When plugs get unplugged while an appliance runs can not only be frustrating but harmful for the appliance. While stable power cords stay in the outlets, the power points can get loose for various reasons.
Common reasons behind the problem could be small or worn-out plugs, cords getting stressed, use of extension cords, or incompatibility issues. To prevent plugs from being unplugged, it is recommended to use tamper-resistant outlets, secure the cords with cord clips or zip ties, or tape your plug.
You will require more detail to fix the problem entirely and prevent it from further occurrence. This article explains why plugs get unplugged and safe ways to prevent unexpected unplugging in the future.
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Plug protection: Reasons behind the accidental unplugging of the plugs or cords
When the plugs are strong enough, there are lower chances of getting unplugged from the outlet.
When the plugs get unplugged repeatedly, it can be frustrating.
The sudden turning off of any appliance’s power supply can harm the appliance.
That is why you must use stable, solid plugs for an uninterrupted power supply.
The plug of one of my speakers used to get unplugged most of the time due to loose cords.
But I ignored it as I thought that nothing would happen.
But one day, my speaker was not working anymore.
When I took it to the shop, the staff asked me whether the plug used to get unplugged often.
After that, I always check the plugs for all my appliances.
Whenever they get loose, I take immediate steps to prevent them from getting unplugged.
Plugs getting unplugged and loose power cords are standard in most houses.
So, before I share with you the tips to prevent the plugs from getting unplugged, I would like to share the common reasons that cause the problem:
Small plugs or short wires
A common reason behind the cords getting unplugged is small plugs.
You will find this problem when you use cheap electrical devices.
Removable devices and charger lights commonly have smaller plugs than the other devices.
When you insert them into the outlet, the plugs refuse to settle down properly inside the outlet.
As a result, they stay loose, constantly get unplugged, and fall.
Over time, you will see some sparks in the outlets, or your device is malfunctioning.
When the cords are too short, your appliance does not get support to stay still.
As a result, the plug will keep unplugging from the outlet due to the appliance’s weight.
When the outlets are old and worn out, they do not have the power or strength to hold the plugs in place.
The outlets are known to supply electricity to the connected electrical devices.
When they cannot hold the plugs in place, they fail to produce enough power for the devices.
As a result, the devices will not work efficiently.
If this continues for too long, the device can also get damaged at some time.
The temperature within the outlet can also increase, leading to hot outlets, overheating of the wires, melting, and sparks.
Stressing the cord
Putting too much stress on the cord can make them get unplugged from the outlet.
For example, putting on the plug and ironing or using a vacuum cleaner.
Both these devices will require to be adjusted and moved accordingly.
While moving the device, the wire gets stressed, and a slightly forced pull can unplug the device from the outlet.
The same occurs when you plug in some heavy appliances and do not provide them with any support.
Using incompatible extension cords
Extension cords are a great way to get the outlets close to you when the wall outlets are too far away.
Extension cords work like power strips.
However, they do not provide multiple outlets as the power strips do.
Using incompatible extension cords can constantly make the extension plug unplugged from the wall outlet.
Over time, constant interruption in the current supply can damage the appliance and even lead to sparks and electrocution.
Incompatibility between the outlets and the cord
Different appliances will have different plugs, and you must plug them into the correct outlets.
For example, 3-pin or 2-pin plugs, flat pins, round pins, and many other options are available.
If any outlet prong is incompatible with the plug prong, the plug of that appliance can get unplugged constantly.
Sometimes, you will see that the plug does not fit the outlet.
However, a bit of pressure can make it fit.
Do not forcibly fit the plugs into an incompatible outlet.
Your appliance may seem fine now, but you may face serious accidents later.
So, you must always plug the appliances into compatible outlets.
Another problem is with the toddlers, as they do not understand what can happen when you pull and unplug any cords.
One of my PS consoles went terrible due to the constant unplugging done by my nephews.
We can’t get angry with them.
That is why protecting these cords is very important.
Please keep reading to learn how you can keep them from constantly unplugging.
Securing the Connection: 14 Practical Methods to Avoid Unplugging Woes
Plugs getting unplugged can be an annoying situation.
It can distract you from what you are doing and interrupt the appliance’s functionality when it is running at its best and damage it.
So, to prevent the plugs from getting unplugged, follow the following tips:
1. Push the plug and secure it properly in place
If the plug of your appliance gets unplugged automatically, the first thing you should do is check the plug properly.
Push and secure the plug tightly so it settles and fits nicely inside the outlet if it is loosely connected.
Keep the plug head parallel to the outlet, push it inside, and ensure the plug pins properly get inside it.
Make sure not to push very hard. Outlets are plastic, and excessive pressure can crack or break them.
2. Repair the outlet
Outlets can wear out for several reasons, old age being common.
