Snap! Crackle! Pop!: Three Noises That Shouldn't Come From Your Switches And Outlets And How To Fix It
If you currently live in a house or you purchased a home whereby the outlets and switches frequently make a snap, crackle or pop sound when plugged into or flipped, you have a very dangerous situation on your hands. These sounds should not come from your outlets and switches, since they indicate that there is something very wrong with them. Do not attempt to fix these things yourself! Instead, hire an electrical contractor, like one from All American Air & Electric, Inc., who performs residential electrical services, and he or she will fix your outlets and switches by first figuring out what is causing the problems, and then fixing them in the following ways.
SNAP! The Wires Have Been Chewed Through
Your outlets may produce a snap sound because rodents in the walls have chewed on the wires. The contractor will pull some of the wires up through the wall opening behind the outlets to examine the wires. If they have indeed been chewed on or chewed through, it will be obvious, and only new replacement wires will fix this problem. Fortunately for most homeowners, an electrician or electrical contractor usually has the necessary wires on his/her truck and the problem can be fixed quickly.
CRACKLE! The Wiring and/or Hardware Is Loose
A crackle sound is often produced when the outlets, switches or wiring are loose. The wiring is not fully secured to the switches or outlets, and you can even test this by gently wiggling the switch or a plugged-in cord. If the problem is loose wiring you will hear (and maybe see) the crackle of electricity every time you flick the switch or plug in an electrical device. Either way, the electrical contractor will take apart the offending switches and outlets and tighten everything up.
POP! The Outlets/Switches Are NOT Grounded or There Is Extra Moisture Near the Wiring
A popping sound is the result of moisture near the wiring or electrical connections. It is also the result of ungrounded wiring behind the switches and outlets. The electrical contractor will take all of the face plates off of your switches and outlets, remove them, and examine the wiring. If it is moist or ungrounded, the contractor will replace the wiring with grounded wire and then look for the source of moisture in the walls. (You may have some moisture leaks you are not even aware you have, and you will want to know about them since they can cause other kinds of damage, e.g., mold, to your home.) If there is a steady drip or flow of moisture in the walls near these outlets and switches, your electrical contractor may suggest that you consult a water damage specialist to prevent further issues.