Hi everyone I'm new here. About a month ago I noticed when I plugged in my toaster to the electric outlet, the outlet on the other side of the counter made a crackling noise for a few seconds. Both outlets worked fine. It only would make noise every now and again. Anyway, yesterday when I plugged in my toaster oven the outlet on the other side of the counter made a louder crackling noise. Today my toaster oven stopped working so I plugged in a lamp and that didn't work either. Now the outlet doesn't work at all but the one that made the noise is working fine. It doesn't make noise when I plug things in it, it only made noise when I plug into the outlet on the other side of the counter that is not working now. What would cause this and is it safe to use the outlet that still works? It only made noise when i pulled something into the other outlet that is not working now. Thank you.

  • 3
    Next time something crackles like that, stop using it immediately. That electrical part is arcing, and continuing to push it is a very good way to start a fire inside your walls where you can't access it to put it out. This sort of hazard is why arc-fault breakers are required in new construction. Sep 5, 2018 at 4:05
  • Harper, thanks for letting me know what the noise was, that outlet that made the noise does not make noise when i use it, it only made noise when i used the outlet on the other side of the counter which is very strange
    – C. Davis
    Sep 5, 2018 at 4:24
  • 2
    not very strange at all ..... the outlet wiring is connected from one plug to the next .... the electric current is passing through the "crackling" connection
    – jsotola
    Sep 5, 2018 at 4:57
  • jsotola, thanks for letting me know, so does this mean that this outlet could start crackling again if i plug something in across the room, i mean my icebox is plugged in the next outlet over but i don't hear any crackling from the outlet, i stopped using it today.
    – C. Davis
    Sep 6, 2018 at 1:53

1 Answer 1


This sounds like a bad "backstab"

It sounds like the receptacle that's crackling was wired using "backstab" terminations, which are rather failure-prone, as you're finding out the hard way. Re-doing the crackler using a new receptacle, proper pigtailing, and the screw terminals will make all your problems go away -- just remember to turn the power to the circuit off at the breaker first!

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