Electrical outlet sparking can be alarming, but it’s not an unusual occurrence when you’re plugging an item into a receptacle. It’s completely normal to see a rare spark that’s caused by the substantial initial draw on electrical power from the outlet. This type of sparking is brief and stops once the connection is fully made. These sparks are similar to static electricity and not a serious cause for concern.
Potentially Hazardous Electrical Outlet Sparking
If an outlet sparks with every use, there may be a dangerous electrical issue lurking behind the cover plate. For safety reasons, don’t attempt to repair or replace the outlet yourself. One of the following issues may be causing the sparking, and it should be checked out by a licensed professional electrician.
If the wiring inside or near an outlet is exposed, a short circuit can cause sparking and eventually an electrical fire. When inspecting the outlet, an electrician may discover the wiring insulation has been gnawed on by a rodent or melted due to overheating.
Wear and Tear
With age and frequent use, the connectors inside an outlet can become worn or loose, and this makes sparks and short circuits more likely to occur. Replacing the outlet is the best way to solve this and reduce the risk of an electrical fire.
When water from a plumbing leak, accidental spill or flooding gets inside an electrical outlet, it can cause a short circuit. An electrician will likely recommend installing a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) that automatically shuts down if the outlet is in a vulnerable location.
If an outlet was replaced or repaired by anyone other than a skilled electrician, then improper grounding, loose connections or faulty wiring can cause sparking and an increased chance of a fire.
Check out Axberg’s solutions for worrisome electrical issues like electrical outlet sparking, or just give us a call at (815) 873-6003 for immediate assistance.
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