Do You Have A Hot Outlet?

Why Is My Outlet Hot To The Touch?

Have you come across an outlet that is hot in your home? These days it is something we see more and more. First, we should say, an outlet should never be too hot to touch.  If it is, call us right away and we will guide you.

 

However, a warm outlet may not be a problem that needs an electrician.

 

When you come across a hot outlet, we suggest you unplug anything that is plugged into that outlet.  Many devices, such as cell phone chargers and printers have a built in transformers.   These transformers change the voltage input to a different voltage output and may cause the outlet to become warm to the touch.  In this case you should leave the devices unplugged for an hour or so and check again to see if the outlet has cooled.  If so then it was probably caused by the device itself and is not your outlet. To be sure, plug in a lamp and check on the outlet in an hour.  If it is still cool, then you are most likely okay.

 

Do You Have A Hot Outlet 1
Should an outlet be hot?

No, an outlet should not be hot. If your outlet is hot, that indicates that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. If you notice that your outlet is hot, you should unplug anything that is plugged into it and call an electrician right away. However, if your outlet is warm, that may simply indicate it has recently been used for a long duration of time. To get more information, call Haas & Sons Electric today.

How do I prevent outlets and switches from overheating?

When it comes to preventing outlets and switches from overheating, there are a few things you can do to try to prevent it from occurring at all. Some ways to prevent outlets and switches from overheating are:

  • Reduce your use of power strips.
  • Check the type of transformers your appliances use.
  • Have your home wiring inspected to ensure it is set up properly.
  • However, it is still good to also be vigilant about what you plug in before your switches or outlets overheat to determine the source of the issue. Call us today to learn more.

    What does it mean when an outlet is hot?

    A few reasons your electrical outlet feels hot include:

    • what does it mean when an outlet is hot/why is my outlet hot
    • Your circuit is overloaded.
    • Damaged or improper wiring.
    • You have a dimmer switch.

    Although you can solve the first two reasons, dimmer switches will typically feel warmer than most outlets due to the type of use. Contact us today to find out more.

    An outlet that's a bit warm is not overly concerning due to waste heat - BUT, anything very warm or hot to the touch should be checked out.

    Can an outlet cause a fire if nothing is plugged in?

    Yes, an outlet can cause a fire if nothing is plugged in. However, it is highly unlikely that your outlet will catch fire with nothing plugged in as long as:

  • You have not just overloaded the outlet and just unplugged something from it.
  • The wiring is not faulty.
  • The outlet is not wet or full of debris.
  • Since the technology of outlets has evolved, there is a very low chance that your outlet would catch on fire if nothing was plugged in. To learn more or have your outlets inspected, contact us today.

    Why does the plug on my charger/appliance get hot?

    A plug that becomes hot to the touch may be shedding "waste heat."  This is energy that the plug cannot pass through to the appliance, so the plug itself begins to heat up.  A warm plug is not overly concerning, but a HOT plug should be unplugged and investigated. A plug might get hot because it's lose and the appliance is asking for more electricity to operate correctly - this may be more energy than the plug can handle.

    We recommend pulling a hot plug and leaving it unplugged until you can have a licensed electrician (or appliance repair person) check your unit & outlet.  You can try plugging it into another outlet briefly to see if it continues to heat - this could be indicative of a problem with the appliance instead of the outlet - although both should be checked out.

    How do I fix a hot outlet?

    Call us.  The reasons could be varied and should be investigated from the electrical panel all the way to the problem outlet.  It would not be responsible for us to give advice on how to fix this as we just don't know the cause without taking a look.

    To get more information, call Haas & Sons Electric today.

    Why is my outlet warm with nothing plugged in?

    Occasionally a homeowner can run across an outlet that is warm when nothing is plugged in or "on."  If the switch is a dimmer switch, they're much more likely to warm up during use and can be warm for a while after they're turned off.  Warm is not HOT, though.  Any outlet or switch that becomes hot can be a victim of faulty wiring, corroded wires, water damage, or some other anomaly.  You should unplug and turn off the outlet or switch and have a licensed electrician come to take a look right away.

    To learn more or have your outlets inspected, contact us today.

    SO, WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU COME BACK IN AN HOUR AND THE OUTLET IS STILL HOT?

    If the outlet is hot when only one simple object is plugged in or no objects are plugged in it is most likely caused by overload.  Because most circuits in a home are wired in a series, the outlet in question doesn't currently have to be working to overload.  It may be that the series is overloaded. This happens because the electrical circuit is carrying more current than it is meant to handle.  Sometimes before it trips the circuit breaker it will cause the outlets on the series to overheat.

    However, an old or worn out outlet could has loose contacts or are touching behind the strike plate.  A bad connection is dangerous because instead of tripping the circuit breaker it allows electrical current to flow.  When this happens the outlet can become so hot you can't touch it without burning yourself and can ultimately cause an electrical fire.

    WHAT IF MY OUTLET IS TOO HOT TO TOUCH?

    In this scenario, the first thing you need to do is find the breaker that controls that circuit and turn it off.  This is where Haas and Sons Electric comes in.  When you call us, we will come out and check the connections on that circuit to be sure they are safe.  Sometimes they can be repaired and sometimes they may need to be replaced. We may also recommend you replace the outlet after the breaker connections are checked, just in case.  We will be able to tell you that after doing an inspection.  And we can usually fix the problem the same day.

     

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