How to Troubleshoot a Smoking Outlet
Electrical Troubleshooting Question:
Sunday a toilet broke in my house and i had to call the water dept to shut off my water.
The next day my dad replaced the toilet and turned the water back on from the meter. The same day when I went to use my hair dryer it made a horrible noise and there was smoke either coming out of the outlet or the hair dryer.Im not sure which.
Now today, tuesday the lights keep flickering. Could this cause my house to catch on fire. Very worried!
Thanks Missy S.
Hi Missy - Great Electrical Repair Question!
From the information you've provided, the flickering of lights could be due to a loose or bad connection which should be checked by a qualified electrician.
If one light fixture is flickering then the problem could be isolated to that fixture and the associated wiring serving that fixture.
If there are other fixtures that are flickering at the same time, then this could indicate a loose splice, connection problem at the electrical panel or a possible problem with the circuit breaker or fuse.
An electrician would troubleshoot the problem through a process of elimination and series of voltage tests until the trouble is identified. I would sincerely encourage you to have a professional diagnose the situation.
As for the hair dryer, if the unit was making allot of noise then the smoke may have been from the hair dryer as well.
Hair dryers are known for pulling loose hair into the air chambers where the hair wraps can cause the motor to slow down and hair can also come into contact with the heating elements causing smoke or a burning odor.
If this is the case then the hair dryer should be repaired by a qualified person or simply replaced with a new one.
Don't forget to treat Dad for being such a nice person and helping you with your toilet!
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!