Have you ever noticed a burning smell coming from your electrical outlet? If so, you're not alone. It's a common occurrence that often leaves people wondering what the cause of the smell is and if it's something they should be concerned about. So, if you're in this situation right now, what are some of the most common causes of a burning smell near an outlet, and what should you do next?
What Causes the Burning Smell?
In most cases, a burning smell near an electrical outlet is caused by overheating wires or loose wiring connections. This could mean that the circuit in question is overloaded or there is a specific problem with one of the wires. Alternatively, you may be dealing with an older outlet that has not been replaced in some time and can no longer handle the increased amount of power being used today. This can lead to arcing between live components in the outlet and create excessive heat, which creates the burning smell.
How Can You Check Your Outlet?
Whenever you notice burning in this situation, it's important to determine what is causing it before taking any further action. The first step is to unplug any appliances from that outlet and use a voltage tester to see if any current is running through it. If there isn't, then you know that your appliance may have been causing the issue and needs to be checked out by an electrician or appliance repair professional before you use it again. If there is current still running through it after unplugging everything, then you likely have an issue with either your wiring or your outlets themselves and need to call an electrician immediately for further evaluation.
What to Remember
However, if the burning smell is very strong or may be accompanied by a wisp of smoke, do not delay. Turn the electricity off at the mains supply and call emergency services for their advice. You cannot risk a fire under any circumstances, and it's better to be safe rather than sorry.
Also, you should get in touch with an emergency electrician and get their advice. They may ask you some direct questions so they can get an idea of what may be happening and may also ask you about the age of your electrical installation. While they may certainly be able to deal with this short-term problem, they may also advise you to upgrade your wiring and circuitry to better cope with modern demands.
If you are in need of emergency electric work, contact an electrician near you.