Electrical Problem - Garage Outlet Noise

I have an outlet inside my garage that is making noise. I'll try to explain how I noticed this to the best of my ability.
It all started with the power going out in the garage only. I went inside the house and found a breaker tripped at the breaker box. When I turned the power back on, and went back out into the garage, everything seemed fine (lights were on). But an outlet was making a strange sound (almost like a coffee maker gurgle).
I thought the plug itself may have been the problem, so I shut the power off and removed it. Then I turned the power on again and the sound was still there. Please help if you have any idea what could be causing this.
I did have a plug going into this outlet from outside (for christmas lights and a gutter warmber). I plugged it into the inside outlet because the outside outlet would trip from time to time. Could this possibly have something to do with it?
Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Mick
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Do you smell smoke or anything burning?!
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No strange smell or smoke. Just a soft gurgle sound that fluctuates a bit. I'm pretty sure it wasn't there before the power went out. I'm confident I would have picked up on it if it was.
Mick

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It sounds like arcing or sparking within the outlet. I'd remove it immediately and cap off the wires until I got a replacement. In a garage I'd personally use a gfci, especially if it was ever going to feed something used outdoors. Dunno if code requires it.
If the lights or de-icer were tripping the outdoor gfci, one of them must have a short to ground somewhere. Try each individually in the gfci to figure out which is the culprit, and toss it.
Here's my hypotheses: the gutter warmer first developed a resistive path to ground that tripped the gfci. After you plugged it in the other outlet, it grew to a dead short which in rapid sequence (a) melted components of the outlet (b) tripped the breaker and (c) vaporized enough of the conductors that the short no longer exists.
Chip C Toronto
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Probably an electric arc. This is an imminent fire hazard. TURN THE POWER OFF **NOW** AND LEAVE IT OFF. Don't even think about turning it back on until after the outlet has been inspected by a qualified electrician.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

No. You likely had an overload condition that trashed a backstabber receptacle. The sound you hear could be the plastic body being chewed up by current arcing insufficient to trip the breaker again. Plan on dealing with the problem immediately and keep your fire department phone number close at hand. Good luck.
Joe
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

...
OK, I think I misread this the first time -- you saying you just unplugged the cord or removed the outlet from the circuit? I thought by "it" you first meant the outlet, but if you meant the plug only, then the other folks who said to either leave the breaker off or remove the plug and cover the ends of the wires before turning power on and leaving it have it right.
It's a failure either in the plug or the connections to it is almost certain and as someone else noted, that's a serious problem. I'd bet if you feel the plug it will be warm if not hot...
--
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

You may have some conductive foreign material in the receptacle or the junction box that the receptacle is in (such as water, ants, etc.). You might want to turn off the power, take off the cover plate and look. If you can't figure it out, turn off the power and call an electrician.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

just another idea in most cases there is a feed from the garage to some outside lights like a light pole or even lights at the outside of the garage. and the outlet inside of the garage is used a feedpoint or tiepoint for those lights. and with age the screws in the outlet may have come loose and cause the arcing. rw
--


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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Piece of cake. Replace the outlet, not the plug, the outlet - the thing in the wall. When you do replace it, don't use the stab-on connection option - use the screws.
You don't need a professional electrician. All you need is $0.39 and a hand that fits a screwdriver.
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On Thu, 20 Dec 2007 09:33:28 -0800 (PST),

If this is a GFCI outlet, you may have the same problem I did. The electrical box was full of ants and their feces.
--
4 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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