New Home Owner! Need Help! Electrical Outlets too big?

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-27-10, 12:22 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Exclamation New Home Owner! Need Help! Electrical Outlets too big?

Hello,

I am a first time home owner and I just moved in yesterday! I'm so happy with my new house however I've run into a problem. I plugged my cell phone charger into the electrical outlet in my room as I prepared to move in but it slipped out of the outlet. It was as if the electrical outlet was too big and my charger was loose. I plugged it in and it was charging but did not fit inside the outlet...it looked as if it was almost halfway in.

I thought maybe it was the outlet so I tried a different one in the same room. Same thing. I thought if I went to a different room there would be a different result. Not the case.

So it must have been my charger, right? Wrong. I ran into the same issue with my drill, my television, and my lamp.

I have no idea what's wrong or what to do. Is this an easy fix? What do I need to do? Does anyone have any ideas?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-27-10, 12:48 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,631
My guess would be cheao foreign made receptacles. You may need to change out the receptacles or stock up on duct tape.
 
  #3  
Old 12-27-10, 01:05 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,507
You get what you pay for and electrical outlets are no exception - the cheap ones don't hold on to things as well as the good ones

The good news is you're not looking at an arm and a leg to make this upgrade
 
  #4  
Old 12-27-10, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
I'm not sure I understand your description. Your charger plug slipped out of the receptacle but then you say when you tried again it would not plug fully into the outlet?

Is this a newly constructed home or an existing house that you recently purchased? If it's an older home it is not unusual for inexpensive, contractor grade outlets to lose their grip over time. The good news is that they are easy to replace and reliable outlets are reasonably priced.

A visit to your local home center and you'll find a good selection of replacements. just ignore the urge to buy the 49 cent ones. . Swapping them out is pretty simple. Just make sure to shut off the power at the breaker box and to replace the wires exactly as they were.

IMO all homeowners should have a copy of a DIY oriented home wiring book. There are several available. House Wiring Simplified is a good one.
 
  #5  
Old 12-27-10, 02:10 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 11,979
Receptacles (outlets) do wear out and do loosen up over time. A quick replacement of the receptacle and you will be back in business. Just think! Your first DIY project!
 
  #6  
Old 12-27-10, 04:30 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,288
halfway in? Like the prongs didn't go all the way into the socket?

In that case you may have tamper-resistant receptacles that are a little tough to get open. This would be very likely if the home is less than a couple years old or the previous owners has small children. Look for a "TR" stamped on the receptacle or look into a receptacle with a flashlight to see if there are little plastic stops blocking the hole.

If you do have TRs, you may need to wiggle the cord a little bit and apply firm even pressure to get the tamper flaps to open. Tamper resistant receptacles are designed to prevent children from sticking paperclips into the receptacles.
 
  #7  
Old 12-27-10, 04:44 PM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
If the plugs fall out, you need new recs. Try to get the $2 or more ones with backwire, they will be quick to change, and last forever. Also avoid cheap plug strips, extension cords, and splitters, as they do not hold good and have high resistance connections.
 
  #8  
Old 12-28-10, 11:55 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Thank you guys for the help. I will look into this and get these changed
 
  #9  
Old 12-28-10, 09:35 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 1,363
Don't get back-stab outlets allot of the pros on here tell you move the wires to the screws. If you have power problems like a outlet not working most of the time the pros will tell you check the connections and move any wires to the screws.
 
  #10  
Old 12-28-10, 11:55 PM
crazycory22's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 375
I agree with not using the back stab outlets. I watched my dad re-wire many a house and every back stab he'd come across he'd move over to the screws. The back stabs just don't hold up. And he is a licensed master electrician, and electrical contractor.
 
  #11  
Old 12-29-10, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
With backstab outlets the end of a stripped wire is inserted into a small hole at the back of the receptacle and is held in place by a spring tensioned device. They have a reputation for being unreliable.

A back wired receptacle has a similar hole to accept the wire end but the wire is held in place by a clamp tightened with a screw. I have not heard of any issues with back wired receptacles.
 
  #12  
Old 12-29-10, 08:06 AM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
On a backwire receptacle, you should be able to loosen the screws and they will move in and out a little. Push the screws all of way in, insert the wire, and tighten the screws.
 
  #13  
Old 12-29-10, 10:32 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 1,363
Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post

A back wired receptacle has a similar hole to accept the wire end but the wire is held in place by a clamp tightened with a screw. I have not heard of any issues with back wired receptacles.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh learned something new today.
 
  #14  
Old 12-30-10, 12:20 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: usa
Posts: 243
Actually I PREFER back fed receptacles, as you may not have much wire to work with on an upgrade. The GOOD back fed ones have a clamp as mentioned. The cheapo ones are not good for anything as far as I am concerned side or back unless they see little use. You can only use 14 ga. wire with the cheapos anyway for back wiring (or quick wiring). Leviton BR series a nice receptacle to use, CR if you want side only.
 
  #15  
Old 12-30-10, 01:54 PM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
I have been playing with backwires since I was three. I like the Hubbell ones best. I just got one today for my sensor project, they hold great compared to the leviton one that is there now.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'