You plug in your coffee pot to brew your morning java, but the coffeemaker won't turn on! You test the outlet by plugging in another appliance - still no power. Nothing is more frustrating than when you go to plug in a home appliance and it doesn’t work. If you're wondering why your electrical outlets not working, it's time to do a bit of troubleshooting.
Electrical outlets not working is a common issue that eventually many homeowners face. The good news is that it is usually something that can be quickly fixed or repaired by a licensed electrician.
Here are 7 reasons why your electrical outlets may not be working and how an electrician in Durham, like the ones at MSS Ortiz, can help.
7 Reasons Why Your Electrical Outlets are Not Working
The Circuit Breaker Tripped
When the circuit breaker has shorted or been overloaded, it may shut down and stop working. Check nearby outlets and see if they’re working. If they’re not, then your circuit breaker may be to blame. When too many appliances are plugged in, the circuit breaker can trip. If you have any damaged appliances, they can short out easily, tripping your circuit breaker.
When a circuit breaker has tripped, the lever usually flips to the middle or off position. Before flipping the circuit breaker back on, be sure to unplug anything that is connected to the outlet. If you do this and your outlet is still dead, you’ll want to call an electrician at MSS Ortiz to come out and look at the problem.
You Need New Wiring
When electrical wiring is old or damaged, electricity is not going to flow properly. This can lead to an outlet not working as it should. Besides an outlet not working, you may hear a constant buzzing sound from the outlet or notice a burnt smell from the outlet. These are also indicators that you need new electrical wiring.
There is a Bad Connection
A bad connection can lead to electrical outlets not working. Since outlets are installed using a box, there could be issues like damaged screws or a loose connection that are to blame. If the box can not provide enough power, the outlet will stop working.
A blown fuse could be to blame if your electricity is operated by a fuse box. Look for any melted metal pieces or discolored glass as they may indicate a blown fuse.
Tripped GFCI Outlet
Any GFCI outlets that may have shorted out will lead to the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets shutting themselves off. You’ll find GFCI outlets where water is nearby. They have reset and test buttons between the two plugs. You can try resetting the outlet to see if that works. If it doesn’t, there may be another issue going on with your power source that needs to be looked at by a professional electrician.
Burned Out Outlets
A burnt-out outlet can lead to electrical outlets not working. Strong electrical current can lead to small fires in the wiring and outlets not working. Burnt-out outlets are a fire hazard and need to be replaced immediately.
Loose Connecting Wires
Loose wires can also be to blame for electrical outlets not working. This is usually a situation where you want to call in the pros. An electrician in Durham can inspect the wires connecting to the outlet to see if they’re loose. They can be repositioned and tightened so that they work again.
Protecting Yourself Against Faulty Outlets
When you have electrical outlets not working, it’s far more than a nuisance. It can pose a real danger to your home and your family.
If an outlet starts to spark or stays warm consistently, stop using it right away. Any signs of blackening around the plug are also a red flag that something is wrong. The outlet needs to be replaced by a professional electrician.
Here are some other tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission when it comes to handling outlets.
- Avoid unplugging appliances by pulling on the cord at an angle. This can lead to the outlet cracking, exposing live wires.
- Be sure all prongs are completely in the outlet and that nothing is exposed.
- If young children are in the house, use plastic safety caps in any unused outlets.
By being aware of what is going on with the outlets in your home and using common sense when something doesn’t look right, you can avoid potential hazards when electrical outlets are not working.
Count On Us for Electrical Repairs
When you have electrical outlets not working or any type of wiring or electrical issues, MSS Ortiz is here to help. We have a team of experienced Durham electricians who are ready to assess your problem and complete the repairs.