What to do if your Outlet isn’t Working

Posted on April 27, 2022 by Oozle Media

You are about to go to bed and start your work alarm for the next day, but you realize the only outlet in your bedroom isn’t working for some reason. Your phone is about to die, and you don’t have another outlet in your room to charge your phone. Unfortunately, you have no choice but to charge your phone in the bathroom, hoping your alarm will wake you up just in time for work. There is nothing more frustrating when that one outlet you need at a specific time suddenly stops working. If you are putting off having that outlet fixed or just don’t know where to start, then we have the guide for you! We have a few solutions for you to try before calling in the experts.

A FEW REASONS WHY YOUR OUTLET STOPPED WORKING

Sometimes it’s difficult to really be sure what exactly is going on with your outlet. A broken outlet is very common with most homeowners, but knowing what the issue is can really help you to start the steps you need to take to resolve the issue. 

Blown Fuse

Some homes use a fuse box to operate their electricity. If your fuse box shows any discolor or melted metal, then the fuse may be broken. If that’s the case, you need to replace it with a new fuse.

Loose Connecting Wires

You may not want to attempt to fix your outlet if loose wires are involved. You may want to call in an electrician. To check for loose wiring, make sure the breaker is off and remove the outlet’s front plate, attached to the wall. Pull out the outlet only a few inches from the wall and scan the wires for any issues. If they appear loose, you are going to want to readjust them back into the wall.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

When there is too much electrical current flowing from your circuits, the breaker can cut off and result in damage. Check your circuit breaker panel for any issues and flip the switches on and off. 

Burned Out Outlets

Outlets can burn out and any sign of smoke or black coloring on your outlet is a sign of a possible fire happening. It’s important you call in an electrician to resolve this as it can become very dangerous when you have no idea what you are doing. 

Damaged Outlets

If the outlet does not meet with any of the issues listed above, then you most likely need to replace it. Always be sure to turn off the breaker before trying any kind of testing or repairs. Electricity is dangerous, so if you don’t feel too confident in fixing the issue, then try these 5 steps or call an electrician for help.

STEP 1: TRY PLUGGING SOMETHING ELSE INTO THE OUTLET

The first thing you want to do is to test whether or not your outlet is actually working properly. Try plugging in another appliance or cell phone charger. This can help you to know if it is the outlet or cord that isn’t working. 

STEP 2: TEST OUT YOUR ROOM’S LIGHT SWITCH 

Sometimes light switches are linked to specific outlets. This means you have a double outlet known as a half-hot (or switched outlet), which means one half is permanently on, while the other half can only be turned on and off with a wall switch. If your switch is off, turn it on to see if this resolves the issue at all. 

STEP 3: UNPLUG OTHER APPLIANCES

When there are too many appliances plugged into one or multiple surrounding outlets, your outlet could overheat and not work properly or cause worse issues in the future. Unplugging your outlet and giving it some space will prevent the electrical outlet from overloading. Some ways you can take action when your outlet is overheating is to:

  • Turn off the circuit breaker.
  • Make sure extension cords or power strips are compatible with your outlets.
  • Identify any possible wiring issues.
  • Scan the electrical outlet with a digital thermometer gun.
  • If you aren’t sure what is really going on, hire an electrician to avoid dangerous issues.

We want you and your family to be safe, so if you are noticing your outlet is overheating, this definitely could result in a safety issue and we highly recommend calling in the professionals to take care of it for you! 

STEP 4: CHECK OUT YOUR OTHER OUTLETS

Before spending too much time on just one outlet, try testing out other outlets around the house. If one outlet isn’t working, that usually means other outlets aren’t working as well. You can try plugging in your phone charger or electric appliances in other outlets to make sure it’s not just the one outlet that isn’t working. If other outlets in the same room aren’t working, you are going to want to reset your outlet by using your breaker panel. 

STEP 5: CHECK THE BREAKER PANEL

The breaker panel controls the overall power of your home. You can find the panel in your basement, laundry room, or utility room. Test out the switches from on and off to reset the breaker. Test this out a few times to see whether or not your outlet is working properly.

CALL IN THE EXPERTS

If none of these steps help your outlet to work properly, that’s okay! We are here to help! If you currently live in Utah, you can contact JP Electrical to get the job done! Our experienced and trained professionals have the knowledge to ensure safety and quality when fixing your outlet. 

Do you have other electrical issues? Let us do the troubleshooting for you! Check out our services and what we can do to help!

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