The Dangers of Cracked Outlets
Cracked outlets can be dangerous, because when face plates on outlets are cracked, the user can easily be exposed to loose terminals and loose connection points. This can result from the cords which are plugged into the plates. When one portion of the outlet or receptacle develops a crack, the plastic covering gives way and can come out totally. As a result, the contact points become fully exposed and hence pose a hidden threat.
Outlet covers and housings not only provide protection from contact points, but they also act as a support within the outlet or receptacle, supporting the contact fingers inside.
The danger of a short circuit is imminent too if the outlet or receptacle is cracked. Often the back plate can develop a crack. The wiring and inner contacts need not be exposed to the outside to cause the short circuit: even if they are exposed just within the junction box a short circuit can occur. Hence, there is a danger, that when you want to pull out the outlet from the junction box, the entire outlet can just break off into pieces.
In order to test any kind of electrical problem or carry out any electrical repair, the power to the circuit must be turned off. Electrical contractors are generally careful and test to see whether the power is really off, but every person should be careful about it, even if it is a minor electrical repair.
Bad outlets and receptacles should be replaced with a new one, and no attempt to repair them should be considered. It is not difficult to wire an outlet and can be done without the help of an electrician. The problem may also be present in a ground fault circuit interrupter, which needs to be checked and replaced if necessary by a professional electrical contractor.