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What Is Electrical Arcing and What are the Warning Signs?

Electrical ArchElectrical arcing is when electricity jumps from a one connection to another.  This flash of electricity reaches temperatures of 35,000°F.  Arcing can and will cause a fire in your home.  Have you ever heard a light switch or outlet buzzing?  This is arcing.  The heat from arcing burns the insulation around the wires, leaving a path for the arcing to reach insulation or wood framing in your home.  

Check out this list common electrical problems where arcing may be occurring.   

Plugs That Are Loose in The Outlet

Plugs that are too loose in the outlet can cause electrical arcing.  This spark can cause a fire.  

Outlets That Doesn’t Work

This seems like not such a big deal.  But, in fact, it is.  A dead outlet means there’s something wrong with the outlet itself or the connection has been broken.  Either condition can cause electrical arcing.  

Lights That Dim or Flicker

Flickering lights mean there’s a loose connection somewhere in your electrical system.  It could be from a broken connection, a corroded wire or even damage from animals.  When the lights are flickering or dimming chances are there’s arcing occurring!

Tripping Circuit Breakers

Overloaded circuits trip circuit breakers.  Arcing frequently occurs in your electrical panel.  A tripping breaker is a sign of a serious problem.

Hot or Smoking Outlets or Switches

If an electrical outlet or switch is hot to the touch or smoking, you need to address the issue immediately!  Hot or smoking outlets are a clear sign that arcing is occurring and a fire is very possible.  Shut off all power to that outlet or switch immediately.  

Light Bulbs That Burn Out Too Often

Burned out light bulbs can mean a number of things.  First, you may have a loose connection between the bulb and the socket.  Second, you may have a loose connection between the fixture and your electrical system.  Third, you may be experiencing power surges in your home.  All of these conditions are serious and need your immediate attention.  Arcing could be occurring.

If you’re experience any of these hazardous electrical conditions, please call us right away.  Electrical arcing is nothing to ignore.  The safety of your family and home depend on fast action.
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