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What exactly is green goo?

Green Goo Oozing from Your Outlets?


Table of Contents

It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare – you notice a strange, green, oozing substance seeping from your electrical outlets. This foul “green goo” is not only unsightly and smelly but potentially dangerous as well. What do you do? Call the experienced professionals at Hiko Electrical right away!

What Exactly is Green Goo?

Green goo, sometimes referred to as “green slime” or “greening,” is a corrosive substance produced by a chemical reaction between plasticizer compounds and copper wiring. Plasticizers are chemicals added to PVC insulation to make it more flexible. Over time, these compounds start to break down, especially when exposed to heat from electrical overloads or faulty connections. As the plasticizer decomposes, it reacts with copper conductor metals, forming a greenish residue.

This green goo can range in texture from a thick, toothpaste-like sludge to a runny liquid. It often emerges from light switches, outlets, and other openings in PVC-insulated wiring. The reaction accelerates as more heat builds up, resulting in increased oozing from electrical fixtures. If left unchecked, the goo may even start dripping down walls!

Why Green Goo is Hazardous

Aside from being visually unappealing and stinky, green goo poses some serious safety issues:

  • Electrical shock risk – Green goo is conductive and touching it greatly increases your risk of getting shocked. Keep children and pets away!
  • Fire hazard – Perhaps the biggest danger is that green goo can cause electrical fires. The corrosive substance can damage wiring and connections over time.
  • Equipment damage – Goo residue can build up on outlets, switches and other hardware, leading to premature failure. It also hardens quickly, which can affect functionality.
  • Skin & eye irritation – Direct contact with green goo can result in rashes, burns and other discomfort. Avoid touching it with bare hands.

Clearly, green goo is not something to take lightly. Any sign of this hazardous substance in your home’s electrical system warrants immediate attention.

How to get rid of green goo

Why Does Green Goo Form?

Green goo is most commonly found in older builds or cheap, low-grade PVC cables. Modern wiring standards require the use of a special antioxidant that helps retard the decomposition process and prevent greening. However, no cable is entirely immune. Over decades of use, even high-quality insulation will eventually break down.

Factors that contribute to the green goo phenomenon include:

  • Heat – Excessive heat accelerates the reaction between plasticizers and copper. Faulty connections, overloads and poor ventilation hasten cable deterioration.
  • Age – Plasticizers break down over time, especially in dated low-grade PVC compounds. Decades-old wiring is prone to greening issues.
  • Sunlight & moisture – UV exposure and wet conditions also degrade PVC insulation over the long term. Outdoor cables and underground lines are at higher risk.
  • Oxygen – Oxygen interacts with plasticizers, so uncovered PVC is more vulnerable to green goo than insulated wiring. Open junction boxes or conduits allow excess air contact.

Regular inspection and maintenance can help detect green goo issues before they escalate into major electrical hazards.

Dangers of DIY Green Goo Removal

When you notice green gunk oozing from your electrical outlets, your first instinct may be to wipe it off yourself. Stop right there! Attempting to clean or remove green goo on your own is extremely dangerous.

Here’s why you should always call a licensed electrician instead:

  • Electrocution risk – Green goo is conductive and highly corrosive. Touching it substantially increases your chances of being shocked or electrocuted.
  • Further damage – Trying to scrape or wipe the goo away can spread it further into your electrical system, exacerbating the issue.
  • No lasting solution – DIY removal is purely cosmetic. It doesn’t address the root cause or prevent future green goo occurrences. You need professional rewiring to truly fix the problem.
  • Lack of expertise – Without proper electrical training and safety gear, you risk shocking yourself or inadvertently starting a fire.

For your own safety, do not attempt to remove green goo buildup yourself. Call Hiko Electrical to correctly diagnose and resolve the issue.

How Hiko Electrical Can Help

Green goo in your electrical system warrants immediate professional attention. Here’s how the experts at Hiko Electrical can help:

  • Site inspection – We’ll thoroughly inspect your electrical panels, wiring, outlets and switches to locate and assess any green goo contamination.
  • Risk evaluation – Our Master Electricians will determine the risks involved and whether your system needs rewiring or other repairs.
  • Goo removal – If minor, we’ll safely remove any goo buildup and provide a degreasing solvent treatment.
  • Rewiring & repairs – For advanced green goo cases, we’ll completely rewire the affected sections per current codes and standards.
  • Preventative steps – We’ll advise you on ways to improve ventilation, reduce overloads, and prevent future plasticizer breakdown.

With over a decade of experience, our fully certified electricians have seen it all when it comes to green goo dilemmas. We know exactly how to remedy it safely and effectively.

Facts about green goo in electrical systems

FAQ about Green Goo in Electrical Systems

Have more questions about identifying and addressing green goo concerns? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How can I tell if my outlets have green goo?

Look for a green, jelly-like substance oozing from outlets, switches or wire openings. Also, watch for green stains or residue on nearby walls and floors. Any green discolouration warrants further inspection.

What causes the green colour?

The green colour comes from copper reacting with plasticizer chemicals. As the reaction occurs, copper chloride forms, producing the characteristic greenish hue.

Is a little green goo a major concern?

Any amount of green goo indicates failing insulation and a potential shock or fire risk. Small amounts can quickly expand into a serious issue.

Can I simply wipe away minor green goo?

No, never attempt to remove green goo yourself. Even minor buildup can spread corrosive compounds deeper into your electrical system if disturbed.

Does home insurance cover green goo damage?

Most policies cover electrical failure damage, but may not cover pre-existing issues like green goo. Contact your provider to confirm coverage parameters.

How much does professional green goo repair cost?

Minor cleanup may cost $200-500, while extensive rewiring jobs can run $2000 or more. Costs vary based on your unique situation.

Don’t let green goo fester in your home’s electrical system! For fast, safe removal and repair services, call the experts at Hiko Electrical today.

Trust Tauranga’s Green Goo Experts

While the sight of green goo oozing from your outlets may be shocking, you can take comfort in knowing it’s nothing our team at Hiko Electrical hasn’t dealt with before. We are specialists when it comes to identifying and resolving green goo dilemmas throughout Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.

With over a decade of experience remediating green goo hazards, we are ready to inspect your home’s wiring and take appropriate corrective action. Whether it’s a minor goo cleanup or a major rewiring job, we have the skills, training and responsiveness to fix the problem quickly and safely.

Let us ease your concerns and ensure your home’s electrical system is free of any green goo risks. Contact Hiko Electrical today for a prompt assessment and quote. We’re available 24/7 to get you out of this sticky situation fast!

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