FAQ: How To Fix A Loose Electrical Wall Outlet Box?

What causes electrical outlets to be loose?

Damaged contact points are the main cause of loose outlets. The contacts simply wear out over time, but heat and sparks from bad wiring can also cause damage. The bottom line is that you need to fully replace a loose outlet and also look for signs of other electrical safety problems such as burnt wires.

How do you keep a plug outlet loose?

For a loose plug that you don’t put in and take out a lot (e.g. the plug for a table lamp), try bending the prongs of the plug slightly apart. This will increase the friction holding the plug in place. Be careful not to damage the plug.

Are loose outlets dangerous?

It’s also dangerous. Because loose outlets can disrupt the flow of electricity, they have the potential to cause arcing, a serious fire hazard. Fortunately, simple fixes for loose outlets can help improve the safety of your home.

How do you fix a wall outlet?


  1. Turn power to the outlet OFF.
  2. Remove the face plate.
  3. Unscrew and pull out the old outlet.
  4. Remove wires from the old outlet.
  5. Attach new outlet.
  6. Gently push the outlet back into the box.
  7. Screw the new outlet in place.
  8. Attach new face plate.
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How do you fix an outlet that’s too big?

If way bigger you can attach small strips of wood to the back of the drywall around the hole with screws (and glue) and then cut another piece of drywall to fit the outlet and fill the gap. Then use dry wall filler to cover the seam and sand…. You can remove more drywall to create a better patch if needed.

How do you secure an outlet plug?

The socket saver is another remedy for loose outlets. It’s a handy plastic sleeve that fits inside the receptacle. Push one of these into the problem receptacle, plug in your cord and the cord will stay put. You can buy these handy implements online or at any hardware store.

Can an outlet catch fire with nothing plugged in?

An outlet can also catch a fire even if nothing is plugged in and this may occur in homes that use aluminum wires. Since an outlet has continuous supply of power through a breaker, this may overheat and catch a fire. Old and worn out appliances can also be the reason behind an electrical outlet fire.

Do I need an electrician to change an outlet?

To do that, you need the help of an electrician. When it comes to replacing the outlet, the procedure is pretty simple. Remove them and attach them to the same place on the new outlet. Turn the breaker on to test the outlet and, if it works, turn the breaker off and secure the outlet back into the wall.

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How often should outlets be replaced?

If you use the outlet on a daily basis, you will want to change it at least every 15 years or as needed. There is no rule or code that says you should change your outlets as part of your home maintenance plan and most people do not even consider it unless something goes wrong.

Do electrical boxes have to be flush with drywall?

The front edge of the box must be flush with the finished wall surface, usually 1/2-inch-thick drywall. You can use a scrap of drywall to position the box.

Can I put a junction box behind drywall?

Installing the Box Behind the Drywall

The box must be fitted properly so it’s flush with the drywall. Otherwise, combustible materials—like wood—are exposed to potential sparks. If the junction box is recessed too far into the wall, correct the problems with an inexpensive box extension.

Can a junction box be in a wall?

Junction boxes must be installed where they are always accessible; never install a junction box in a concealed wall or ceiling space where the box cannot be accessed in the future. Junction boxes also must be covered with solid covers with no holes.

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