Is my electrical outlet damaged? Unsafe?
April 3, 2020 7:46 PM   Subscribe

An iPhone charger was loosely plugged into an outlet in my kitchen, partially hanging out, when a piece of aluminum foil bumped onto it. The foil formed a short between the prongs of the plug, resulting in an arc and tripping the ground fault protection of a nearby outlet.

Now the outlet looks like this. Would it be safe to use this outlet before an electrician can look at it? Do we need to take any measures to prevent any further danger?
posted by Jpfed to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
It's perfectly fine, just discolored.
posted by fritley at 8:06 PM on April 3, 2020 [5 favorites]

Seconding that it’s fine.
posted by aubilenon at 8:21 PM on April 3, 2020

Thirding, you’re good.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:07 PM on April 3, 2020

It'll be fine.

While the electrician is there you might want to line up some additional work. (EG: other loose or broken receptacles, new fixture, or even ask for a general assessment of the installation. It's going to take like 5 minutes to replace the receptacle and they will probably have a minimum charge that includes more time than that.

PS: thanks for this example. There is an evergreen arguement about ground up or down and the ground up side's argument is what happened to you could happen but no one ever claims to have actually seen that happen.
posted by Mitheral at 7:00 AM on April 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

On Mitheral's note, I had something similar happen a couple years ago, and after that my weekend project was to rotate every outlet in the house 180 so the ground was up. And while I was doing that, I took the opportunity to replace a few key outlets with the type that have USB charging outlets built-in. If you do have an electrician come out, might be a worthwhile add-on to help make that minimum charge a little more worthwhile.
posted by xedrik at 8:14 AM on April 4, 2020

Did it trip its circuit breaker? Is the GFCI that tripped on the same circuit as this outlet?

It's probably fine, but if you want, you could probably replace it yourself. A new outlet would only cost a few bucks and is a pretty simple repair.
posted by drezdn at 9:44 AM on April 4, 2020

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