Troubleshooting a Malfunctioning Outlet
June 8, 2018
Plugging something into an outlet usually carries an implied understanding that power will flow from the outlet to the device being plugged in, turning it on. And, to be fair, most of the time it works as intended. However, every now and again, the plug decides it doesn’t want to work, leaving you frustrated and with a thoroughly un-powered hair dryer or lamp or toaster. Once you get past the initial confusion, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and figure out just what’s going on with your outlet.
Troubleshooting an ornery outlet can be quite dangerous if you try to get too far into the nitty-gritty of the electrical components, so if the issue is a wiring one, it’s best to let an experienced electrician handle it at that point. However, some problems you may be able to identify and correct at home without much trouble. Follow these quick and easy tips from Electric Today to find out how to troubleshoot a faulty outlet. If you find the problem is too technical to handle yourself, our top-of-the-line electricians will be able to do it for you, no problem!
Are Other Outlets Dead?
Before assuming you’ve got a whole-house electrical problem, check to see if any other outlets are dead or experiencing trouble alongside the one that tipped you off in the first place. Plug a lamp into various outlets to see if they, too, aren’t supplying power. If they are, you’ve got a larger concern on your hands – but if the others work, you can at least narrow down the trouble to one problematic outlet.
Check the Circuit Breaker
Sometimes, the solution is as simple as checking the breaker in the laundry room. It’ll honestly be a relief to discover the only thing you need to do is flip a switch back – which will hopefully stay un-tripped in the future. However, if a tripped breaker was the culprit and it keeps tripping, then an underlying complication is likely at play. If that’s the case, call an electrician to come inspect your home.
Physical Damage to Outlet
When an outlet is faulty, you may notice charring, burning or sparking. These are crystal-clear signs to immediately stop using the outlet, because something is wrong and any further use could lead to a significantly more dangerous situation. The outlet needs to be repaired and/or replaced as soon as possible.
Outlets that are prone to short-circuit possibilities are usually outfitted with GFCI – Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter – capabilities. They automatically shut off whenever the outlet detects even a miniscule difference in the strength of the current flowing in and out, and they can be lifesavers in the event of a potential disaster.
If these outlets aren’t working, then a simple press of the “reset” button on the outlet should restore power to it. However, if that doesn’t do the trick, then a call to the electrician may be in order.
Troubleshooting an outlet doesn’t need to be an intimidating task! Oftentimes the problem is quickly solvable at home, and it doesn’t require a significant amount of electrical expertise. In certain cases, however, you’ll need to leave it up to someone who specializes in electrical wiring to help get your outlets back on track. Electric Today has you covered, so give us a call at 813-653-4221 and get in touch with us today