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Why would an electrical outlet get hot?

Dec 21, 2021

A close-up of a homeowner plugging in a white cord into a white electrical outlet on the wall.

Keeping an eye on the electrical components of your home can help you avoid costly and dangerous malfunctions. It’s especially important to check any electrical outlets you use daily since these are perhaps the most likely components to wear down quickly. 

A hot electrical outlet is a clear sign that something isn’t operating correctly and it could be dangerous. If you happen to notice that an outlet feels hot to the touch, unplug everything connected to the outlet and call an electrician. Stop using the outlet until the issue is repaired.


Here are two main reasons why you have a hot electrical outlet:

Why Would an Electrical Outlet Get Hot?

Overloaded Circuit

This is one of the most common problems causing a hot electrical outlet. If you find yourself frantically wondering why your electrical outlet is hot then unplug everything and have your electrician check the outlet. 


It could be that the outlet is struggling to provide sufficient power for all the appliances using the outlet. Overworking your outlet causes it to be hot to the touch, which could lead to more severe issues if not properly addressed.

Damaged or Loose Wiring

If the wiring in your home is loose or damaged, then heat can build up in the electrical outlet, making it hot to the touch. Watch for sparks when you plug an appliance into your outlet since this can be a warning sign that your wiring isn’t in ideal condition. 


Plugging an appliance into an outlet with loose or damaged wiring can present severe electrical dangers. You also won’t get a great connection, meaning you run the risk of blowing a fuse, tripping your circuit breaker, or otherwise stopping your outlet from working. It’s important to have the wiring repaired by a licensed electrician to keep your outlets safe.

Tips to Prevent an Overheating Electrical Outlet

Call an Electrician

Not only can a professional electrician help resolve the issue of a hot electrical outlet, but they’ll be able to find the source of the issue to prevent it from happening again. They can check your wiring, repair any looseness or damage, and offer advice on how to avoid tripping your circuits or blowing a fuse in the future. Keeping your wiring maintained and up to date is the best way to avoid an overheating outlet, and an electrician can handle that for you.

Avoid Overusing Outlets

A single outlet can offer a lot of power, but when you overuse an outlet, you increase your chances of tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse. The energy drawn may be too much for your outlet to handle when you plug in too many power strips or appliances that are too large. Be sure you know the capabilities of your outlets and how much power they provide before using them for multiple power strips or large appliances.

Repair Your Hot Electrical Outlet

Repairing a hot electrical outlet quickly can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run since you avoid severe damages. CroppMetcalfe is a leader in the field of electrical repairs and home safety. Trust our experienced team with your outlet issues to keep your home safe and powered. Contact CroppMetcalfe for your electrical outlet repair needs.


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