We received a call from one of our customers who had lost power to an outlet in their basement. This was not an old house. The house was only 10 years old and when we removed the outlet to investigate we saw that it had actually melted inside and there was evidence of an outlet fire.
After the Homeowners realized that they did in fact smell a weird burning smell and just were not sure where it was coming from.
These are the actual photos from the outlet fire.
This outlet had been installed using the back-stabbed technique. This technique is done a lot in new construction because it is quicker and cheaper to install than to take the time to remake the connections properly.
This damaged outlet was hidden inside the wall and there was no evidence of any damage on the outside. There was no way that they would have known about the outlet fire unless they opened it up.
The connection had become loose and it generated a lot of heat, and over time it got hotter and looser and became a fire hazard.
If you have an outlet that has lost power, has partial power or intermittent power it is important to contact an licensed Electrician to investigate.