How long should light switches and electrical outlets last? It’s not a question you think about every day and for good reason! Light switches and electrical outlets can last for years under the right conditions. 

Read below to find out how to keep your light switches and electrical outlets running reliably and safely. You’ll also learn about the signs that you may need to repair or replace a light switch or outlet.

Light Switch Lifespan

Light switches age based on use. For example, a bathroom light switch you turn on and off multiple times a day will likely need to be replaced more frequently than a basement light switch you only use once a week. 

Generally speaking, even with significant use, light switches can last for decades and require little maintenance other than an occasional cleaning. 

Signs That You Need to Replace a Light Switch 

Though they do last a long time, light switches don’t last forever. Eventually, you may need to replace them. Some people replace light switches for style reasons, swapping out the very common toggle light switch style for the more modern rocker or seesaw switch. 

Style aside, there are a few signs you may need to replace your light switches from a safety and efficacy perspective. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Your light switch makes a strange sound when you flip the switch 
  • Your light switch or light switch plate feels hot to the touch
  • You notice a delay between the time you flip the switch and the time your light turns on or off
  • Your light switch is excessively dirty, cracked, or loose
  • You notice a spark coming from inside the switch when you turn the switch on or off

If you notice any of these things happening with your light switch in the Marietta or metro Atlanta area, give us a call. We can help you troubleshoot the issue and determine next steps. 

Whatever you do, pay attention to the problem with your light bulbs and electrical switches. Don’t ignore the situation, which could be dangerous. 

Replacing light switches is typically an easy and affordable job. It’s also a simple home upgrade that makes a big difference in your home’s interior appearance. If you really want to upgrade, you can install smart switches you control with your smartphone!

Electrical Outlet Lifespan

Like light switches, electrical outlets can last for years depending on usage. Outlets that are overloaded with plugs, for example, may wear out more quickly than outlets that sit idle. 

Additionally, older outlets in older homes may struggle to keep up with the demands of new electronics. They may also be connected to degrading wires which can pose a fire hazard.  

Signs That You Need to Replace an Electrical Outlet 

The ease of use and reliability of electrical outlets make it easy for us to take them for granted. There are, however, a few signs you should look out for that may indicate it’s time to repair or replace an outlet in your home. 

Here are a few signs that you may want to call an electrician:

  • The outlet does not hold a plug securely
  • You notice flickering lights or appliances that turn on and off 
  • Your outlet has two prongs instead of three (it isn’t grounded)
  • Your outlet is hot to the touch and/or you notice sparks or smoke
  • Your outlet does not work
  • Your outlet has not been checked or replaced in many years
  • Your outlet cover is damaged, allowing dust and debris to enter the electrical system
  • You got a new appliance that requires more power
  • You notice a burn mark or discoloration 

If you notice any of these situations in your Marietta or metro Atlanta home, avoid using the outlet and call our team of experienced electricians

Ensure Safety and Upgrade Aesthetics

While light switches and electrical outlets do last a long time, they don’t last forever. Knowing the wear-and-tear signs to look out for will keep your home safe and running efficiently. 
Additionally, upgrading your light switches and outlets can give your home an affordable aesthetic boost. Whether you want to address a safety issue or upgrade the look of your metro Atlanta home, the professionals at Shockley Electric are here to help.