Although your home's electrical system stays out of sight, it is constantly working. From ensuring you have lighting, hot water, heating, cooling, home automation and a host of other comforts, without electricity your home can feel unliveable. But despite how active this system is, not many homeowners pay attention to it until something goes seriously wrong. Yet, the signs of decline tend to show up long before you end up with a catastrophe, such as an electrical fire, on your hands.
While there are some tell-tale signs that every homeowner knows to look out for such as a frequently tripping circuit breaker and flickering lights, some symptoms can be subtle but should not be underrated. One such symptom is burnt outlets. Keep reading to find out why those burn marks, melting and other physical changes to your outlets are indicative of the need for immediate electrical system repair.
The outlets in your home are secured in place by screws. These screws are critical for ensuring the wires behind the outlet are snug in the terminal and this, in turn, prevents electricity from jumping from one wire to the next. Over time, though, these screws can come loose due to tampering, lack of maintenance and even simply old age. When they are left detached, the wires behind the outlet get room to move about and this leads to sparks being exchanged.
This jumping of electrical sparks is referred to as arcs. Arcing is dangerous since it is signalling that the live wires behind the outlet are at risk of causing an eventual fire. In some cases, the outlets may feel hot to the touch whereas, in others, the plastic insulation can burn and will damage the outlet. Whatever the case, electrical system repair is vital for the safety of your residence.
Another common cause for the need for electrical system repair is defective wires. However, since these wires are behind outlets and walls, it can be difficult to inspect if they need replacing. Thus, you must know the symptoms of an underlying problem and have this addressed by professionals before the damaged wires can cause extensive damage to your home. It is also important to note that arcing can also occur when the wires have lost their insulation, which can occur as they age or when they have been chewed on by rodents.
The lack of insulation allows for electricity to escape from the wires and this leads to sparks that will burn the outlet. In rare instances, you may find that our home's electrical system was outfitted with wires that are smaller than normal. These wires cannot accommodate the electrical current and this generates excessive heat behind the outlets. Consequently, you may smell burning or notice melted outlets. You must call an electrician immediately so that the defective wiring can be located and replaced.
For more information, contact a local electrical system repair service.