Electrical outlets in a home could spark for various reasons, and you'll need to know why it's happening so can handle the situation properly to prevent electrical damage or a potential fire. Here is what you need to know.
Abnormal Vs. Normal Sparking
Be aware that some sparking in an electrical outlet can be normal, and these types of sparks will be small in size and duration. The color of the spark should be blue, and it happens because of electricity being rapidly drawn into the device that you plugged in.
Even though this is completely acceptable to see, be concerned when you notice some odd things happening. This includes a spark that lasts any longer than a brief flash, since it is indicating that you have a problem with the wiring in your home. If there is an odd odor after you see the spark, this means there could be a wire that has melted, and you'll need to immediately turn off the power going to that circuit and contact a local electrician. If you see a yellow spark instead of a blue one, contact an electrician to investigate it further as well.
Short Circuit Sparks
An outlet could create a spark because of a short circuit. This happens where there is a lot of heat that builds up inside the outlet, and it causes the insulation on the wires to melt. Once wires are exposed, electricity can leak between wires that are uninsulated, which creates the spark that you saw. These sparks have the potential to start a fire, so take care of the problem immediately.
Water Exposure Sparks
If you have water near an electrical circuit, which is very common for kitchens and bathrooms, water could cause an outlet to short out from a spark. You'll want to make sure that you have GFCI plugs on any outlets near water, which will turn off the electricity at the outlet if it senses any water that can cause sparks.
While new homes require GFCI outlets to be installed near water, old homes did not have that requirement. Don't assume that because the electrical code requires it now that you are protected.
These are just a few reasons why you could have sparking in your electrical outlets. For help repairing the problems, know that an electrician from a place like Dunedin Electric Co., Inc. can help fix your problem and make your home's electrical work safe once again.Share
25 April 2017
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