So you’ve noticed some sparking coming from your outlets. Knowing what you’re up against is the best chance you have of dealing with the issue and saving your home from some more dire situations.
What causes those sparks aside from the standard arc between the plug and the outlet as they get close.
- Short circuiting. Sometimes, if the live wire from an outlet is touching the neutral or ground wire, it can cause a short circuit. This can cause significant heat as more power is drawn.
- Moisture. Electricity can travel through water. That means if there is moisture in the walls or on the outlet cover then there is a chance of arcing through that moisture and creating sparks.
- Overloading. When you have too many appliances plugged into the same outlet there is a risk of arcing. This is compounded in older homes that have only a few breakers serving many outlets.
- Old outlets. It isn’t just age, but use. If you are constantly plugging things into the same outlet, there is a chance that that outlet will wear out.
- Improper repairs. It happens, especially if the person who repaired an outlet wasn’t qualified. Make sure you have an electrician work on your house.
There are many things that can cause sparks in your outlets. Make sure your home is protected and if you ever see a spark investigate further so you don’t have to worry about significant damage or risk to your family.