I live in an apartment above an older building that I help care for. I was unplugging my phone charger (I may have pulled it out too fast) and there was a huge arc and flame color and it smoked. This took out power to about half of the receptacles in my kitchen and living room.

I wasn't sure if I blew a fuse or something like that so I went down to both of the fuse boxes in the building and replaced and checked the fuses that deal with my apartment.

I'm sure it was a bigger deal than that, I just have no idea what it is.

Any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


You'll need an electrician to replace/rewire the receptacle that shorted. The short melted a wire and caused an open circuit to the remaining outlets fed from that box. If you are lucky, there is enough wire with unburned insulation in the box to re-wire, otherwise, a new run of wire through the walls may be necessary. Good fuses/breakers should prevent this. The fuse should blow before the wire melts. Make sure your fuses are properly sized for the guage wire on that circuit. Check other receptacles in the home and if any are loose, have them repaired too. If you have metal boxes, you might consider wrapping the terminals on the receptacles in electrical tape. This should help avoid this problem in the future.

Pulling a plug out "too fast" wasn't the cause. Receptacles should be able to handle more abuse than a phone charger!


If this is an apartment that you rent your ONLY option is to call the landlord or super and have them get a qualified electrician to assess the problem.

This IS NOT a handyman or caretaker problem.

  • Petey, Thanks, I gave my boss a call and he ended up cancelling the electrician I had called and sending in the buildings maintenence crew. It's not really my decision in the end, it just worries me that something like this may happen again if they do a cheap fix.
    – Frightlin
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 17:39
  • It's unfortunate. Some of the worst short cuts I see are from places like building maintenance departments. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 20:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.