What To Do If You Hear A Crackling Sound Coming From A Wall Or Power Outlet

Posted on: 23 April 2020


Hearing a crackling sound coming from either your walls or a power outlet can be disconcerting. However, you should never ignore this problem. A crackling sound is a very bad sign and could put your entire home at risk. Here's what you need to know about it.

What it Means

Crackling sounds coming from the walls or power outlets usually indicate that there's a problem with the wiring in your home. The electrical wires are likely arcing, which means that the wires are having problems either due to simply aging or from being directly damaged. When electrical wires arc, it means that the electrical flow is jumping from one part of the wire to the next, rather than being contained within the wire. 

This problem is extraordinarily dangerous. Any kind of exposed electrical current can cause a house fire and will continue to damage the wire until the problem gets even worse. So if you hear crackling, drop everything and follow these next steps.

What You Should Immediately Do

You need to shut off the power to your home immediately. If the crackling is isolated to one area, like a single room, you can just shut off the breaker to that room so that the power is no longer flowing through those wires. However, if you hear crackling from multiple outlets or from multiple rooms, shut off the power to the entire house to be on the safe side. It may be a nuisance, but it's a far preferable alternative to losing your home or worse.

Get Help

This is not a problem that the average homeowner should be trying to tackle on their own. It may require rewiring an outlet or even an entire home. So call a licensed electrician right away and explain the problem that you're having. They'll likely see it as an emergency and will offer to come as soon as possible.

Once your electrician has arrived, they'll take a look at the inside of the power outlet while the power is still out to look for damage. Then, they'll turn on the power again to test the wire to see if there's a loose connection or damage to it. If they find damage to the wire, it and any other damaged portions will need to be replaced. This will mean opening up the wall to access it, so be prepared for that.

If the only problem is the outlet, then they'll replace that for you and then run the test again to ensure that there aren't any problems anywhere else. If you'd like, you can ask them to run the test on every outlet in your home as outlets are typically installed at the same time and if one is failing, multiples may soon follow. Contact an electrical contractor for more.