Reasons Why Outlets Stop Working Out of the Blue

September 7, 2022

Electrical Outlet Repair Services | US Electrical
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US Electrical is a company to call when some of your electrical outlets at home are not working. If you do not want to have future problems, it is highly recommended that you should hire a licensed electrician to do electrical outlet installation for you. Here, we have the best team of licensed electricians whom you can always rely on to diagnose your electrical problems.

Most individuals have no idea what lies behind an outlet. As a result, when a plug stops working, homeowners frequently have difficulties detecting the issue. Most homes have to deal with broken outlets on a regular basis.

When a wall plug in any part of your home stops working, it may be a major annoyance. An apparently dead outlet can be caused by a number of circumstances, albeit the electrical outlet itself isn’t always the source of the problem. This blog discusses why a wall socket stops working, how to determine if the problem is with the outlet, and what you can do to troubleshoot the socket.

Here are some of the most common problems why your outlets stopped working:

Tripped Circuit Breaker. Circuit breakers regulate the flow of power to each room in your home. When an excessive amount of electrical current flows through the circuits, the breaker will ‘trip’ or turn off to prevent the circuits from overheating and causing harm.

Examine your circuit breaker panel if an outlet is not working. The tripped switch will seem to be between the ‘on’ and ‘off’ positions. Turn the switch off, then back on. This will reset the circuit and maybe repair the broken outlet.

  • Blown Fuse. If your electricity is controlled by a fuse box, the problem might be a blown fuse. Examine your fuse box for burnt metal or discolored glass. After identifying the faulty fuse, remove it and replace it with a new, similar fuse.
  • Tripped GFCI. When a short circuit is detected, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets automatically turn off. GFCI outlets are intended to safeguard against electrical shock in situations where water is present, such as near the kitchen sink and in restrooms. They are distinguished by the ‘reset’ and ‘test’ buttons located between the two sockets.
  • Burned Out Outlets. Outlets may physically burn out. Strong electrical currents can cause tiny fires in your wiring, rendering an outlet inoperable. If any blackening appears on an outlet, a little fire has occurred, and the entire outlet must be replaced. Burned-out outlets provide a major fire risk and should be repaired as soon as possible.
  • Loose Connecting Wires. This is when you should consider hiring an expert. Your malfunctioning outlet might be the result of faulty wiring. To inspect your wiring, make sure the breaker is turned off. Then, remove the outlet’s front plate and the screws that hold it to the wall.
  • Faulty Outlets. Though it is unusual, outlets may fail. If you have tried everything else, you might only need to replace the outlet.
  • Half-hot Outlets. It may be as simple as turning a switch to repair your outlet. Half-hot outlets feature one socket that is controlled by a wall switch (typically the lower plug). If you have a half-hot outlet, flicking the light switches in the room will activate it.

Since electricity is dangerous if you do not feel fully comfortable examining a damaged outlet on your own, contact a qualified expert immediately.

How to Troubleshoot an Outlet That’s Not Working

Electrical Outlet and Switch Troubleshooting | US Electrical

Doing electrical outlet repair all by yourself can be very challenging. That is why it is highly advisable that you should hire an experienced electrician to do it for you.

When an outlet appears to cease operating, there may be no problem with the socket or the electrical system. When you insert a device into a socket, and it does not appear to operate, the issue may be with the device rather than the socket. If the gadget has short or faulty wiring in its cable, it may not turn on after being plugged in.

Another possibility is a half-hot outlet, which indicates that one plug is controlled by a nearby wall switch while the other is not. When moving into a new home, homeowners must sometimes rely on trial and error to establish which electrical outlets are connected to wall switches. Both plugs on an electrical outlet are usually connected to a switch; however, half-hot outlets may go unnoticed by the new household. If you noticed electrical outlet problems, here are the best things that you should need to do:

Step 1: Make sure that the problem is not with the appliance

What seems to be a dead outlet is often a dead bulb or electrical equipment. To make sure that’s not the case, put your functional lamp into the faulty socket. If it lights up, the fault is with the outlet you were using previously.

Step 2: Check for a switch to the outlet

You should always investigate a dead outlet to discover that it is connected to a flicked-off switch. (It occurs more often than you may believe.)

Try flickering the switches in the room while the lamp is still plugged into the dead socket. A switch that controls another light may also control the outlet. If you discover that the switch controls the outlet and you do not want it to, an electrician may rewire it for you.

Step 3: Look for a tripped GFCI breaker

Ground fault circuit interrupters safeguard electrical outlets in damp parts of your home (GFCIs). They save you from getting electrocuted if they come into touch with water.

The center of GFCI outlets has two buttons, one labeled “reset” and the other “test.” GFCI outlets can be found in your bathroom, kitchen, garage, patio, and other exterior locations.

Even if the problematic outlet lacks the “test/reset” buttons, it might be linked to another GFCI outlet in your home. Examine them all. In one instance, an outlet outside the house near the front entrance stopped working. You had to press the “reset” button on the kitchen GFCI outlet.

Step 4: Check the panel breaker

The circuit that the outlet is connected to may have tripped. Open your circuit breaker panel and search for a tripped breaker.

Breakers that have been tripped will be between the ON and OFF positions.

Step 5: Call an electrician

You’ve explored all of the simple DIY remedies for your dead outlet at this point. It’s probably something more difficult. Wiring, for example, might be crossed someplace. An electrician has state-of-the-art tools and equipment to assist them in locating and fixing the problem accurately and in a timely manner.

A faulty outlet can not only start a fire, but it can also electrocute you. That is why it is better to leave it to specialists who understand how to identify and fix the issue. You might be able to solve the problem. However, if you lack the necessary tools or knowledge, it is advisable to avoid dealing with a dead outlet and leave it to the specialists.

Do not wait until worse things happen just because of an outlet that stopped working. Instead of neglecting the issue, contact US Electrical right away, so we can immediately provide you with the help you need.

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