Why Aren’t My Outlets Working?
If your outlet is not working, there is a chance that you’ll need a pro to fix it, but some troubleshooting would come in handy. You’ve already popped your popcorn for movie night, but when you turn on the TV …. nothing. But don’t panic—it’s not your TV that’s dead; it’s the outlet.
Outlet malfunctioning is a common problem homeowners face. In some cases, it’s not a bad idea to take a few troubleshooting steps to see if you can solve the problem yourself before calling Safe and Sound Electric. Here’s a guide to some of the most common reasons for a dead electrical outlet.
Safety warning: You have to take safety precautions when dealing with electricity. Unplug all devices and appliances from dead outlets. It’s also a good idea not to come near an electric plug or outlet without switching off the breaker from the main electric panel.
Why Does My Electrical Outlet Spark?
Some outlet sparks are normal, but short circuits, water exposure, and age can all cause dangerous sparks
Why Is My Electrical Outlet Not Working?
If you found yourself stuck with an electrical outlet that doesn’t work, it’s not always because of a major electrical problem. Here are some reasons you might be having trouble and troubleshooting tips to try before calling Safe and Sound Electric.
Sometimes outlets are controlled by wall switches, so you can turn on your electronics with a simple flip. So before you stress yourself out about your outlet not working, check to see that the switch is actually on first. It sounds like a silly thing to overlook, but (let’s be real) we’ve all been there.
A Problem With the Device Not the Outlet
Sometimes you think the outlet is dead, but the problem is actually with the device or appliance you’re trying to use. To make sure that’s not the issue, plug a different device into the same outlet. If it works, then it’s a problem with the device.
If you’re still not seeing results, check other outlets in the same room. Are they all dead? Now it’s time to call Safe and Sound Electric.
If you tend to plug too many things into the same circuit, it can get overloaded when drawing more electricity than the circuit can handle, leading the circuit breaker to trip.
If your outlet doesn’t work, check the home breaker panel. If a breaker is tripped—the switch is in the middle, between ON and OFF—reset the breaker by flipping it to OFF and then back to ON.
If this doesn’t solve the problem and the breaker reverts back to the tripped position, this could be a sign you have a potentially dangerous situation, and you need to call Safe and Sound Electric right away.
Tripped GFCI Outlet
Many new buildings require GFCI outlets (ground-fault circuit interrupters) near sinks or damp areas. Instead of a flipped circuit breaker, this device shuts itself off (and the other outlets on the same circuit) when it detects excess heat.
When this happens, press the reset button on the outlet. If it doesn’t reset, you need to contact Safe and Sound Electric.
Although it isn’t common, an outlet can burn out and quit functioning. If the outlet is faulty, you might want to consider having Safe and Sound Electric replace it.
In some cases, the outlet doesn’t work because of an improper installation or loose connection, such as the following situations:
- Backstabbing: Instead of using screws to connect wires to outlets, the wire is pushed into a connector inside the device. This creates a loose connection and causes the wires to burn out.
- Incorrect use of wire nuts: Wire nuts keep all wires covered and tied together. But not using wire nuts properly will cause an outlet to stop functioning properly.
- Loose connections: If any of the wires have come loose, they need reattaching—this problem is more common with old wiring.
Contact Safe and Sound Electric to have your wires properly connected.
If you don’t know much about electricity, we recommend avoiding DIYing to avoid any dangerous mistakes. Electricians are trained to work with safety codes. Besides, they have special equipment and testers to help them locate and diagnose electrical issues that are difficult to pinpoint.
Is a Dead Outlet Dangerous?
Home electrical issues can be deadly serious, even causing house fires. This is why you should always take any electrical issue seriously.
If your electrical outlet is not working and signs of a burning smell, discolored outlet, or outlet spark appear, you need to talk to Safe and Sound Electric as soon as possible.