Your entire day can be disrupted if your electric outlets not working. In fact, most people struggle to figure out what’s wrong with theirs at home.
Fortunately, fixing most damaged outlets doesn’t require finding an electrician for hire – you can do fixes via the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. However, understanding the problem ahead of time will most definitely speed up the fixing process. It’s critical to identify the potential causes of your problematic outlets if you wish to remedy them yourself.
Continue reading to learn which problems can be solved on your own and which ones require contacting an electrician.
- Circuit Breaker Overload
Electrical outlets not working can be a result of a circuit breaker trip. Such faults are usually caused by overloaded electrical circuits. Electrical outlets usually stop working when circuits get overloaded due to numerous appliances operating or being used at once. Outlets not functioning but lights functioning or electricity going out completely in a certain room is the most evident indication that a circuit has tripped.
To solve such a problem, plug anything into an electrical outlet and hold the connection for ten seconds to reset it. If this works, the outlet should return to normal. If that doesn’t work, go to your electrical panel and check to see if any circuits are turned OFF. Power should be restored by simply turning the tripped circuits back to ON.
- Burnt Out Outlet
This is caused when outlets handle electrical currents that are too strong for them to handle safely. A strong current like this has the potential to ignite an outlet. Your wiring may catch fire due to strong electrical currents, rendering an outlet inoperative.
If you see any charred patches surrounding your outlets, it’s time to get the outlet completely replaced. Don’t forget that burned-out outlets are a significant fire hazard that needs to be addressed right away.
- Possible Blown Fuse
A fuse box rather than a circuit breaker could be present in an older house. The fuse can melt and stop the flow of electricity to a specific circuit when the circuit is overloaded. In such a situation, you won’t have power until you replace the fuse entirely.
Once the blown fuse has been replaced, power should be returned to the circuit. Just remember that unplugging some items could be a good idea if the circuit is overloaded to prevent it from happening again. Additionally, you should switch from your fuse box to a circuit breaker box as soon as possible.
- Half-Hot Outlet Situation
This sort of outlet, which is occasionally referred to as a lamp outlet, differs slightly from ordinary outlets in that half of it, often the bottom half, is controlled by a switch on the wall. This is because a half-hot outlet’s main function is to enable you to plug in a lamp, turn it on, and then control the bulb using the light switch.
Flipping a switch can be all that’s required to fix your outlet. All you have to do to remedy this is find and flip the switch, then try the outlet once more.
- Short Circuit
A short circuit can start a fire. This happens when the planned flow of electricity is disrupted by two wires accidentally touching each other.
To fix this you have to reset the circuit breaker. If, after resetting the breaker, it flips again when nothing is connected, turn the switch off and call an electrician.
- Tripped GFCI
To prevent electrical shock, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in restrooms and other locations with water to prevent tripping. To reduce the risk of electrocution, GFCI outlets are designed to shut off when they detect an increase in power. Unfortunately, GFCIs periodically cut off even when there hasn’t been a surge, since they can be fickle.
To resolve electrical outlets not working, reset the GFCI by simply pushing the reset button, which is usually a little rectangular button in the center of the outlet. Put your charger in after that to see if it turns on.
- Loose Connection Wires
Your outlet’s malfunction could be due to a loose wire connection, as power can’t establish connections if the wires going to your outlet are floppy. For anyone who isn’t a trained electrician, determining whether loose connections are the source of outlet problems is a difficult and dangerous operation.
Hence, if such a fault arises, you’ll need an electrician to remove the front plate from your outlet and switch off your circuit breaker. After this, the outlet can then be removed and the cables attached to it can be checked for looseness.
- Broken Outlet
An outlet can cease to function for various reasons, the electrical outlet could get shabby and outdated, or it could be due to wear and tear. Whatever the case, it has to be changed. You should replace the outlet if you’ve tried the preceding methods without result.
An electrician should be contacted if the issue wasn’t resolved by the previously mentioned methods or if you’re having issues with your outlets and don’t feel comfortable conducting your troubleshooting.