East-West Electric, Inc

What Causes A Dead Outlet

iphone charger plug

What Causes A Dead Outlet

Imagine you plug in your iPhone and nothing happens. You try to fix the problem on your phone in a number of different ways until you figure out that the issue is not your phone or charging cable, but the electrical outlet itself. If suddenly an outlet in your home stops working, there are a number of different reasons why this is happening. Keep reading to find out what causes a dead outlet and how to fix it.

Causes of a Dead Outlet

Tripped Circuit Breaker

A very common reason why you have a dead outlet in your home is that you tripped the circuit breaker. Whenever a circuit breaker gets overloaded, which can happen often when a lot of electricity is being used, it will stop the electricity from flowing to the outlets in that circuit. This is actually a safety measure to prevent a dangerous system overload.

Check the circuit breaker in your home for any tripped breakers. If you find any, that may be the problem. You can restore electricity to the dead outlet by flipping the breakers in the other direction. But, it doesn’t stop there. Unplug or turn off every device or appliance that is on that circuit and avoid using them all at once to prevent a problem in the future.

Blown Fuse

Another potential problem related to your circuit breaker is a blown fuse. However, it can be a little harder to fix on your own. If you’re not sure what a blown fuse looks like, check and see if there is something with a damaged filament or broken glass. This should be the fuse and a broken one at that.

If you feel confident you can find a fuse that matches with the same amperage, you can replace the blown fuse yourself. However, if you have doubts about whether you can do this or not, contact a professional licensed electrician for help.

GFCI Outlet Malfunction

If your home has outlets with the buttons “Retest” or “Test” on them, they are GFCI outlets. They are designed to shut off whenever there is a leak of electrical current. You can know if there is an issue with your GFCI outlets when you press the “Test” button and the “Retest” button is not popping out. This is when you should call an experienced electrician for repairs. You can buy them here.

Bad Wiring

Sometimes the culprit is your home’s wiring. Especially, if you live in an older home or one that you haven’t updated. With time, wires can split or loosen, resulting in a loss of electrical current to an outlet. If you are suspecting your home has bad wiring, contact an electrician to rewire your home as soon as you can. Degraded or aging wiring can heat up easily and start an electrical fire, which is the number one cause why homes burn down.

Learn why a sparkling outlet is dangerous here.

How To Fix a Dead Outlet

#1 Check on How Plugs Fit into Sockets

Whenever a device is plugged into an outlet it should fit well and stay in place. If you plug something and it doesn’t fit, then the cause of the dead circuit can be the outlet. 

If you plug in a device or appliance and it’s not staying in place, then the receptacle may be worn out. The best way of fixing this issue is by buying a new outlet and replacing it.

#2 Plug a Lamp Into Each Outlet And See If They Work

If you think several outlets are dead in your home, then you will need to check them for signs of fault. For example, a dead outlet can be discolored or scorched. Sometimes you can think an outlet is not working because it gets too hot when working. In this case, you need to know which outlet is having issues. To find out, you can plug a lamp into every outlet and write down which is functioning properly and which ones are not.

If any of the outlets are wearing out, replace them all at once in order to avoid them all failing and causing you more issues in the future.

#3 Check The Outlets with Different Appliances

It can be hard to tell exactly whether it is the outlet or the appliance that is broken. The best thing you can do is to use different appliances to check which outlet is dead and avoid false results. 

Call The Best Electricians in Clearwater, FL

The best thing you can do if you think you have dead outlets is to call a licensed residential electrician like East-West Electric. We serve the Clearwater, FL area. Repairing an electrical outlet is not a job for everyone. It takes a lot of experience and expertise in order to avoid electrical shock or even electrical fires. Call us today for a free estimate at (727) 771-9403.