When you plug anything into an outlet and it sparks this may cause you some concern. When electrical repairs are not taken care of properly and in a timely manner, they can result in electrical fires putting you, your coworkers, or your family in harm’s way. However, there are certain cases when an outlet spark is normal. In this article, we break down the telltale sign of a normal spark compared to a concerning spark, and 8 reasons why your outlet may spark.
Why Do Outlets Spark?
When energy is rapidly diverted from the outlet to the appliance you plugged in a small spark may be created due to the inrush of electrical current.
When Should an Electrical Repair Be Done on My Outlet?
Normal sparks occur in the blink of an eye with a blue color to them. These sparks are small, and quick, and do not occur every time you plug something in.
A dangerous spark can come in multiple forms:
Large/Long Sparks: If the spark seems to jump out of the socket and take a few seconds to fizzle out then this is something to investigate.
Yellow or White Sparks: When it comes to sparks, the color matters, and blue sparks are safe. If the spark comes out yellow, white, or any other color then it is time to call a professional electrician to look into potential electrical repairs.
Burning Smell: This is a big sign of electrical issues, and if you smell smoke, plastic melting, or see a burn mark on the outlet then immediately shut off the outlet and circuit panel. All usage on that outlet should be discontinued until diagnosed by a professional electrician.
Frequent Sparks: If sparks occur every time a device of any kind is plugged into a specific outlet than it is most likely a problem, and it should be analyzed for an electrical repair.
8 Reasons You Should Look at Electrical Repairs When Outlets Spark
Electricity is fast and powerful, and when you plug it into an outlet a spark can be created until the electrons flow freely. In serious instances, sparking outlets can be caused by:
1. Loose Wiring
A common sign of loose wiring can be a buzzing or a crackling sound of electricity trying to flow through wirings not connecting properly.
This happens when too much heat builds up within an outlet and melts the insulation around wires. When wires are exposed, there is an increased chance of electrical fires.
3. Water Damage
It is not a mystery – water and electricity are not friends. Electrocution and a host of other potentially dangerous electrical issues can occur if water connects with electrical wiring.
4. Faulty Repair
Performing electrical repairs yourself can be risky for you and increase potential issues down the road for your outlets and electrical wiring. Hiring a professional to diagnose electrical issues can save you the danger and risk of issues down the road.
5. Old Age
Even outlets experience wear and tear over time, and older outlets are more vulnerable to short circuits and connections being loosened.
6. Overloaded Outlet
Plugging too many devices into one outlet can cause an overload on the outlet resulting in sparking, breaker tripping, or even an electrical fire.
7. Cracked or Broken Receptacles
As outlets are being used over time they can crack, break, or chip exposing the outlet’s metal contact points. These metal contact points are potential fire hazards and shock risks.
8. Frayed or Damaged Wiring
Exposed wiring poses a threat to anyone in range, and this can be a result of damage through animals chewing through insulation, overheating, or deterioration.
Contact a Professional for Electrical Repairs
If you are dealing with outlets sparking, or any electrical issues, it is time to call in a professional. A licensed electrician will be able to detect what steps to take and how to figure out the problem while taking caution when it comes to electrical safety.
Contact Patterson Electrical Services today for any outlet or electrical repair needs!