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Does anyone know what this outlet is for and why it would be sparking with nothing in it.enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ Full of dirt? Which country is this? \$\endgroup\$ – winny Sep 8 '18 at 17:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Give us some context. Where is this located? What kind of equipment is it near? \$\endgroup\$ – Elliot Alderson Sep 8 '18 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nothing in it? It looks full of dirt as @winny hinted. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Sep 8 '18 at 18:06
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It's a NEMA 15-50 receptacle. 50A, 125/250V (two hots, neutral, and ground). The style of box and receptacle are typical of North America, so then it's just a matter of comparing its shape to a list of NEMA configurations, such as the one here: https://www.generatorjoe.net/html/web/outlet/quailplug.html

NEMA standard connectors are the most common style of mains power connectors used throughout North America. Nearly every receptacle installed in a North American building will be a NEMA type, except for some very specialized connectors such as used for wet locations or special equipment.

This sort of connector in particular is commonly used for high-power devices, most commonly things like ovens and clothes dryers.

If it's sparking all on its own, then it's contaminated with some sort of conductive residue or possibly has a loose wire inside.

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