I have an electrical outlet in my home that got hot and melted. My son shut main breaker off and took outlet out of wall and he separated the wires and wrapped electrical tape around the wires. Is this safe until I can hire an electrician?

  • I notice you don't mention ever turning the main breaker back on. Probably you did that and didn't mention it, but just in case: if you turn off the breaker for the circuit with this receptacle as the answers now posted suggest then you can turn the main breaker back on to have power to everything else while you wait for an electrician. Nov 18, 2023 at 17:09
  • 3
    I doubt the electrician will find anything wrong with the wiring. You removed the problem part already. If the wiring was bad, the outlet wouldn't get hot, the wiring would. Your problem was a poor connection between a high-draw appliance and the outlet. An empty outlet can't overheat; if the wiring to the outlet shorted, the breaker would trip before it melted. Could be backstabs slipping loose or just a dirty or partially-inserted plug. Replace the outlet and all should be fine, a quick and simple $1 DIY fix. Maybe drop $4 on the outlet and get a commercial-grade one this time.
    – dandavis
    Nov 18, 2023 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


It is safe, as long as there is a cover (or the old outlet) covering the wires (even though they are taped up). I personally hate tape and would use a connector block to isolate the different wires. Then tape it up if you want.

You should find the breaker responsible for it and only switch that off. And put tape across it so, that its is difficult to flick on. Perhaps even put a note on it.


It's safe - as long as you only have adults in your household, that can be told not to touch the wires. If you have a youngster, it's dangerous as it allows tool-free access to live wires...

A better solution would be to find the breaker for that outlet and turn that one off.

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