According to a Myrtle Beach emergency electrician, one of the common emergencies their assistance is called for is when homeowners notice sparks coming out of their electrical outlets. And most often, this can be due to a short circuit, old and worn out electrical outlets or exposure of the outlet to water.
Sparks coming out of an electrical outlet is not always an indication that something is wrong with the outlet. It should not always be a cause for panic. There is a normal spark that also happens in electrical outlets.
What is a normal spark in an electrical outlet?
If you see a brief and small spark in the outlet when you plug in an appliance, you do not have to worry and immediately call your emergency electrician Myrtle Beach. This spark is normal and can be compared to static electricity. This happens every once in a while because of the sudden diversion of power from the available circuits in your home to the outlet and to the appliance that you have plugged in.
You should know that electricity flows quickly and is always fast moving to easily flow through the circuits of residential homes and back to the main grid. This fast-moving phase makes it difficult for outside elements to break and interrupt the cycle. As a result, there is a quick flow of electricity and you are able to use your blow dryer or coffee maker the minute you plug them in.
Because electricity is hot and it flows quickly, the sudden diversion of its path as a result of plugging an appliance to an outlet sometimes causes a brief spark. This is what many homeowners often notice occasionally. But if you notice bigger and more frequent sparks coming out from your electrical outlet, you could be facing a more serious problem. Thus, you will need to hire a professional.
Why do electrical outlets spark?
As mentioned above, there are 3 general reasons for an electrical outlet to spark. It can be due to short circuit, old and worn out electrical outlets or exposure of the outlet to water.
• Short circuits – Short circuits happen when electrons leap into the wrong area, particularly an exposed wire, as a result of the quick phase of the electricity. Wires become exposed due to a lot of reasons including old age and wear and tear. Another reason could be too much heat built up in the outlet has caused the surrounding insulation of the wires to melt; thus, leaving the wires exposed and vulnerable to receive stray electrons from the quick and sudden change of direction of the electricity from the circuit to the outlet.
• Old and worn out electrical outlets – Similarly with other things, an electrical outlet wears out after some time, especially if you use it several times during the day. An old and worn out electrical outlet often has loose wire connections, which is what causes the sparks in the outlet. If you notice signs of old age in your electrical outlets or if you notice they are wearing out, you will have to hire an electrical contractor to replace them with new ones.
• Exposure of the outlet to water – Obviously, water and electricity do not mix and when this happens, an electrical spark can occur. Depending on the size and severity of the spark, it can quickly lead to causing an electrical fire. To prevent this from happening, you should consider replacing your outlets with a ground fault circuit interrupter outlets. This is a special outlet that automatically shuts down the circuit when it detects a sudden change in the electrical flow to prevent sparking and starting an electrical fire as well.