Switches and outlets were created to protect from the electrical current they are connected to. Although there are numerous benefits to these electric sources, such as providing light and power to all, they must be maintained and used with caution!
Keep a Close Eye on the Outlets!
Check cords and covers regularly before plugging cords into outlets. If cords are broken or damaged, they should be replaced as quickly as possible. Try to check all outlet covers at least once a year and be sure the wiring is fastened to the wall. Cracked or chipped outlet covers need to be replaced as well.
Be sure to update your outlets to the three-prong or Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets. These outlets were created to protect from electrical shock, monitor the electricity that flows through the circuit, and cut power if the outlet comes in contact with water or other hazards. Be sure to install them in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, basements, and outdoor outlets.
Be Aware of Electrical Outlet Sparking…
There are many reasons as to why an outlet may begin to spark, and ways to avoid outlet sparking in general! The main cause of sparking is an overloaded outlet. It is important to pay attention to the max load for residential circuits. Modern outlets range from around 15 or 20 amps, while older outlets tend to be less. Depending on the age of your outlet, the max load may vary. If you are living in a house with old and outdated outlets, be sure you are updating your electrical outlets properly. If not, you can run into problems such as split wiring or outlet fixtures becoming loose, causing electrical sparking. A short circuit in outlets can cause sparking when a connection fails, which is typically a problem in outdated electrical outlets. Another key tip to avoid electrical outlet sparking is keeping water away from all electric circuits. Steer clear of water near your outlets to keep your outlets from sparking and your home safe.
There are also warning signs you can look for when inspecting your electrical outlets. Make sure to note the following:
1. Hot Electrical Outlets
Outlets tend to become warmer with overuse. When too many devices are connected to an outlet, damaged outlet, extension cord, or power strip, it can cause dangerously hot outlets which may potentially lead to electrical fires.
Tip: Be sure to test the outlet every once in a while by unplugging your devices and checking to see if the outlet is still warm after an hour. If so, have an electrician come out to take a look!
2. Electrical Outlet Popping
An electric spark in an outlet can sound like a popping or crackling sound. This is another warning sign that can lead to an electrical fire or failure. Even if it’s not a continual popping sound, it’s still not a good sign. Take this very seriously, shut off the power, and call an electrician.
3. Electrical Outlet Buzzing
When an electrical outlet has come loose or it has gone bad, the outlet will typically make a buzzing sound. In this case, keep an ear out for this noise, and call a trained electrician to repair or replace the outlet to get it working safely again!
We only want sparks on the Fourth of July, so if you see sparks coming from an outlet in your house, here are some important steps to take. First, shut off power to that outlet at the circuit breaker. Next, unplug any devices or appliances connected to the sparking outlet. Lastly, but most importantly, contact a licensed electrician to inspect the outlet. The US Fire Administration indicates that about 2 percent of all residential electrical fires are started by sparks, flames, or embers that spread, so be sure to keep this in mind when you see sparks coming from an outlet in your home.
Be sure a trained electrician is working on your outlets to keep the utmost safety for you and your family! Faulty outlet repair can cause even more issues down the line as well as add risks for electrical sparking. Always be sure the repair is performed with safety and care. If you are experiencing any of these outlet issues, Electric Plus can help! Visit our website or give us a call at 484-459-4940 if you need services.