Friday, December 8, 2023


RV Electricity – Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.): URGENT! Warn your kids about the “Outlet Challenge”

By Mike Sokol

Welcome to my J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session, a weekly column where I answer your basic electrical questions. If you’re a newbie who’s never plugged in a shore power cord (or ask – what’s a shore power cord?), or wonder why your daughter’s hair dryer keeps tripping the circuit breaker, this column is for you. Send your questions to Mike Sokol at mike (at) with the subject line – JAM.

Dear Readers,

I just saw this on the news today, and while it’s not 100% RV related, it is indeed an electrical safety issue that could injure someone you love or even set your RV on fire. And this does possibly involve your own kids and grandchildren (maybe on your next camping trip) so read on and warn your friends and children about it.

DO NOT Do The Outlet Challenge!!! 

Social media platforms including TicTok have been promoting something called “the Outlet Challenge,” where a cell phone charger is half-way plugged into a wall outlet and a penny is dropped onto the exposed contacts, creating a big electrical arc and frying the outlet. The kids then video the resulting arc-flash and post it on TicTok to prove they performed the challenge. Yes, it’s crazy and dangerous.

Warn Your Youngsters About This! 

All I can say is WOW this is dangerous! Depending on the exact situation, doing this will at least fry the electrical outlet, could start a fire in the wall, possibly blind the person dropping the penny onto the outlet contacts, and maybe even result in death from electrocution if they’re standing on a wet floor and touch the penny while it’s making contact with the live wire.

Take a look at this video (click on image) so you understand what’s going on, and if you see anyone playing around an electrical outlet with a cell phone charger and a penny, stop them immediately, tell them about the dangers, and notify their parents. This is serious stuff and I don’t want to be writing about any fires or injuries next week.

OK, everyone. Remember that electricity is a useful and powerful force, so we all need to pay attention to safety precautions while using it.

Let’s play safe out there….



Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.




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Sink Jaxon (@guest_63896)
3 years ago

Just when you thought kids and social media couldn’t get any more stupid…smh

Tommy Molnar (@guest_63823)
3 years ago

Brought to you by the same folks that started the Tide Pod thing.

Bob p (@guest_63413)
3 years ago

This is similar to the choking challenge that kids were doing. About 9 years ago when I was driving a school bus one of the boys on my bus hung himself after school. The choking game involved standing on a chair, putting a rope around your neck and kicking the chair from under your feet then your friend would save you when you lost consciousness, except his friends became distracted and left him hanging, three days later they had his funeral. It is very sad that some sicko on the internet can cause the injuries and even death of our children and never face the consequences of their actions until judgement day.

Uncle John (@guest_63231)
3 years ago

Crazy, dangerous and STUPID – can’t fix that!!!

Wolfe (@guest_63097)
3 years ago

This one called it the outlet challenge but why are cell phone chargers being indicted more than ANYTHING that plugs in?

Ever wonder if all these challenges are intentional Darwinian population control? Who comes up with this stuff?

RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Maybe “cell phone chargers [are] being indicted more than ANYTHING that plugs in” because more kids have cell phones than ever before and the phones are more a part of their lives than, say, a toaster that plugs in. 😕 —Diane at

Wolfe (@guest_63483)
3 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Easy solution… I propose the “Toaster Challenge” for the parents. Anytime you see a kid being stupid, you swing the toaster at his head to knock some sense back in.

RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Yeah, I shouldn’t have mentioned a toaster. But I know you wouldn’t really do that, Wolfe. Unfortunately, some people would. 🙁 —Diane at

Jeff (@guest_63206)
3 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Agreed Wolfe: Darwinism runs rampent in this country. “Stupid is as Stupid Does”!

Reducing the worlds population of very Stupid People is a GODSEND!

Wolfe (@guest_63484)
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Unfortunately not a godsend… in battle you shoot to wound not kill because it absorbs a team’s effort to clear wounded. Same here… the stupid don’t go away; they just become a drag on wiser/smarter society. Speculate who wants that.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse (@guest_62998)
3 years ago

Kids will be kids (not always good) and will find ways to get thrills and irritate parents. I find it interesting that this picture from the Plymouth Fire Department had the outlet upside down (hospital configuration) and it would be difficult to perform the challenge as described (sliding coin down). It would have to be slid up, with the challengers hands in contact with the penny the whole time. Shocking

Snayte (@guest_64315)
3 years ago

Most cell pone chargers (all?) do not have a ground pin so you could still drop the penny and contact the hot and neutral.

Gray (@guest_62917)
3 years ago

TicTok fad: a challenge, like a cliff?
Social media = lemmings bragging about leaping off the cliff.
Kids: thinking they can FLY while leaping off the cliff.
Old Timer: a survivor who (red-faced) remembers all the stupid stuff he did as a kid.

David Allen (@guest_62838)
3 years ago

And this is the generation that is supposed to fix all the crap the Millennials screwed up. Stupid yes. But there will be some that do it anyway. Jeepers what will they think of next.

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