What You Need to Know About Sparking Outlets–When to Call an Electrician
Sparking electrical outlets are common in many homes. Small blue sparks are the most common. They mostly occur when you plug an appliance into an electrical socket. Such sparks are normal, and they are typically harmless. However, it is important to pay attention to sparking electrical outlets since they can be early warning signs to other underlying electrical problems.
What causes the sparking?
Now that you have seen sparks in your home, it is essential to know what causes them. Firstly, you need to understand that a home’s electrical system is divided into circuits that may have different electrical outlets. The electric current runs in this circuit and the sockets are the points where an electrical appliance can tap the electricity. When plugging in an electrical appliance, there is always that point when the electric plug and the outlet are almost touching. The electric current that flows through the loop can reach the gap between the outlet connection and the plug often resulting to a small blue spark.
This phenomenon is common every time you plug in an electrical appliance into an outlet. Sometimes you may see the spark while other times it goes unnoticed. As highlighted earlier, these small sparks are normal and harmless. But there are other types of electrical sparking that you should be worried about.
How to differentiate between harmless and harmful electric sparks
Electrical sparking becomes abnormal when it occurs continuously for a long time. Mostly, a harmless spark will come and go in a flash. But a dangerous spark comes and lingers at the outlet for a while before going off. Another type of spark that you should be worried about is the big sparks. As highlighted earlier, safe electric sparks are small, and they will go in a flash. But if the spark leaps out the holes in the outlet, it should sound an alarm that there is a bigger underlying problem.
Safe and harmless sparks are usually blue. When you see yellow or white sparks, then it shows that all isn’t fine with your home’s electric circuit. Yellow or white sparks coupled with a smell from the outlet is a sure sign of an eminent electrical fire. When you notice such, you should switch off the electricity from the mains and immediately call an electrician Las Vegas NV to help in fixing the problem.
What causes a bad electrical spark?
The most prevalent cause of sparking in many households is the presence of moisture. The moisture could be as a result of leakage within the walls or splashing water on the electrical outlets. Another major cause of bad electrical sparks is short-circuiting. It results when a live wire touches a neutral or ground wire. When there is a short circuit, the outlet draws excessive electric current that results in significant heat, thus melting the wires and plastics at the outlets. It can also result in electrical fires. Other common causes of bad sparks include overloading and improper wiring.