I was recently asked by a friend to help sort out an electrical short in a piece of property he owns. I am not divulging their name or location…. Suffice it to say, it required a bit of trouble shooting. Ultimately what led to, said plug to the left, was a short that we were looking for. After shutting down the breaker box and removing the device we went about figuring out the wiring. First thing I discovered was aluminum wiring. everyone’s scariest stuff when dealing with electricity. Not that it’s any more difficult to work on, but the fear is someone else did not due diligence and replaced old devices with CU or CU/AL devices. This could of been a fire. How it wasn’t is anybody’s guess, but it does illustrate the stunning lack of knowledge by the installer. I say installer, not electrician, not wanting to slight any licenced electricians out there. We also looked at other devices in the house, and found similar issues. They are all changed out. See what should be done here
The rule of thumb is, if you don’t know, call a pro. We like to see work done right, to code and charged fairly. There’s a good chance we will be the guys to work on it next.