Problem: So whenever I plug something into the wall socket, it gives a little electrical buzzing noise, a bit faint but i can hear it. It stops when its pluged all the way in.

The plug is loose in the socket, so should I replace the sockets? I'm a bit new to this, what should I do?

I have tried to ignore it and just plug stuff in, but I worry it may create a huge problem either in the devices I plug in or possibly damage to the home.

1 Answer 1


The socket spring is sprung. The buzzing says you have arcing in there. Very bad news. I suspect the wire is getting loose because it's a type of connection we call a "back stab" where you jab the wire in a hole and a barbed spring grabs it, I bet that has also sprung. I would shut off the breaker and swap the outlets for quality grades.

How do you learn how to do that? Libraries and big-box home improvement shops have a collection of books that teach home electical repairs. Look through all of them and find one that "speaks to you".

When you shop for outlets, you'll find there's a 75 cent tier, a $3-4 tier and a $10-12 tier. You want the $3-4 tier.

Never use the "back stabs" on the outlet where you jab the wire in, and it grabs it. The springs are unreliable - this very thing happens. It is OK to use "clamp-screw" types where you stick the wire into a slot and then screw down the screw to clamp it down. Those are in the $3-4 tier. Or use the screw terminals.

Also be on the lookout for "aluminum wire" - it is silver or gray instead of orangish copper. Aluminum wire requires very special handling - check back here.

  • This is a very good answer+
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 22:49
  • I just dont know much about all this. Is arcing that bad? i put my device through the night in it, should i be concerned? any video i can follow? whats back stabs?
    – Altoban
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 22:55
  • 2
    Arcing is cataclysmic. It's one of the things that burns houses down. I kill it on sight. The arcing is actually corroding/consuming metal parts inside the outlet. As the socket burns up, the gap gets wider, the arc gets hotter, and either a house fire starts, or so much metal is burned up that the gap is too wide to arc. You are literally playing with fire. Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 23:01
  • This is what i have to replace it with imgur.com/a/PA4Mi i dont have a choice, it looks like a good product. I see the screws and holes for wires to go through. It has letter L and letter N, on each hole. Im guessing i should wrap wire around each.
    – Altoban
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 23:08
  • Spring connectors are not bad by definition. You can get bad springs or cheap screws, which can't be tightened enough. I've seen German quality spring connecters as a test overloaded heavily, where the insulation of the cables melted long before the spring failed. A good quality spring never gets loose, as a screw can, because the copper will flow over years.
    – Lenne
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 9:22

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