Other reasons for damage are burns, overload, and daisy-chaining.
When the inside of the outlets wears out and burns, it can become loose and lose the ability to hold the plugs in place.
To fix this, replace the outlet with a new one and plug in the appliance cord to check whether the problem is solved or persists.
3. Keep the cords unstressed
Do not pull the cord too much when the appliance is connected to the outlet.
Moving the appliance too much, for example, a laptop while charging, stresses the plug and constantly comes out of the outlet.
So, try not to put too much tension on the cords.
If your appliance requires movement while working, consider not using it for some time unless the purpose of plugging in the appliance is served.
However, you can’t do the same for iron and vacuum cleaners.
In that case, buy one with a longer cord and plug them into the outlet close to the ground.
4. Lower the socket
It is ideal when you don’t have any toddlers or pets at home.
When your appliance is heavy and the cord is short, the plug keeps getting loose or unplugged due to the heavy weight.
Lower spots provide better friction to the plug you have inserted, and the grip stays stronger than the higher spots.
Outlets close to the ground will support your appliance, keep the wire tension-free, and provide a better grip to the outlet, as the gravity will help the plug.
5. Bending prongs
Prongs are the terminals where you insert the outlet.
If you use the bending prongs, you cannot take out the plug now and then as the bent prongs make a firm grip inside the outlet and keep the plug from coming out easily.
The direction of the prong bent should be outwards, and the bending should be done carefully.
The bending of the springs should be light and kept apart from each other so that you can insert it into the plug without any issue.
Avoid bending too much, as that will break the prongs.
6. Use an electric cord holder
An electric cord holder can hold the plug in the wall outlet.
The holder also keeps the cords tensionless.
The holder is made of plastic and installed above the outlet.
They keep the plugin in the outlet and prevent constant unplugging.
The socket savers are pushed inside the outlet and kept inside tight so the plug cannot get loose and unplugged.
7. Lock-in plugs
All plugs are not the same. Some of them are too hard to get unplugged.
One such example is a lock-in plug that gets locked into its place whenever you connect it to the wall outlet.
The plug has a hook that keeps it secure and does not allow it to unplug easily.
It will also keep the children from unplugging it.
To remove the plug, press the release button.
To know where the button is and how it works, ask the staff from where you are buying it.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to plug it from the outlet.
These lock-in plugs are handy during sensitive situations where the consumer cannot stop their power plugs from getting unplugged.
You can use them for every appliance, like vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, computers, and security systems.
8. Outlet Covers
Use plastic outlet plugs as they can cover the outlets and stop children from sticking metal objects into the slots.
You can use the same covers to stop the plugs from getting unplugged by mistake or toddlers.
However, one drawback of these covers is that they can provide a choking hazard and break off inside the outlet.
Please do not ignore this product because of this problem.
With careful use, you can easily use it as it can protect both your outlet and the plug.
A good outlet cover is Dreambaby Child Safety White Outlet Covers 2-Pack. It will cost only $9.31.
9. Outlet boxes
These are also outlet covers.
Some people do not use these boxes because they think these boxes can only protect the outlet but not the plugs.
Outlet boxes provide room for the plug.
When you close the box, it will keep your wall outlet and the plug out of anyone’s reach.
To unplug the plug, you will have to press the 2-button release system.
Though these are mainly used for outdoor outlets, you can also use them indoors.
10. Electrical tapes
First of all, tapes are used as temporary solutions.
If the plugs keep coming out, you must provide some long-term fixes.
Do not use any random tape. Use electrical tape.
Since it is not conductive, it won’t be a problem.
When you do not have the budget to buy good-quality lock-in plugs, outlet boxes, and covers for the time being, you can use tape for temporary solutions.
Taping the plug to the outlet can stop it from getting unplugged too often.
Also, the tape covering will make the plug inaccessible and less appealing for toddlers.
11. Compatible Extension cords
Sometimes, everything is fine, but the short wire cords are the issue.
In that case, you can use compatible extension cords and avoid the plugs from getting unplugged.
I sometimes use extension cords to charge my mobile phone as the outlet is far from where I sit to work.
12. Put furniture in front of the outlet
If you have children in your house who like to play with anything, put furniture in front of the outlet.
It will block the toddlers from reaching the appliance and unplug the cord from the outlet.
At the same time, if your appliances are heavy and the cords are short, the furniture can provide support and prevent it from getting unplugged repeatedly.
13. Keep toddlers away from the cords
Your toddlers can unplug all the appliances if they can reach them. Since cords are dangerous and children are always curious about all things, here are some things to do:
- Use a cord shortener. It will allow you to store the extra cords inside the receptacle and avoid your child from touching them.
- If you have appliances with too long cords, wrap the cords together.
- For appliances that constantly need plugging in, use tape to secure the cords to the floor and cover them with a carpet.
