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What Causes Problems with Electrical Outlets?

You probably don’t spend too much time thinking about your home’s electrical outlets. So when there’s a problem, you might not know what to do! The most common electrical issues you may face from your outlets are overheating and sparking. The following post details the most common causes of these issues and what you should do if you notice them.

If your electrical outlets are overheating or sparking, do not wait, call the experts at John Nugent & Sons today at 703-291-1926!

Electrical Outlets that Overheat

At John Nugent & Sons, we’ve received hundreds of calls over the years from homeowners saying their outlets are overheating. And while a little bit of warmth at the outlet is certainly not abnormal, excessive heat is definitely something to be careful of! Worse still is if the heat extends a bit down the length of the power cord of the device or appliance you have plugged in—this indicates that the problem is being caused by the connection between the plug and the outlet.

So what causes this overheating? If it’s as we described above, with a hot outlet and heat radiating a few inches down the cord, the problem is most likely due to high resistance between the prongs of the power cord and the contacts on the inside of the outlet, often a result of corrosion or build up on the interior contact surfaces of the outlet, usually made of brass.

While this doesn’t always present an immediate fire hazard, that risk does exist, so it’s important that you take the problem seriously. Call John Nugent & Sons—we’ll replace any offending outlets and remove corrosion from the old wires connected to the new wires.

Electrical Outlets that Spark

Sparks coming from your outlets can mean different things depending on where the spark comes from. A brief spark that jumps from the outlet to the plug, for example, is normal when plugging in certain electronic devices (since they draw power even when turned off), but not normal for something like a lamp, which is completely off when turned off.

Sparks that come from the outside of the outlet and not the plug contacts are rare but indicate a serious problem with the outlet. These types of sparks may occur after a plug has been plugged in for a while.

Electrical Services in Northern Virginia

Whatever electrical problem you’re having, our electricians can solve it! We’ll diagnose the problem and perform the electrical repair as quickly as possible so you can have your home back to normal. Don’t deal with frustrating outlets that just won’t work; give us a call for electrical services in McLean, Arlington, Vienna, or anywhere in Northern Virginia and we’ll get them fixed! Give us a call today at 703-291-1926 or contact us online!

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