Reasons And Signs You Have A Bad Electrical Outlet

2 Minutes Posted on:

When you use your electrical outlets, you expect them to work properly and not burn or spark. However, burned or sparking outlets are not uncommon and are a definite sign they need attention. If you ignore an outlet in this condition too long, you could risk other electrical issues and even a fire. Here are some of the signs you have a bad outlet and why outlets burn and spark.

Signs You Have a Bad Outlet

In many cases, outlets give off warning signs before they start having problems. Below are some common signs your outlets need electrical repair.

The Outlet Doesn't Work

A bad outlet doesn't work or works only intermittently. Dead outlets may be less likely to melt or burn than live outlets. However, the cause of this problem may indicate something more serious in your other wiring.

The Outlet Feels Warm or Hot

Your outlet should not feel warm or hot at any time, especially if nothing is plugged into it.

The Outlet Pops or Buzzes

Electrical outlets should not make any noise, whether you have something plugged into them or not.

The Outlet is Melted or Burned

Of course, the most obvious sign of a bad outlet is damage from overheating or burning.

In addition, you may find that your circuit breaker goes off in the section with the bad outlet. You may also experience brownouts on that same circuit.

Reasons Why Outlets Burn or Spark

Several electrical problems can cause an outlet to burn or spark, including the examples listed below.

Improper Wiring

If your home was never wired correctly, or the outlet was installed wrong, you will have the electrical problems listed above. Faulty wiring includes the wrong-sized wires and crossed wires.

Old Wiring

Outlets and wiring don't last forever. Over time, wires can become frayed and deteriorated. When outlets get old, they begin to chip and sometimes even break apart. When they break apart, the chance that the metal parts could arc increases.


Nowadays, with so many electrical appliances and devices, people are using more extenders and power strips. Many people plug in several high-power items into one outlet. As a result, the outlet overheats and melts.

Since you are dealing with electricity that can be dangerous, it's best to call an electrician to replace burned outlets. Your burned electrical outlet could be an indication that your home needs other electrical work. If your electrical outlets are burned, melted, or sparking, stop using them and call an electrician as soon as possible. 

• Tags: • 420 Words

About Me

it's Electric! A Shocking Blog Okay, we'll admit it. Not every article on this blog will be shocking. We just thought that title was fitting, being that this is a blog about electricity. We can promise this, though: every article you read will be informative. You might read about outlets, circuits, or even light switches. You might read about electrical fires or electrical safety. It won't all be shocking, but it will all be helpful. The next time you find yourself in a conversation with an electrician, we expect you'll have a much better idea of what they are talking about — and all because you read this blog.