- If your toddler has a habit of chewing things, use a cord protector to protect the cord from damage and keep your children safe.
These methods are also applied to houses with pets.
If your toddlers are a bit grown up, you can explain the dangers of touching those cords and the results of playing or pulling them.
If they still do not listen, you need to reduce their chances of unplugging the plugs with the following steps:
- Use the outlets somewhere high, where they cannot reach. Do this only if you have a long cord because shorter cords will again create the same issue.
- Avoid plugging and unplugging the wires in front of the children.
- Do not leave the appliances plugged in if they are not in use.
- Avoid putting bring and colourful objects near your electrical appliances.
14. Lock plug into the outlet
You can lock the plug to the outlet.
There are several methods to lock the plug, and I will share some standard methods I have researched about locking the plug to the outlet.
Use a key
- Unscrew the outlet plate and find two screws on the top and two at the bottom.
- Put the key in the hole where the plug will go.
- Turn it to the right to lock the plug in place.
- Screw back the plate and cover the outlet.
Ensure you insert the key into the hole and screw the outlets properly.
Use a clip
- Turn off the outlet.
- Use a binder clip for this and securely attach it to the outlet plate.
- Make sure the plug remains secure in the clip.
Use a cable tie
- Cut a piece of cable tie around 6 inches long.
- Take the cable’s end and loop it around the plug tightly.
- Remove the excess cable.
Use a strap
- Cut the strap about 2 feet long.
- Wrap it around the outlet plate and the plug.
- Make sure the strap is wrapped tight, and the plug is secure.
- Your plug is locked in place.
Vacuum cleaner hose
- Cut the cleaner hose about 6 inches longer than the plug.
- Cut out a small hole at the hose end and insert the plug.
- Secure the plug and wrap rubber bands around it.
- Ensure the hose is attached correctly to the outlet plate.
- Turn on the cleaner and wait until the plug is sucked into the hose.
- Then, turn off the vacuum cleaner.
- Put back the outlet plate and screw it back and ensure it is tight and doesn’t come off.
Use a cinder block
- Gather a cinder block and a scissor.
- Attach the block to the outlet plate.
- Ensure the plug is secured in the cinder block.
Unplugging prevention: How to fix an outlet that does not hold a plug?
Outlets can get loose and wear out due to regular usage, sparks, burns, and old age.
When this happens, you must replace the outlet with a new one.
You will need an expert to replace the outlet with a new one.
If you have previous experience, you can do it yourself with the following steps:
- Turn off the power to the outlet and ensure that the power is off with a multimeter or non-contact voltage tester.
- Remove the outlet cover and take out the receptacle.
- Detach the wires and inspect them for burns or damages. If the wires have any issues, you must hire an electrician.
- If the wires look fine, replace and attach a new outlet.
- Make sure to connect the wires to their respective terminals.
- Secure the screws and wires and close the cover plate.
- Turn on the power and check whether the outlet is working or not.
Stay plugged in: How do you keep the plugs from falling off the outlet or socket?
You can always follow the above-explained preventive tips to fix the outlets and plugs in your house.
But what will you do if the location is not your home but someone else’s or a public place?
In such conditions, follow the following steps:
- Press the plug’s prongs towards one another and put slight pressure to realign them without any breakage. It works well with the 2-prong plugs.
- Push a plastic sleeve called a socket saver into the outlet to ensure the plug stays in place.
- Use electrical tape to keep the plug from falling over. I have already shared this previously.
- Use a cord holder.
Plugs getting unplugged from the outlet are a nuisance every house owner faces. Some common reasons are worn-out old outlets, small plugs or wires, incompatible extension cords, incompatibility between the plugs and outlets, and toddlers pulling them out. If the outlet cannot hold the plug in place due to regular usage, wear out, and old age, replace it with a new one.
Use outlet covers and boxes, compatible extension cords for shorter wires, lock-in plugs, and electric cord holders to prevent the plugs from getting unplugged. Make sure the outlet and plug prongs are compatible. Keep the outlets close to the ground for appliance support and gravity.
You can lock the plugs to the outlet with cable ties, straps, cinder blocks, keys, and clips. If you have toddlers, put furniture in front of the outlet, explain to them the risk of meddling with the cords, avoid plugging or unplugging appliances in front of them, and keep the appliances unplugged if not in use.
Can I use duct tape to hold the plugs to the outlets?
Some people suggest using duct tape, but it is better to avoid them. Electrical tapes are specially made for electrical purposes. Since the plugs and outlets are all electrical materials, use electrical tape only.
How can I hide the wires?
You can hide the wires by putting furniture in front of the outlet or with a carpet. If the wire is too long, but the distance is short, wrap the wires with a cable tie to avoid any entanglement.
Reference: Power Cords Wikipedia