What To Do About Green Goo

by | Jan 21, 2021 | Residential electrician

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Words like ‘goo’ or ‘oozing’ are not words you want to describe anything in your home or property, especially when you’re talking about electrical work. 

If you happen to notice a green, washing up-like liquid seeping from out of your sockets or outlets, you might go into panic mode. While you would be correct to worry, you should also know that this isn’t that uncommon and is repairable.

This substance is called green goo, or ‘greening’. As it poses some risks, it should be handled carefully, ideally by a professional. 

So, what is it, what harm can it do, and what should you do if you get it in your house? 

What is it?

Green goo is the result of a reaction between decomposing plasticiser and the copper conductors of PVC cables. 

The plasticiser starts to slowly decompose over time, reacting with the copper to produce the green colour. This process can be accelerated by high temperatures caused by overloading or loose connections. 

Green goo mostly occurs in cheaper or older PVC cable grades but can still happen with newer PVC cables. 

Newer or better quality cables contain an antioxidant, which prevents the plasticiser’s decomposition rate from accelerating when heated. While this makes them better protected, even the best can still be broken down and eventually succumb to the goo. 

And since it’s not something many people know to look for, it often goes unnoticed until other electrical work is carried out. 

There are some extreme cases where the green goo will remain for so long that it will start to drip down the wall.

The Risks 

In terms of risk, it doesn’t need to be said that green slime coming out of electrical sockets is not good!

You should especially be aware of outlets contaminated with green goo if they are in reach of young children. Touching or digesting the substance then becomes extremely hazardous.  

 If you do touch it, wear gloves and make sure not to contact your skin or eyes as it can cause rashes. But you should still be aware that green goo is a liquid and conducts so touching it increases your risks of an electrical shock. 

The substance itself can also cause issues with the functionality of electrical accessories. If left, it can harden and cause unwanted damage to your home. 

The real danger is that green goo can cause electrical fires. 

Electrical fires wait for no one and can happen at any moment. Aside from the extreme damage to your finances, it could destroy your property, harm your family, or cause damage to any neighbouring homes. 

What to do 

The term ‘out of sight out of mind’ should not be applied to green goo. Simply wiping it away won’t solve the problem. 

The green goo will persist, only increasing your risk of an electrical fire. 

Typically, when the goo is discovered, it is strongly recommended that the affected area be rewired. 

But, if you decide that rewiring is not necessary, the following is still advised:

  • Carry out periodic testing and inspections
  • Clean and visually inspect the cables and equipment (as required)
  • Monitor the resistance of conductors 

Any electrical rewiring should be done by a certified professional, as should any testing or inspections. 

Choose No Shock

While you may be shocked to see green goo, we aren’t. The No Shock team is fully qualified, accredited, and registered Master electricians who, after 20 years of experience, have seen it all. We are dedicated to giving you exceptional customer service and providing you with affordable services performed at a high standard.If you need assistance with green goo or any other electrical needs, get in contact with us today.

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