5 Reasons why sparking outlets are dangerous

The electrical current running through your home is the most dangerous thing most people can encounter. It’s invisible and under normal circumstances safe. If you have any doubts about the safety of your electrical system in your home, contact your local friendly electrician in Palm Beach for help or advice.

  1. Harmless sparks

Most people see from time to time a brief spark when plugging in or removing an electrical connection, especially if the switch is no. Under normal circumstances, this is normal and not a problem, but it can be a signal of a potential problem that could become dangerous or a fire hazard.

Knowing how your electrical system works will help you understand why an electrical system sparks.

Electricity moves along the circuits in your home, it’s very fast and “hot”, it comes in and goes out without interruption. When you turn on a switch or plug in an appliance, this causes some of the electricity to be diverted to that new circuit in a rapid draw, sometimes causing a small spark. This is because there is a split second when the connections are almost but not touching and the current stretches across the gap, producing the spark you see.

This action is very normal and poses no threat.

  1. Short circuit

Sometimes, especially if the appliance is drawing more current than the circuits can handle, a situation that is quite common in older homes with older wiring. Heat can build up and melt the plastic insulation that covers wires or connections causing a short and potential fire hazard.

When the electrical connection is made a hot spark can be produced.

  1. Water exposure

If your electrical system or any connections become wet they have the potential to spark and short out

  1. Old or worn out

Over time and with use outlets and electrical connection can become worn or brittle, allowing them to short out causing a spark.

  1. Negligent repairs

It’s illegal for anyone apart from a licensed electrician to do any repairs in Australia. This is because of the danger of poor repairs that can cause sparks or worse

The difference between sparks

A small blue spark is normal and poses no real threat

  • A spark that comes with a smell is a concern and can indicate a serious issue, so it’s best to turn it off and if possible close the circuit and call an electrician
  • White and yellow sparks are also a concern and the circuit needs to be turned off
  • Big sparks or sparks that leaf from connections or outlets they are a real danger and you need to call your local electrician in Palm Beach straight away
  • Long sparks that fizzle or lingers also a sign of potential danger and it is important to call your electrician in Palm Beach and have your wiring checked to prevent a possible fire or an electrocution

Whenever you have an issue with your electricity in the home or business, it’s important to check with your electrician, small blue sparks that are often only visible at night, are not dangerous, but any other type of spark is an indication of possible danger to life or property and needs to be investigated by a qualified electrician.

Top 5 Appliances Which Are Electricity Hogging

We now live with a huge array of electrical appliances in our homes, each one using lots of power each day, your local electrician in Reedy Creek can suggest many ways to reduce your electric usage, saving a substantial amount of money.

The electrical energy unit is called a watt. 1,000 watts equals one kilowatt-hour or 1-kWh, this is equal to 1,000 watts being used for one whole hour.

Home appliances are power hungry, think about how much power you would save if you had a power efficient home. Appliances that produce heat are often the most expensive to run.

Small appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons, toasters, coffee makers, vacuum cleaners use more watts than the average refrigerator, but because they are on for only a short time they use less power on a monthly basis than appliances that are always on, such as water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners.

The efficiency rating of many appliances has dramatically increased over recent years. In the 80’s a home refrigerator used between 120 to 350 kWh each month. The latest models today use 20 to 65kWh per month, but they’re still one of the biggest energy users in the home.

Probably the biggest user of electricity is a home heater, fortunately in the Gold Coast these are not normally needed as a portable heater uses 200 to 300 kWh a month and a home electric furnace can use 1.500 to 4,000kWh each month

Some other energy hogs are:

It really depends on the settings you use, which is why there is a range difference, but these are the 5 biggest users of energy in the average home

  • Air conditioners are high on the list

An average window unit uses 200 to 650 kWh per month

An average central air conditioning unit uses 300 to 1,500 kWh per month

A heat pump type of duel heater/ cooler split system air conditioner 600 to 4,500 kWh per month

  • Home Water Heaters

A four person home uses between 400 to 1,200 kWh per month depending on your thermostat settings and if you use hot water for washing clothes and dishwashers

  • Refrigerators

There is a huge range of refrigerators in homes, the older styles from the eighties use thousands of kWh and the latest high tech models can use as little as 400 kWh per year, so if you’ve an old model even if it works well, by trading if for a new model it can save you enough to pay for itself quickly. The average household refrigerator uses 30 to 200 kWh per month.

  • Humidifiers

These are not very common on the Gold Coast unless you live in a very humid area and need one for health reasons as water vapor in the air can cause mould and dust mites. They use 60 to 1,000 kWh per month, often more than a refrigerator.

  • Oven and Electric Stoves

These use around 2,400 watts per hour, so if you use them for one hour a day each month the total would be 72 kWh per month.

Your friendly electrician in Reedy Creek is happy to advise and help you reduce your energy bill by installing the most energy efficient system in your home saving you money each month.