Telltale Signs Of A Damaged Outlet

Many homes have damaged or non-working outlets. Sometimes homeowners overlook this issue if it only affects one or two outlets. The issue might also get ignored if it occurs in a room that is rarely used. Damaged outlets will likely stop working eventually. The issue should get addressed by an electrical contractor because it could be a sign of an underlying electrical issue that is serious enough to lead to an electrical fire. It is wise to know the signs of an outlet that is on the verge of failing. Use the following signs to determine if you have a damaged outlet.

Warm to Touch

The outlets in your home should not get warm. It is a sign of overheating. The overheating could be a serious hazard and could cause a fire. There are a number of things that can cause this phenomenon, which is why the safest and most sensible approach is to contact an electrical contractor. You should also cease using the affected outlet until it has been inspected.


Perhaps you have one or more outlets in your home that emit sparks when you plug things into them. Occasional sparking might not be a cause of concern. However, this is not something that should occur on a regular basis. It is also wise to keep track of if it is occurring throughout your home. Frequent sparks from one or more outlets are a telltale sign of electrical outlets that have wiring issues. The issue is likely due to a hot wire making contact with a neutral wire. The issue should not be ignored due to the potential for an electrical fire to break out.


Outlets and the areas surrounding them should not have black or brown discolorations. This could be indicative of burn marks. Outlets with this type of damage may also appear warped, charred, or melted. An outlet in this condition should not be used. There are a number of reasons why this can occur. The most common reasons are wiring issues, damaged insulation, or a failed outlet. Outlets are like many other things in your home. They can fail and require replacement.

An electrical contractor is a good resource to use to determine if you have damaged outlets. Routine electrical inspections can aid in identifying damaged outlets. These inspections can also determine if there are outdated outlets or ungrounded outlets in a home. Upgrading outdated outlets and replacing damaged outlets is a viable way to keep your home safe and protect it against electrical fires. 

To learn more, contact an electrical contractor.