Learn Why Your Outlet Is Hot

Posted on: 25 October 2018

Is an outlet in your home hot to touch? If you experience this problem, make sure you don't ignore it. A hot outlet is one that is sending a signal that there is some trouble brewing. Your ability to quickly discover the source of the problem can be the difference between your family's safety and putting them at risk. Discover some reasons why your outlet may be hot.

Damaged Wiring

While you may see a neat faceplate over your outlet, the structure is really made up of a combination of wires. The wires are responsible for transmitting the electricity from your home's source to the object that you have plugged into the socket. 

However, when the wires are frayed or otherwise damaged, the issue causes a disturbance in the flow of power, which can cause some of the electricity to escape from the wires. As a result, the heat could transfer to the outlet cover plate and cause it to feel warm. 

Poorly Matched Breaker Box

The power inside your home comes from a breaker box. The breaker box is a home's control panel and its responsible for dispersing a certain amount of power to your outlets. If the delivery rate from the breaker box to the outlet is rated too high, you're, in essence, sending more electricity to the outlet than necessary. 

The excess electricity has to go somewhere, and the outlet faceplate is often the nearest object. Not only can this issue cause your outlets to overheat, but it also creates an incredibly high fire hazard. The problem is common when homeowners try to rewire the breaker box on their own without understanding how amperage works. 

Too Much Demand

If you try to plug in too many devices at one time, there is a good chance you will put too much demand on the circuit. This issue is especially common with extension cord use. For example, an individual will take an outlet with two inserts and plug in two three-sided extension cords. With this scenario, an outlet intended to support two devices is now supporting six. Overworking the outlet will cause it to overheat and increases your risk of fire. If you find the need to use extension cords in your home often, the problem could be that you need to install more outlets in your home. 

When you detect an issue with your outlet, contact a professional electrical repair company like Narducci Electric as soon as possible to ensure your safety. In the meantime, avoid using the outlet until you know that it's safe to use.