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.

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