itself. Is this an issue? It can be.
There are two main reasons to upgrade your outlets, the first being safety. Faulty or outdated outlets are among the five most common causes of electrical fires. With that in mind, on the scale of problems, having an old outlet gets elevated from eyesore to potential hazard. The second reason to upgrade is for advanced functionality. And with today’s expansion of smart homes and growing list of gadgets that need to be plugged in and regularly recharged, new outlets move from “nice to have” to “need to have.”
So, how do you know if your outlet is outdated? A quick eyeball check will tell you a lot. If you live in an old building and have an outlet with only two prongs, that’s a clear sign. Similarly, if your bathroom and kitchen outlets don’t have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), that’s also a giveaway that you need an upgrade there as well. But bear in mind, even a GFCI outlet will eventually need an upgrade. According to Georgia-based electrical supply company HomElectrical, GFCI outlets will last about 15 to 25 years. Fortunately, these come with test buttons. If they pass the test, you’re good. If not, get a new one immediately.
Sure, a cracked outlet cover is ugly. But it’s also a gateway for dust, dirt, and other debris to invade your wiring system. Plus, if the cover is old enough to be cracked, chances are the outlet that it’s protecting is as old or older.
A warm, (or worse) hot outlets is a clear sign of a serious problem in the wall. Touch your outlets. If they’re hot, call an emergency electrician immediately.
If a lamp plugged into an outlet flickers, it can be one of two things. Either the wiring in the lamp is faulty, or the outlet is failing. Take that flickering lamp to a trusted outlet in your home. If it performs well, chances are you need to replace that original outlet.
A spark outside of the outlet is the clearest sign that the outlet is faulty and in imminent danger of starting a fire. Don’t mess around with this. Time will not be your friend here. Shut off the circuit breaker to that outlet immediately, then call and emergency electrician right away.
This will allow you to control and schedule electronic devices using your smartphone from any location, or in your home simply by talking to your Google Assistant, Alexa, or whatever hub you use to power your smart home. Some can also save on electricity costs by eliminating wasteful standby time. Note: many experienced DIYers have had success in installing these life-changing home components, the process is complicated. Best to call an electrician who can tell you which device works with your existing wiring and install it for you.
A Smart plug instantly transforms a standard outlet into one that can be used to control devices remotely. Amazon, Belkin, Google, Samsung, and more all have options for any budget that can quickly turn your house into a smarter home.
Are you tired of fighting for outlet space to plug in your phone, laptop, or tablet chargers? Are you equally tired of the clutter these device chargers cause on your countertops? Why not install a USB electrical outlet? USB wall outlets like the ones made by Legrand, are a simple upgrade to any standard outlet that puts the charger in your wall and frees up your receptacles for other appliances.
PK & Altman sent two men – they were able to troubleshoot the problem and completed the work in just under an hour.
Came on time, inspected, knew what the problem was, fixed it in less time than estimated and only charged me for the time they were there.
My experience with PK and Altman Electric was excellent. From my initial contact with Elizabeth in the main office to the service that was provided by Raphael and Omar, the staff was professional, polite, and punctual. I called on a Tuesday, and Elizabeth scheduled me in for Wednesday! And Raphael and Omar arrived an hour early. Before starting, Raphael reviewed a TO DO LIST with me. A ceiling fan and two outlets, including a GFI and light fixture, were either replaced or serviced. Pricing is competitive. Very pleased and would highly recommend.
Great service, quickly done and on time. Will definitely use them again and recommend their high quality workmanship.
Very quick response. Fair pricing. Great quality work. Simply put, I love you folks!
I had a good experience with this company. They installed two bathroom vanity lights. They came on time, completed the job efficiently, and cleaned up afterward. And, their office staff helpful completing a contract required by my building. I’ll use them again.
The service they provided was excellent. They quickly responded to my initial call. It was easy to communicate with their office via email, this included answering any questions, setting up the service call. They also provided all the necessary insurance and permits.
I called them around 10:30 am. They had two guys out to the apartment within 3 hours. They fixed the short (burned-out breaker) and installed the closet light fixture. Service was prompt, courteous, and professional. Price was fair. Would definitely use again.
The team arrived on time and performed the installation professionally and on time.
Great service. Timely. Friendly. Quick.
They were great. They were quick, the pricing was fair. I would recommend them again. It was $300 or less. It literally took them an hour and a half, and they didn’t have to go buy the part and come back. It was really nice that they were able to come in and fix it on the spot and now it’s fixed completely. They were excellent. I’m in real estate and there is no category where I wouldn’t give them an “A”. I’ve had plenty of bad electricians.
Two guys showed up on time. They were friendly and assessed the situation quickly. Fairly basic job for them so they had the parts necessary and had done it all within an hour. Paid and clear itemized invoice same day. It’s nice when it’s apparent that a firm genuinely appreciates your business.
They were able to send someone within an hour of correspondence. The electricians were great! It wasn’t the most straightforward installation, but they were able to make it happen in a reasonable amount of time. A new box was needed to replace our existing box before the chandelier could be installed and they were able to do it in no time! Very pleased and would highly recommend.