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Plug covers fell off (photos)

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[OP]
Deal Addict
May 2, 2006
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248 upvotes

Plug covers fell off (photos)

Noticed the sockets on one of my garage receptacles were really loose. I carefully took off the face plate to inspect and the plug covers just fell out. At this point i just put some electrical tape across the whole receptacle and reattached the face plate. I am guessing I will need an electrician to replace the whole receptacle? Builder installed 8 years ago. Thanks

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30 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 7, 2012
1398 posts
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TORONTO
You can DIY it. Those plugs are fairly cheap. If you know where the breaker is you can do this in 10mins.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 2, 2006
1321 posts
248 upvotes
Thanks for the quick replies. Until I can get around to doing it, is there any safety concerns I should be aware of? I covered up the receptacle with electrical tape.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12756 posts
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Brampton
Corinthein wrote: Thanks for the quick replies. Until I can get around to doing it, is there any safety concerns I should be aware of? I covered up the receptacle with electrical tape.
Personally Id shut the breaker off to that plug if reasonable to do so. Never know if a kid or an animal or something would be able to get to it.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 2, 2006
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tebore wrote: Personally Id shut the breaker off to that plug if reasonable to do so. Never know if a kid or an animal or something would be able to get to it.
Unfortunately the breaker shuts of the entire garage so i wouldn't be able to use the garage door opener. I've electrical taped over the receptacle and put the cover back on. Maybe i'll put some gorilla tape over top to be sure. Hopefully there is no safety issue with that Smiling Face With Open Mouth
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
Should be able to DIY with YouTube help in around 10 mins.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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jackrabbit000 wrote: Test the other plugins or lights in the garage to make sure that the power is off.
It's a minor additional cost, but for the $8 (Princess Auto) I'd buy a voltage tester just to make sure.
The other plugs/lights/whatever could be on a different circuit.

$ for a voltage tester is still cheaper than an electrician.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2011
590 posts
381 upvotes
OTTAWA
it's not even 5 bucks to change the receptacle... just change it and be done with it. The longer you put it off, the greater chance you have of forgetting about it because you're procrastinating, and the greater chance there is of someone or something getting in there and shorting it and possibly causing a fire or harm.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36307 posts
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Ottawa
It is easy to replace as others have said. Circuit breaker off and someone holding a flashlight (or leaving the garage door open for light) and it is easily done.
My concern is why did this happen? I have never seen this in all the years I have owned a home.
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Jan 2, 2012
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KINGSTON,ON
Corinthein wrote: Thanks for the quick replies. Until I can get around to doing it, is there any safety concerns I should be aware of? I covered up the receptacle with electrical tape.
As long as you don't use it, it'll be fine.
As others have stated, it's an easy repair. Make sure you wrap the wire clockwise on the terminal screws, and make sure the screws are tight.
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Oct 8, 2006
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Toronto
MrFrugal1 wrote: As long as you don't use it, it'll be fine.
As others have stated, it's an easy repair. Make sure you wrap the wire clockwise on the terminal screws, and make sure the screws are tight.
Yup replaced/rewired some of my receptacles (some were reversed). Super easy to do. I would just do it asap like others have said . I did use a multimeter to test the electricity before working. I would get one just in case. I usually turned off the breaker for the socket I am working on and then test it with the multimeter/voltage test/etc... and then after knowing 100% sure it's off. Takes 5-10mins to replace.
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Jun 21, 2003
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Stoney Creek, ON
Pete_Coach wrote: It is easy to replace as others have said. Circuit breaker off and someone holding a flashlight (or leaving the garage door open for light) and it is easily done.
My concern is why did this happen? I have never seen this in all the years I have owned a home.
I wouldn't be overly concerned. I've seen this happen before and replaced plenty of busted receptacles for customers. It's probably any combination of users being rough with them, especially in a garage, poor quality receptacles used, not installed correctly the first time, moisture, etc.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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ChicoQuente wrote: I wouldn't be overly concerned. I've seen this happen before and replaced plenty of busted receptacles for customers. It's probably any combination of users being rough with them, especially in a garage, poor quality receptacles used, not installed correctly the first time, moisture, etc.
I have used and installed receptacles for many many years and still do not understand how the receptacle blows apart like that. Being rough? It would show in the plug. Poor quality? It lasted over 8 years. Moisture? I think not. Improper installation? Not to the point is comes apart in pieces.
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Jan 2, 2012
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Pete_Coach wrote: I have used and installed receptacles for many many years and still do not understand how the receptacle blows apart like that. Being rough? It would show in the plug. Poor quality? It lasted over 8 years. Moisture? I think not. Improper installation? Not to the point is comes apart in pieces.
It was in a garage, so it probably wasn't used that much, which is why it lasted eight years.
They usually fail due to poor quality control during manufacturing. The builder bought them for fifteen cents apiece less than the other brand.
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Jun 21, 2003
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Stoney Creek, ON
Pete_Coach wrote: I have used and installed receptacles for many many years and still do not understand how the receptacle blows apart like that. Being rough? It would show in the plug. Poor quality? It lasted over 8 years. Moisture? I think not. Improper installation? Not to the point is comes apart in pieces.
That's great that you have installed receptacles for many years. Unless you botch the install you're not likely to see a failed receptacle. Have you worked as a service electrician responding to calls for years? I have. That's when you find the problems like this, not at install. You may not believe it's possible but the photos show that it is and as I've said I have encountered dozens of service calls for problems like this.

