Not all homeowners realize that an electrical outlet isn't supposed to be constantly warm to the touch or give off other obvious signs of containing electricity, such as by making sparks every time you plug something into the wall. These signs are not normal and can be very dangerous. Some electrical system malfunctions can be more serious than homeowners tend to realize. Here are three symptoms that should probably alarm you and cause you to call an electrician to come take a look.
1. Outlet misbehavior
No, a sparking outlet is not normal. If your outlet is giving off sparks or feeling warm to the touch when not in use, you should definitely call for a consultation with your electrician. This can indicate a short circuit or another dangerous wiring problem.
2. Burning smells or burned appearance
If an outlet, light switch, extension cord, or other electrical component is giving off a burning smell or smoky odor or appears smoky or burned, there's definitely something dangerous going on. It could be a short circuit, a wiring problem, or a failing light switch our outlet, but whatever it is, it's not good. You probably realize it is not normal but you may not realize how dangerous it is. In fact, the symptoms are likely to mean that you're at risk of an electrical fire or electrical shock from the electrical component in question.
3. Frequent circuit tripping
Yes, breakers are designed to trip in order to protect you from dangerous electrical overload. But that doesn't mean breakers should be tripping constantly. In fact, when the breaker does trip, that means that either there's a malfunction in the system somewhere or you've been using your electrical system unsafely, because if it hadn't tripped you would now be in a very dangerous situation. So if you find that your breakers are tripping frequently, that could mean you're frequently trying to use the system in a dangerous way. In addition to the inconvenience caused by having to go reset the breaker again and again as well as not being able to use all of your electrical appliances at once, you're also facing the danger of overloading your electrical system. If the circuit breaker malfunctions or doesn't trip in time one of these days, or if one component of your electrical system gives out from the overuse, you could find yourself with an electrical fire in your hands. So if you're noticing frequent circuit breaker tripping, have your electrician get to the root of the problem so you can get fixed up right away.