Why Is My Electrical Wall Outlet Warm to Touch?

warm outlet

There are certain things that homeowners sometimes leave in the back-burner – changing air filters, mowing the backyard, or recycling. But there are certain things that require immediate attention to prevent them from becoming serious issues. Such is the case with anything having to do with electricity.

A common seemingly small issue may be an outlet that feels warm to the touch. What does it mean and how can you fix it?

Is a Warm Outlet Dangerous?

It depends on what’s causing it to be warm or hot in the first place. As you’ll read below, some reasons have quick and easy fixes, while others could be a fire hazard and require assistance from an electrician.

5 Reasons Your Electrical Wall Outlet is Warm to the Touch & How to Fix It

1. Too many devices plugged into one outlet

Power strips and outlet multipliers make it so easy and convenient to plug all of your favorite devices into the same area: TV, DVD player, PlayStation, electric fireplace. They’re all together, so from a practical standpoint, they have to be plugged in close to each other. However, doing so will draw too much energy from the same location. To resolve this issue, hire an electrician to install additional outlets, or purchase extensions.

2. The breaker is rated too high

The breaker panel distributes electricity throughout the different outlets in your home.  The amount of power it directs into your home could vary between 100 and 200 amps, depending on your home’s square footage. If it’s rated too high for your home’s needs, it could be a fire hazard, and you’d feel it on the outlets. This is more likely the case in homes that are over 50 years old. If you reside in an older house, contact an electrician to rewire your home to safer standards.

3. Damaged wiring

If any of the wires behind the wall are exposed or damaged, they will generate additional heat, and you’ll be able to feel it when you touch the outlet.

4. Your gadget needs a transformer

Different gadgets require different voltage. This is often the case with smaller devices, such as laptops, chargers, and hair styling tools, compared to the higher-voltage required kitchen or laundry appliances. To figure out if this is the issue, unplug your smaller device and wait a few hours. If your outlet is no longer warm to the touch, the issue is your device and you need a transformer. If the outlet is still warm, contact an electrician.

5. The outlet needs to be replaced

The average lifespan of an outlet can range between 15 and 25 years. If yours are old, and are often hot or keep tripping, consider replacing them with GFCI receptacles. These types of outlets will monitor changes in electrical current and shut off power if there are any hazards – such as power surges or contact with water.

Climate Design Can Help

At Climate Design, we provide HVAC and electrical services all over Tampa Bay: Clearwater, Largo, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, St. Pete Beach, Eastlake, Tarpon Springs, Safety Harbor, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, and New Port Richey.

If you’re having electrical or HVAC issues, we can help!

Call (888) 572-7245 to Schedule Your Appointment