Say you go to plug in your blender in the same kitchen outlet you’ve used for years, but this time, something is different. When the prongs of the cord reach the insert you notice several large sparks flying from the point of connection. Your next thought is: Should I be worried? Yes, and there are a couple reasons why.
To provide background, outlets provide a way for electricity to run through the plug and cord that are attached. While there can be, and usually are, smaller non-threatening sparks that are a result of this electricity being directed to your appliance, there are qualities to look out for that indicate danger. These qualities can include sparks that linger, sparks that fly in different colors, and sparks that cause odors.
Sparks that show those qualities can indicate several things. The first is a sign that it might be time to replace your outlets. Repeated use of an outlet and old age can cause longer sparks to fly when plugging in appliances, and is a signal that the outlet can be of danger to you and your home. If you think your outlet is sparking because of old age, call or contact your local electrician for an inspection as soon as possible, and cease use of that outlet until that time.
The second is an exposure to moisture or water damage. The moisture can come from various places, but the two most common places are from the room itself the outlet is in and the inside of the wall the outlet is connected to. Not only does this point to dangers with the outlet, but a leak in the wall could lead to other electrical and non-electrical problems down the road.
A third common reason for dangerous sparking in your outlets is an incorrect or substandard original installation. Whether it was a new electrician or your first attempt at a Do It Yourself repair, if the outlet was first installed or recently repaired with an error it is likely that the error is one of the reasons for sparking. Contact a well trusted electrician to repair your outlets; electric fires are extremely dangerous.
Avoiding an electrical fire is easy if you notice the signs early and take the necessary steps to fix it. If you are unsure whether a spark is dangerous or not, err on the side of caution and contact a professional electrician from Price Electric as soon as possible.
What if my outlet sparks?