09:49AM | 10/02/07
Member Since: 01/20/05
11 lifetime posts
I noticed one of my electrical outlets is scorched. I have a computer and printer plugged into that outlet (with a surge protector). But I never noticed we lost power and I've had no problem with the computer and the outlet appears to be working fine.

This outlet doesn't appear installed well though - the box isn't flush with the drywall and one side of the box is behind the drywall and I can't seem to pull it out.

Should I do anything about this scorching? I don't want to call in an electrican unless it's a real safety issue. But I have kids and it's a townhome and I'm nervous about fire issues.

The house was built ~1982 so I assume the wiring is that vintage.

Thanks for any advice.


11:49AM | 10/02/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
In some cases you can get lots of dirt on the face of a receptacel.

With the circuit breaker off wipe it with a damp cloth. If it comes off then it is dirt.

If it does not something happened at one time. It could be the receptacle/wiring or it could have been a bad plug and this happened some time in the past and not noticed.

If it is not dirt them get it checked out.


01:09PM | 10/02/07
Member Since: 01/20/05
11 lifetime posts
I tried and it won't wipe off. Actually my son keeps pulling the plug on my computer and when I plugged it back in today, I did notice a blue flash as the plug went in. I suppose that's not supposed to happen.

I'll get an electrician to check it out. Thanks!


01:21PM | 10/02/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
Many power supplies like used on computers use Switching Power Supplies.

They have a capacitor (and rectifiers) and can draw a large surge when plugged it.

The recharger for my cordless drill does this so badly that it came with a warning sticker so that you would not be startled when plugging it in.

If that is was caused the sorching then no problem.

But it would be hard to tell. But if the plug is secure and have not had any other problems then I would guess that is what it is from.


06:38AM | 10/05/07
Member Since: 01/20/05
11 lifetime posts
Ah that might be it then, because when I plug my vacuum into that plug I don't see a blue flash. Just from the computer. I never realised that. Thanks!


05:41AM | 10/11/07
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
Anything plug or unplug with the power on will make a flash.
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