Talking About Crawlspace Repairs

Two Signs That Your Electrical Socket Needs Professional Assistance

by Clinton Stone

The electrical system in your home is an absolute necessity when it comes to powering your lights and appliances. But while your electrical system is important, it can also be quite dangerous. Specifically, if the system is not working correctly, then a fire can start in your home. Around 45,000 to 55,000 home fires each year are attributed to electrical failures and malfunctions. This means you need to be diligent about pinpointing signs that may signify a home electrical issue. This way, an electrical contractor can be hired to make repairs. If you want to know about some signs that your home sockets need some immediate assistance, then keep reading.

You Smell A Burning Odor

If you happen to notice a foul odor coming from one of your home sockets that smells like burning plastic, then this is a sign that an electrical professional should be called immediately. This burning smell indicates that one or several wires connected to the socket need to be replaced. Specifically, the smell occurs when the outer casing on one of the wires wears away. As electricity surges through the exposed wire, more and more of the insulation burns off and releases the odor. Over time, the exposed wire may come into contact with a wooden beam or a piece of insulation. This can start a fire. 

If you smell an odor, then stop using the socket immediately. You will want to keep electricity from continuing to move through the wires connected to the socket, so make sure to flip the breaker in your breaker panel box to shut off electricity to the circuit connected to the socket.

You See Sparks

In some cases, sparks will release from a socket when you first plug in a light or appliance. This is caused by a quick and sudden release of energy as the device is plugged in. This is normal, especially if you have not used the socket in some time. However, if the socket releases a spark every time you use it, then this may signify a more serious issue. The problem may be caused by loose connections on the side of the socket where the wiring connections are located. If the connections are loose, then a short circuit is created that produces a spark around the loose wire and connector. 

A loose connection may mean that the socket merely needs a bit of maintenance and tightening. However, the problem can also occur if water comes into contact with the socket, like in the case of a roof leak that allows water to run through the walls of the home. Incorrect wiring of the socket may cause sparks too, so this should be taken into consideration if you or someone else has recently made electrical repairs. In general, it is best to cut off the power to the socket and contact an electrician, such as those at All American Air & Electric, Inc., who can properly evaluate whether the issue is a serious one or not.