Electrical outlets provide the power needed to run many of the conveniences of modern life. However, if you have an older home, the outlets you have in place might not be able to meet the demands of today's technology. Here are some indications that you need to ask an electrician to upgrade your equipment.

Electrical Outlet Warning Signs

1. Sparks & Discoloration

A bad outlet may spark when you plug an appliance into it. Alternatively, the device you are trying to plug in may malfunction. Since sparking can lead to a fire, treat the situation as an electrical emergency and call a contractor for help.

In addition, if any dark marks develop in, on, or around your electrical outlet, stop using it immediately. This is a clear sign that a short circuit is causing smoking or burning behind the faceplate. 

2. Burning Smell


Even when you don't see something suspicious, the wires that power your outlets may be sparking inside your walls. This results in the melting of the wires' rubber jackets or the plastic that houses your outlet, producing the smell of burning or melted plastic. 

3. Humming

If you hear an immediate humming or buzzing sound when plugging in an item, unplug it and refrain from using the outlet until it has been serviced. These noises suggest that the wires connected to that outlet are loose or disconnected.

4. Blown Fuses or Tripped Breakers

Fuses blow and breakers trip as a safety feature when they are overloaded. If this occurs once or twice, it is usually not a problem. However, suppose these reactions occur every time you use a particular outlet or when you utilize multiple appliances that run on the same circuit. In that case, it's likely that your system can't handle your everyday electrical load. Have an electrician update the outlets and electrical panel.


If you're experiencing outlet issues in West Chester, OH, contact an electrician at Bunnell Electric. This family-owned and -operated local business offers nearly 40 years of electrical experience paired with a passion for courteous customer service. Visit their website for details on their capabilities, or call (513)779-8778 to schedule service.