Spark and Crackling when plugging in a charger

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Old 12-26-18, 11:15 PM
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Spark and Crackling when plugging in a charger

Hello, I am currently having an issue with my outlet, and very inexperienced when it comes to electricity.

Today, I was plugging in my laptop charger, and there was a noticeable spark that happened every time I retried plugging in. I did some research and found out that it is normal for this to happen for a laptop charger.

However, as I was retrying, I also noticed that when I wiggled the plug while it was being inserted, there was a noticeable crackling sound created. When the outlet was fully inserted, this sound seemed to disappear, but it would happen every time I plugged this in right after the spark.

Is this normal? This is a new home that was recently built and all receptacles are new. Please let me know if I should be worried. Thank you.
 
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Old 12-26-18, 11:44 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Yes..... you will see a spark every time you plug in your charger. So.... there is no reason to do it over and over as all it will accomplish is that the plug will become arced and blackened. Eventually from doing it over and over.... the receptacle will also become the same way. Put the plug into the receptacle. If it fits in snugly it's fine.
 
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Old 12-27-18, 04:58 AM
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PJ is correct, but I have to question the fact that it makes noise and repeatedly happen when you wiggle the plugged in the item. Just for peace of mind I would turn off the electric and take off the cover plate and inspect the connections to the outlet. If they are using the stab connections, remove and use the screw connections or make sure screw connections are very secure and tight. I'm getting you won't notice the sparkling or the noise thereafter.

Do you get the same affect in all your outlets?
 
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Old 12-27-18, 05:25 AM
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If you have an outlet that is turned on/off with a switch, you could do the following. With the switch off, plug the charger into that outlet and turn the switch on. When you want to remove the charger from the outlet, first turn the switch to the off position. The reason you are getting the sparks is the two rectangular pins on the charger AC plug complete an electrical circuit when they come into contact with sockets in the powered outlet. When using the outlet controlled by the switch mentioned above, the electrical circuit is being completed by the switch and the sparking occurs in the switch. Good luck.
 
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Old 12-27-18, 06:04 AM
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Unplug the charger. Plug in something that uses a reasonable amount of power but not switched on yet, a 100 watt incandescent bulb light is suitable. (Don't use something that makes noise, such as a fan.)

Turn on the light or whatever. Press the other half of the receptacle using your thumb while checking for crackling. Try again with the light or whatever item plugged into the other half of the receptacle.

The purpose of this test is to better check for loose connections behind the receptacle unit.

While screw connections need to be tight, do not use tremendous brute force with your screwdriver. You can strip the threads and then the screw will never get tight enough.
 
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Old 12-27-18, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Unplug the charger. Plug in something that uses a reasonable amount of power but not switched on yet, a 100 watt incandescent bulb light is suitable. (Don't use something that makes noise, such as a fan.)

Turn on the light or whatever. Press the other half of the receptacle using your thumb while checking for crackling. Try again with the light or whatever item plugged into the other half of the receptacle.

The purpose of this test is to better check for loose connections behind the receptacle unit.

While screw connections need to be tight, do not use tremendous brute force with your screwdriver. You can strip the threads and then the screw will never get tight enough.
There seems to be no noticeable crackling when pressing the other half of the receptacle with the light on. Should I still open it up and remove from stab connections and hook onto the screws? It seems like most of the house uses the stab connections for the outlets.

The crackling seems to occur when wiggling the plug for the laptop charger only. Is this something to be concerned about?
 
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Old 12-27-18, 02:14 PM
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To me that indicates you have a bad charge module. Could be loose stab leg within the charger. can you get some pic or video of whats happening?

As I asked before, are you getting the same symptoms in other outlets?
 
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Old 12-27-18, 03:56 PM
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The spark happens in all other outlets. The crackling occurs only when the plug is wiggled- while it is not fully inserted. Maybe I am just real paranoid, but I was not able to reproduce the crackling when wiggling the plug when fully inserted.

I am just worried because I never heard crackling before while plugging something in. This slight crackling when I wiggle it without fully inserting: is this normal for such a charger plug?
 
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Old 12-27-18, 04:29 PM
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NO!. I tried several charging plugs in several different outlets and no spark or cracking. Shut off the power and check your plugs. Then get another charger and see if it also does the same thing. You have two possible choices...one bad charger or lots of outlets that need fixing.
 
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Old 12-28-18, 07:21 PM
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How old is the panel, when was the house built? What you describe sounds a lot like what can happen with aluminum wiring.
 
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Old 12-29-18, 02:49 AM
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Casualjoe.... post#1...new home, recently built, all new receptacles (naturally).
 
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Old 12-29-18, 06:06 AM
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Cqn you tell whether the crackling is associated with erratic voltage output from the charger? The answer is probably "no" if the charge light on the device being charged does not go out instantly if you unplug the charger from the wall receptacle.

Long shot. Unplug the charger and wiggle the plug prongs with your fingers. The crackling could be a mechanical idiosyncrasy as opposed to an electrical problem.
 
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Old 01-01-19, 12:22 PM
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Casualjoe.... post#1...new home, recently built, all new receptacles (naturally).

Dammit, I missed that.


I think I'd start looking for a loose connection.
 
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Old 01-01-19, 02:22 PM
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I also noticed that when I wiggled the plug while it was being inserted, there was a noticeable crackling sound created. When the outlet was fully inserted, this sound seemed to disappear, but it would happen every time I plugged this in right after the spark.
I think we're beating a dead horse here.
 
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