When sparks start flying every time you plug something into an outlet, panicking is a very normal and realistic reaction to having. Sparking occurs because there was a break between the transfer of energy going from the outlet to the appliance you tried to plug in. In most cases, this is something you should be concerned about as electricity moves fast enough that this shouldn't happen. The question is – why is your outlet sparking if electricity moves fast enough that it shouldn't?

Exploring Common Reasons Outlets Spark

The Appliance Wasn't Plugged In All The Way: If an appliance is not plugged all the way in and you turn it on, there can be a disruption between the transfer of energy from the outlet to the appliance. This can create a spark. This, however, does not mean there is anything wrong with the outlet or the electrical system of your home. It just means the appliance needs to be plugged in all the way before you turn it on. You should also make sure you turn it off after you unplug it, too. It is important to keep in mind that trying to use an appliance without plugging it in all the way, or unplugging it before you turn it off, can cause damage to the appliance as well as the outlet.

There Could Be A Short In The Wiring: If there is a short anywhere in the lines of wires from your outlet to your breaker, it can cause sparking. This is a problem that needs to be fixed as the sparking can cause a house fire if you are not careful. Shorts can be from old, deteriorated wires. You could also have pests, such as rodents, munching down on your electrical system wires. A leak dripping into the walls and onto the lines can cause a circuit to short. Furthermore, electricity runs at high temperatures and wiring can short if the protective coating on the wiring has melted.

What Can You Do?

If every once in a while you notice a small spark when you plug something in, there may not be an underlying issue for you to worry about. Just remember to plug something all the way in before you turn it on and turn it back off before you unplug it. If, however, the sparks seem to happen more often, you should have the electrical system of your home inspected by a professional immediately, like DSL Electric Inc.

While a sparking outlet can be intimidating, it is certainly no reason for you to panic. Invest in surge protectors, keep water away from the outlets, and always make sure appliances are plugged in before you turn them on.