It can be alarming when you realize that your outlet is getting hot. While it can be easy to write off as nothing to worry about, the truth is that many home fires are started by overheated or shorted outlets and appliances. There are many things that can cause your outlet to get hot. Some are simple and easy to fix yourself (like making sure nothing is covering them), while other need some professional TLC to repair or replace. Before we talk about what to do if your outlet is hot, let’s take a look at a few of the most common reasons why it may be overheating.
Loose Electrical Connections
While it might go without saying that loose connections are a hazard, the danger they pose can sometimes go unnoticed. This is especially true if the electrical connections are hidden behind your walls. A Loose connection will start to heat up an outlet by causing electricity to travel through an air gap or a smaller strand of wiring. When wiring loosens the electrical connection to the outlet will rely on fewer strands of wiring. The smaller strands of wiring will not be enough to efficiently transfer electricity and will heat up from the additional current running through it. Oftentimes these cause arcs of electricity. This causes your outlet to get hot and increases the chance of a fire.
Aluminum is known for overheating easily in appliances, and there’s no difference when it comes to wires. But aluminum wires can pose an interesting problem as a special paste is needed to connect it to a copper connection. Typically, when aluminum wiring starts acting up, professionals will replace it with copper wiring, which is generally seen as a safer alternative. This can be a pretty tedious and daunting job. Going with a pro will save you a lot of hassle and headaches. And you will be able to rest assured the job will be done right.
A shorting circuit is a cause of overheating that is the easiest to spot. A short circuit happens when two wires touch, and along with making your outlet hot, it’ll give you some lovely scorch marks, and possibly even melt surrounding plastics. This is definitely something you want to leave to professionals to fix. The likelihood of fire when dealing with a shorting circuit hot enough to melt plastic is high, and if not properly addressed and repaired the risk can worsen.
Is Your Outlet Hot?
So what should you do if your outlet is getting hot? If you’re pretty handy and experienced yourself, it might be tempting to turn to DIY fixes. However getting some professional help is the safest and easiest way to go. Even the most practiced do it yourself-er might not be able to tell if there’s a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.
When you choose Bryant Electric Service for your electrical repair needs, you can rest assured that your home will be safe from electrical issues caused by improper installation or partial repairs. Contact Bryant Electric Service today.