How to Fix a Broken Outlet

How to Fix a Broken Outlet: Steps to Resolve a Non-Functioning Outlet

Have you ever plugged something into an outlet only to find it’s not working? It’s a frustrating situation, but before you panic, there are several steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially resolve the issue yourself. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you diagnose why your outlet is not working and when it might be time to call in an expert electrician near you.

Check Other Outlets 

Start by testing other outlets in the room or area. If all outlets are dead, the problem might be with a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse. Head to your electrical panel and look for any breakers that are in the “off” position or fuses that are blown. Resetting the breaker or replacing the fuse might restore power to the outlets.

Test the GFCI Outlets

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are designed to shut off automatically if they detect a ground fault or electrical imbalance. These outlets often control power to other outlets downstream. Locate all GFCI outlets in your home—typically found in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and outdoors—and press the “reset” button. If the outlet resets and restores power, your problem might be solved.

Inspect the Outlet Itself

Sometimes, outlets can become damaged or wear out over time. Carefully inspect the non-working outlet for any signs of damage, such as burn marks, discoloration, or loose wires. If you notice any, do not attempt to repair it yourself—call a licensed electrician immediately.

Test with a Voltage Tester

If you have a voltage tester, you can use it to check if there is power reaching the outlet. Follow the instructions for your tester to safely test the outlet and determine if it is receiving power. If the tester indicates no power, the problem may be in the wiring or further upstream.

Call a Professional Electrician

If you’ve tried these troubleshooting steps and you still can’t fix the broken outlet, it’s time to call in a professional electrician. Attempting to fix electrical issues without the right knowledge and tools can be dangerous. Our team of expert electricians at J.A. Bertsch Heating & Cooling is ready to help.

Contact Us Today

Contact J.A. Bertsch Heating & Cooling today at (208) 715-9694 if you need assistance troubleshooting your outlet or any other electrical issues. We proudly serve Athol, Coeur d’Alene, Hayden, Rathdrum, Sandpoint, and Spirit Lake. Let us ensure your home’s electrical system is safe and functional.

FAQs

How to fix a broken outlet?

When dealing with an outlet that’s not functioning, start by checking if other outlets in the vicinity are also affected. This can help determine if the issue lies with a specific outlet or the entire circuit. Next, inspect the outlet itself for any visible damage, loose wires, or burn marks. If everything appears intact, try resetting any nearby GFCI outlets by pressing the “reset” button. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, it’s advisable to consult with a qualified electrician for a thorough assessment and repair.

How to find out why an outlet is not working?

If you discover an outlet that is not providing power, begin by ensuring that it is not controlled by a tripped GFCI outlet elsewhere in your home. GFCI outlets are often in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and outdoor areas. Press the “reset” button on any tripped GFCI outlets to restore power to the affected outlet. If this doesn’t solve the problem, carefully inspect the outlet for signs of damage, such as discoloration or loose connections. For a definitive diagnosis and safe resolution, contact a licensed electrician who can investigate further.

Why are my outlets not working but the breaker isn’t tripped?

In cases where outlets remain non-functional despite no tripped breakers, several potential issues could be at play. Firstly, check nearby GFCI outlets, as they may control the power supply to other outlets on the same circuit. Secondly, inspect the affected outlet for loose wiring or signs of damage that could disrupt the electrical flow. If troubleshooting these common causes does not restore power, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from an electrician to identify and address the underlying electrical fault.

How do I reset an outlet?

To reset an outlet, begin by locating any nearby GFCI outlets and pressing the “reset” button, as these can sometimes control power to other outlets in the circuit. If the outlet has its own reset button, press it firmly to restore power. Alternatively, check your electrical panel for any tripped breakers associated with the outlet’s circuit. Reset the breaker by flipping it fully to the “off” position and then back to “on”. If these steps fail to reset the outlet, refrain from further attempts, and consult with a professional electrician for expert assistance.

What happens when an outlet will not reset?

When an outlet refuses to reset, it is typically a sign of an underlying electrical issue that requires professional attention. First, check for any visible signs of damage or loose connections to the outlet itself. If the outlet appears undamaged and other troubleshooting steps prove unsuccessful, avoid repeated attempts to reset the outlet, as this can pose safety risks. Contact a qualified electrician promptly to diagnose the problem accurately and implement the necessary repairs to restore safe electrical operation.

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