In general, you don’t want anything in your home’s electrical system to create sparks. It’s usually a major warning sign that the system requires repairs. You should immediately stop using the sparking appliance and call for professional electricians.
However, sparks from outlets are something that homeowners often ignore. Its commonplace for a slight blue spark to appear when you plug an electrical appliance, like a vacuum cleaner or a toaster into a wall outlet: this is a visible effect from the start of the flow of electrons. However, larger sparks might begin to occur. When this happens, you need to call for professional electrical repairs as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should you attempt to open up the outlet cover and investigate the sparking on your own—this is potentially very hazardous.
For professional electrical repair service in Lynnwood, WA, you can trust to the decades of experience at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.
What Is Wrong With An Outlet That Sparks This Way?
There are a number of possible causes for an outlet to develop the dangerous sparking that might lead to electrical fires. One of the common reasons is that the outlet has overheated and melted the insulation around the wires. (This is why you should never use an octopus plug to connect too many appliances into a single outlet at the same time; it’s easy for the outlet to overheat.) When the wires are exposed because of melted insulation, it can cause electrons to leap from the wire to the metal case or even the opposite wire. This is known as a short circuit. Short circuits are potentially very dangerous as sources of electrical fires. Most of the time, a short will cause the circuit breaker panel to trip and cut off the circuit to prevent further damage. Frequently tripped breakers are a major warning sign that your have trouble with an outlet.
However, if there are other problems with the wiring your home, a short circuit in an outlet could start a fire behind the walls. If you ignore major sparking from an outlet, this is one of the risks that you’ll take.
Fortunately, professional electricians are experienced with fixing and replacing faulty outlets to prevent the dangers of short circuits. You should watch out not only for sparking from outlets, but also outlets that feel hot to the touch or show signs of discoloration and charring on their surface. An outlet that continually trips circuit breakers also needs an electrician to investigate it.
Our electrical repair team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. is ready to help you keep your home safe from faulty electrical systems. Call us the moment you think you need help.