Sometimes, when electrical outlets get hotter than usual, people don’t pay as much attention as they should because, usually, they don’t know that a change in outlet temperature could represent a problem.
It is important to know that electrical outlets should never be hot. For this reason, whenever you find one that is, you should follow these steps:
- Unplug your electronics from the outlet. Have in mind that cell phone chargers and printers, for example, use internal transformers that change the voltage input warming the outlet, but never to the point that it’s too hot to touch.
- After you’ve unplugged the transformer-containing device, wait an hour for the outlet to go back to its regular temperature. To test that the outlet is working properly, plug a non-transformer-containing device and, if it doesn’t heat up again, then your electrical outlet is fine.
Sometimes, the outlet gets hot even though nothing is plugged in. The reason why this happens is because most home circuits are wired in series. In other words, the electrical current used by one outlet might also pass through many others. As a result, an outlet might get hotter than usual because there’s an electrical overload.
Outlets can overheat because the electrical circuit is carrying more current than it should. The most common cause of an overload is the use of a high wattage appliance or a combination of high wattage appliances. For instance, a toaster and a coffee maker being used simultaneously. An overload can also occur when outlets are too old. Old outlets are dangerous because they could have loose wiring connections. For this reason, bad connections can generate fires.
My best advice to you would be to find the circuit breaker that controls that hot outlet and turn it off. After doing that, you can give me a call, and I would be more than happy to go help you fix that problem to make sure your home is safe from danger.