What If Your Electrical Outlet Isn’t Working?

Have you ever plugged in a small appliance, only to find it doesn’t work? You change outlets, and it works fine – you know it’s not the appliance. Why isn’t your electrical outlet working?

Before you begin, always put safety first when dealing with electricity. Call in an expert when in doubt. That said, there are a few safe troubleshooting items you can do to see if you can fix the problem.What If Your Electrical Outlet Isn’t Working?

  • If you haven’t checked to ensure it’s the outlet and not the appliance, plug the device into another outlet to see if it turns on.
  • Check to see if other outlets are dead in an area. That could signal it’s a circuit or fuse has blown.
  • If the outlet is a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet, push the reset button. If it trips again or won’t reset, call in an electrician. 
  • If an outlet is dead, unplug everything to avoid problems with power surges.
  • Locate your circuit breaker box to see if the breaker tipped. If you find it has, reset it by pushing the handle to “off” before pushing it to “on”. Ensure the handles all line up, then check to see if the outlet is live.

If you have an electrical outlet tester, you can diagnose your outlets easier. Plug in the device and follow the legend that comes with it to determine the problem. These handy little units will show you if the outlet has voltage, if it doesn’t have proper grounding, or if it’s miswired. This gives you a chance to call to schedule an appointment for an electrician to come out, and you can provide some insight as to what the problem is.

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