Why Do Outlets Spark Sometimes?


Plugging cord into outletAn outlet essentially supplies a certain amount of electricity to your home, measured in quantities per-circuit. Average American household outlets run around 115 to 240 volts, which is considered a fast and high output. Occasionally, when you plug in an appliance to an electrical outlet, you may notice a slight spark of electricity. While this may look concerning, it most often is nothing to worry about. That momentary "blue spark" happens every time, but we most often don't see it. That spark is the moment the electricity from the live electrical wires behind your outlet make contact with the plug of your appliance, and should only last a split-second.

However, be aware that you could have a problem if you notice the following:

  • The spark continues. If the spark persists after the initial contact, it’s imperative to shut off your electricity at the panel, followed by unplugging your appliance. A drawn out spark could mean that there is substantial damage to your outlet wiring, making a possible for an electrical fire occur. Please contact an experienced and skilled electrician immediately.
  • You notice a burning or smoky smell. This typically means that your outlet wiring has melted.
  • Bigger sparks. Multiple sparks or a larger-yellowish spark indicates that there is a wiring problem that needs to be taken care of quickly.

Causes of Sparking Electrical Outlets

  • Broken or cracked outlets
  • Lack of a ground wire
  • Loose witing
  • Uninsulated or frayed wiring
  • Moisture inside the outlet

In order to prevent any issues from occurring or worsening, you must determine how old your outlets are and either get them serviced or replaced. At Lightning Bug Electric, our highly qualified Atlanta electrician can immediately identify the issue and make the necessary repairs or replacements in order to give you back your peace of mind. Please do not attempt to handle electrical repairs yourself - always trust your repairs to a licensed electrician so you don't risk an electrical fire or electrocution.

We understand how important our customers are to us and we will do whatever it takes to keep you and your family safe. Contact our Atlanta electricians to schedule your service or repair today.

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