What To Do If Your Power Outlet Is Visibly Burned Or Scorched

Many people will go through most of their lives without ever having any problems with a power outlet, so it can be a bit of a surprise when something does go wrong. However, there's a big difference between problems like having no power running through a power outlet and noticing that one has scorch or burn marks. If you've discovered this problem, here's what you need to do.

Shut Off The Power

Power outlets should never experience this kind of damage, and if they do, it means that something has gone very wrong with the wiring behind the outlet. The first thing you must do in this situation is to shut off the power.

For now, leave the outlet alone even if something is plugged into it. You don't want to risk being electrocuted. Head outside or to your basement - wherever the breaker box is - and shut off the power to your house. If you feel confident that you know which breaker powers which room, you can simply flip off that single breaker. However, if you're not certain, it's best to turn off the power to the entire house for safety's sake.

Once the power is off, you can unplug your devices from the outlet.

Call Electrician

Next up, you must call an electrician. There's no reasonable way for a homeowner to assess and fix this problem themselves. You need someone with the expertise, training, and technology to determine what's going on.

When you call the electrician, be precise about what's happened to your outlet. Most electricians will view this problem as an emergency and will strive to come to your location as quickly as possible. Until the electrician arrives, keep the power off to the outlet.

Stay Alert

Last but not least, stay aware of what's going on in the room with the busted outlet. Although the electricity is now shut off, it's possible that the electrical wires in the walls have super-heated and could potentially spark a fire. If you notice heat or smoke coming from the wall or outlet, call 911 immediately and get out of the house. This may indicate that an electrical fire has started in the walls, and it is a huge danger.

Providing that everything goes right with shutting off the power and you don't experience an electrical fire, your electrician can get this problem sorted for you quickly. They'll start by testing the wires to ensure that they're in good shape. If they aren't, they'll need to be replaced. If the wires are safe to use, your electrician will put a new outlet in place and reconnect the wires to it so that further damage isn't done. Your electrician will also likely choose a power outlet that has a shutoff switch that will automatically disable the power to the outlet if you have future problems with the electrical flow to the outlet. This will help to keep you and your family (and your home) safe.

To learn more, contact a resource like Etheridge Electric Company Inc.