Sparking Outlets: Are They Dangerous?

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Sparking Outlets: Are They Dangerous?

Are you wondering why your outlet suddenly sparks when you plug in an appliance? It may sound like a normal event to some, but it’s still better to be extra cautious and know why this happens. Sparks are early warning signs of dangerous electrical problems.

Why Do Outlets Spark?

Current runs continuously through the connected loops of your home’s electrical circuits. The only place that allows for the current to hop on is on the outlet itself. This happens when the plug and outlet are almost touching, and there’s a split second when the electrical current reach the gap and produce a spark.

Even if you feel like no spark happened, it does every time actually as part of the normal operation. However, not all sparks are normal and safe; there are also those that need serious attention.

How Does A Spark Become Unsafe?

Long Sparks. A spark that comes and goes is safe, but if it stays for more seconds then fades then spark back again, it’s already an indication of an electrical issue.

Big Sparks. Watch out if the spark is already jumping out of the holes of your electrical outlet. This is no longer a safe spark.

Yellow or White Sparks. The color of a safe spark is usually blue. White or yellow isn’t really much of a friendly type.

Smelly Sparks. A spark which is followed by a smoke or burning smells is dangerous. Call a professional’s help immediately.

Common Causes of Spark Problems:

  • Short circuit. Short circuit happens when the hot wires touch the ground or neutral wires, causing the outlet to draw back great current and release vast amount of heat. This is an extremely dangerous situation for it can melt wire sheaths and start a fire. If you suspect signs of short circuit like melting and scorching, shut off the circuit breaker and check the outlet plate before using the outlet again.
  • Short circuits and other electrical damages can also be caused by excess moisture in the outlet or some water drippings from your walls.
  • Excess loads on your electrical circuits can cause sparking. It is important to spread your appliances across outlets and circuits to prevent overloading.
  • Old Outlets. When outlets are used repeatedly over time, the components inside may have worn out and cause electrical arcing.

If you suspect that something’s wrong with your home’s electrical connections, call the professionals at Agape Electrical Services and schedule inspection and on-the-spot repair services.