And I absolutely say a receptacle that fails in 8 years is poor quality. Do you believe a home owner would typically need all receptacles replaced every 8 years? I think not.
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May 10, 2005
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ChicoQuente wrote: That's great that you have installed receptacles for many years. Unless you botch the install you're not likely to see a failed receptacle. Have you worked as a service electrician responding to calls for years? I have. That's when you find the problems like this, not at install. You may not believe it's possible but the photos show that it is and as I've said I have encountered dozens of service calls for problems like this.

And I absolutely say a receptacle that fails in 8 years is poor quality. Do you believe a home owner would typically need all receptacles replaced every 8 years? I think not.
OK, yours is bigger than mine :facepalm:
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 2, 2006
1321 posts
248 upvotes
ChicoQuente wrote: That's great that you have installed receptacles for many years. Unless you botch the install you're not likely to see a failed receptacle. Have you worked as a service electrician responding to calls for years? I have. That's when you find the problems like this, not at install. You may not believe it's possible but the photos show that it is and as I've said I have encountered dozens of service calls for problems like this.

And I absolutely say a receptacle that fails in 8 years is poor quality. Do you believe a home owner would typically need all receptacles replaced every 8 years? I think not.
Thanks for the positive feedback and advice in this thread, after following it and some youtube vids the replacement is complete. This receptacle was used very rarely, mainly to charge up the kids summer toys and some outdoor equipment. Still surprising that it would fall apart like this.
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2011
590 posts
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OTTAWA
plastic oxides and becomes brittle and you end up with the clips that hold the face plates breaking like yours. I went around my house replacing all of the switches and receptacles because a few were starting to break. They're of a different style but the plastic broke the same. Anything to get rid of the nasty bone coloured accessories everywhere. Still have to deal with the toilets and bathubs in that nasty colour.
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Oct 19, 2008
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Pete_Coach wrote: My concern is why did this happen? I have never seen this in all the years I have owned a home.
You're probably removing plugs by gripping the end at the receptacle....try yanking the cords and giving it a good snap if on a bad angle so it sticks.
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Oct 2, 2018
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Turn off the breaker, if unsure if the receptacle is on that circuit and with no tester you can always plug a fan or radio and that will confirm receptacle is dead.

As mentioned super easy to remove and replace.

I myself would likely spend a bit more and put in a GFCI receptacle for the garage seeing i usually plug in my power tools working in the backyard where it can get wet or for tools on my bench. I put the GFCI receptacle in the first position of the string and it protects all circuits down from the first, or if unknown just put it in your spot. My garage door is plugged into a receptacle down the string, same with a fridge in the garage that i only use in the summer. The GFCI has a built in breaker in case i ever trip a fuse i can reset from there in most cases. I have never tripped a breaker however, just wanted the additional protection for shock/electrical hazards.
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