Every time you switch off that toaster oven or plug in your smartphone charger, you notice a slight spark. But, since it doesn’t seem to be getting any worse, you continue to ignore it. Should you be worried?
Sometimes, if the electrical switch or device that’s being plugged in is already switched on, that slight spark is just an indication of the complete electrical circuit between device and power supply. The best thing to do here is to ensure that the electrical switch and device is in the ‘off’ position before you plug in the device and therefore complete the circuit.
But perhaps you still notice that spark? An electrical malfunction is one of the leading causes of electrical fires in the home.
Is it just the one socket emitting a spark? Or perhaps it’s the device? Does the device (like a phone charger or hair straightener) spark when you plug them in other sockets? Without knowing the answers to these questions, you won’t know whether the fault lies in a faulty outlet, faulty house wiring, or a faulty device.
A licensed electrician can perform crucial testing in your home to determine the cause of the problem. Three of the most common problems are covered below:
Short circuits: do you smell burning from your sockets?
That’s often a warning sign of a short circuit.
What happens is when excessive heat builds up in a socket or outlet, the wire ‘jackets’ or ‘insulators’ (the coloured coverings of wires that do not conduct electricity) melt. Now that electricity is travelling along exposed wires, an electrical fire becomes a risk.
As we all know, water and electricity do not mix.
Riskier in wet rooms like the kitchen or bathroom, water damage or water exposure can lead to sparking power sockets. If water gets into a socket, you probably won’t know what to do. And that’s the most obvious signal to contact an electrician who will inspect, repair, or replace the damaged socket.
When water meets exposed wires (as explained above), sparks and fire may ensue.
Faulty house electrical wiring can simply be caused by age
As with almost every other element in the world, electrical wiring and sockets are not exempt from the perils of age. Outlets will wear out, wires will fray, and as a result, sparks might become more prevalent. If an aged wiring system is a concern in your home, perhaps it’s time for some new wiring.
Dangers of DIY electrical work like wiring
The modern handy man (or woman) is something to be admired. What once may have begun as a laborious to-do task has now transformed into a hobby, with weekends filled with all types of DIY projects around the home, from arts and crafts to tinkering around in the garage with a vintage car.
No matter what the task, the general consensus of enjoyable and beneficial DIY is that you remain within your skillset to avoid frustration, danger, and wasted time and money.
One type of DIY job you should never attempt to do yourself is electrical work. Not only is it dangerous, but also there are stringent regulations in Victoria when it comes to electricity. And just like you were told to not play with fire or matches when you were a kid, you mustn’t play with electricity and electrical wiring, either.
DIY electrical work does not provide assurance, protection, confidence, or safety. And aren’t these the things you need in your home?
Choose the licensed pros
Further, when a licensed and qualified electrician like Briggs Electrical eventually does come over to fix your errors, the mistakes you’ve made might even end up costing you more than if you’d called us in the first place.
Without the proper tools and know-how, messing around with electricity in your own home can have disastrous effects.
If faulty electrical wiring and sparking sockets are a concern in your home, choose a qualified and licensed electrician in Melbourne to inspect, repair, and replace your power outlets. Call Briggs Electrical today! Contact us here.