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How to Fix a Smoking Electrical Outlet
How to Fix a Smoking Electrical Outlet
February 01, 2023

How to Fix a Smoking Electrical Outlet

Electricity is a volatile and dangerous element that should be handled by experienced and trained professionals. If you encounter an electrical issue such as a smoking electrical outlet, then we urge you to avoid trying to fix it yourself. Instead, call the experts at Neighborhood Electric. However, you should follow these steps to keep your family and home safe.

Some Causes of Smoking Electrical Outlets

Understanding the causes of smoking electrical outlets can help you prevent this disaster in the first place. Some indicators that there is a serious issue with your outlet are faint burning odor, warm or hot outlets, blackened or charred outlets, and, of course, smoke. Here are some causes of smoking electrical outlets and how to prevent it from happening:

  • Wiring Issues: Old wires, loose wires, damaged connections, and faulty grounds within your electrical system can lead to smoke and fire which may escape through outlets. Having a certified electrician inspect your wiring every so often can protect you from this dangerous scenario.
  • Dust or Debris: Dirt and other debris inside of an electrical outlet can transfer electricity and cause a short circuit. This arcing between negative and positive wires can create heat and cause a fire. Every so often, you should dust off your outlets. Turn off the circuit and unscrew the outlet cover. Wipe the cover and use a vacuum to pull debris from inside of the outlet.
  • Overloaded Circuits: Many household circuits are designed to handle only up to 20 amps. With so many devices in todays age, you can easily surpass this limit and activate the circuit breaker. If there is an issue with your circuit breaker, the overload will generate excess heat. If circuit breakers are tripping often, then dont simply flip them back on and continue your usage. Either move some devices to another circuit or call an electrician to inspect your electrical panel.

What to Do

If the smoke recently started after you plugged in a device, then you may be able to get ahead of the situation and avert a bigger catastrophe by following the following steps:

  • Quickly unplug the device and turn off the circuit by switching off the corresponding circuit breaker.
  • Feel the wall around the outlet to detect any heating. If the wall feels hot and the amount of smoke is increasing, then call 911 immediately. Be sure to call the certified electricians at Neighborhood Electric afterwards.
  • If there is a small fire and you are determined to stop the fire from spreading, then use only a powder-based or CO2 extinguisher to put it out. Do NOT try to put out an electrical fire with water as you will risk an electrocution!
  • If the wall is not hot and the smoking subdues, then call your local electrician at Neighborhood Electric to inspect the outlet as soon as possible.
  • Remember, do not turn the circuit back on until a professional has inspected and assessed the situation lest you risk a fire restarting.

Call the Professionals

As mentioned earlier, electricity is dangerous and should be handled with care. If you experience heating, smoking, or fires from electrical outlets, then please call the experts at Neighborhood Electric. We are available around-the-clock for emergency services.