Are Sparking Outlets Dangerous?

You’ve probably experienced some quick blue sparks appear when you plug something into an electrical outlet in your home. While this experience can be considered normal, it’s not always safe. You need to pay attention to some sparks as they can be a sign of some serious underlying problems. Sparks can appear due to several reasons, including short-circuits, water damage, faulty components, overloads, old outlets, and loose connections.

The electrical system is composed of circuits with multiple outlets, and even though you can see the external components, there are internal mechanisms and breakers that make contact when you plug in the socket into an outlet, which may cause temporal sparks. While this is normal, there are sparks that you should be concerned about. For instance:

  • Smelly sparks: An outlet spark that is followed by the smell of melting plastic is a bad sign, and you should immediately shut the outlet off at the circuit breaker panel.
  • Big sparks: Sparks leaping out of the outlet holes are dangerous signs.
  • Long sparks: A safe spark should come and die immediately. If they fizzle and linger, it’s time to find a solution.
  • White or yellow sparks: The gentle sparks you often notice when you plug in appliances are usually blue. White or yellow sparks are a cause for concern.

When you experience these kinds of sparks, you should immediately shut the outlet off and contact an electrician. If not handled in time, regular sparks could lead to further damage to your electrical systems and appliances, and in the worst situations, cause an electric fire or electrocution. You can also practice safety precautions such as installing a GFCI outlet in areas that are vulnerable to ground faults such as bathrooms, basements, and kitchens.

If you are experiencing worrying sparks in your home, contact trusted residential technicians at Electric Blue, Inc. We offer affordable and reliable general electrical services to the residents of Denver and its environs.

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