Why Your Outlet Might Spark

When an outlet sparks, it can be a frightening experience. You might not know what is happening or what you should do. This blog discusses some of the causes of an outlet sparking and how to react.

What can cause an outlet to spark?

Short Circuits

A short circuit is one of the most common reasons for an outlet to spark. A short circuit occurs when there is a break in the continuity of the electrical current. This can happen if the current wires become damaged or come into contact with each other. If you have a short circuit in your outlet, you will need to have it repaired by an electrician.


Another common cause of sparking outlets is water damage. If your outlet has been exposed to water in any way, the wires can become corroded. This can cause the current to arc, or jump, from one wire to another, creating a spark. If left unchecked, the spark can lead to a fire.

Normal Static Electricity

Sometimes, an outlet will spark due to regular static electricity. This is not something to be worried about and is quite common. Static electricity is created when two objects rub together, causing electrons to build up on one of the objects. When the object with the excess electrons comes into contact with a conductor, like metal, the electrons flow quickly to the other entity. This can create a spark. Watch the spark to ensure it does not fly to something flammable.

Pulling Too Quickly on the Plug or Too Hard

When removing a plug from an outlet, you should always do so slowly and carefully. If you pull too quickly or too hard (jerking it out), the wires can become damaged. This can cause the current to arc, or jump, from one wire to another, creating a spark.

We can fix it!

If your outlets are sparking, it might be time to call in an electrical technician! We provide various services and are sure to have a solution for your outlets. With over 25 years of experience, our team at Plugged In Electrical is here to help.

Don't be stuck in the dark, Get Plugged In!