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Why Is There a Burning Smell Coming from My Outlet?

Why Is There a Burning Smell Coming from My Outlet?
Why Is There a Burning Smell Coming from My Outlet?

Unless you’ve left your toaster on for a few seconds too long, a burning smell inside your house may be a warning sign of something far worse than burnt toast … not that burnt toast isn’t a disappointment. But instead of simply ruining your breakfast, an issue causing a burning smell from an electrical outlet could ruin your valuables and potentially cause an electrical fire in your home. Yikes! Suddenly that extra crispy toast doesn’t sound so bad.

If you sense the smell of burning plastic or rubber coming from one of your electrical outlets, don’t ignore it. Learn what may be causing this unpleasant smell and how you can keep your home and your family safe.

Reasons For a Burning Smell From an Electrical Outlet
There are several reasons a burning smell may be coming from an electrical outlet in your home, and none should be overlooked. Here are few of the most likely culprits.

- Exposed wire
- Damaged or improperly installed wiring
- Circuit overload
- Something caught in box (from loose insulation to a mouse!)

What to Do When You Smell an Outlet Burning
When you detect a burning smell in your home, you may have to do some sniffing around to locate the exact outlet the odor is coming from. Once you’ve found the outlet, turn off the electricity supply to that area from the breaker box after unplugging anything plugged into the outlet.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can unscrew the outlet cover to see if anything foreign has made its way into the box, but be absolutely sure the breaker is switched off before doing so. Even if you feel comfortable inspecting your outlet on your own, it’s always smart to let an electrician handle any wiring issues or other repairs. An experienced electrician will be able to diagnose the cause of the odor and solve the problem safely and effectively.

Other Warning Signs Associated With a Burning Smell
In addition to a burning smell coming from your electrical outlet, you may also notice other signs of an electrical issue. These include discoloration of outlet covers, a tingling sensation when you plug in an electrical device, a sizzling or popping sound coming from the outlet and the outlet being hot to touch. If you experience any of these things, whether in conjunction to a burning smell or alone, stop using the outlet and call an electrician.

When To Call the Mister Sparky Team
With electrocution and house fires posing a threat, the warning signs of electrical issues should never be neglected. If you are experiencing a burning smell coming from an outlet in your home, or any other sign of an electrical hazard, cut off power to the outlet and call Mister Sparky right away. We’ll be there to fix the problem and return your home to a safer state in no time. Call today!

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