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Why is My Outlet Not Working?

Electrical Outlet Not WorkingYou go to plug something in, but nothing happens. Is it the plug? If you try something else and that doesn’t work either, it’s likely the outlet that has stopped working. When an outlet is not working, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue and make sure it’s fixed properly. There are numerous reasons why an outlet can stop working, and Allied Electric can help with fixing any of them. Below are just a few of the reasons why your outlet may have stopped working.

Outlet Not Working: Half-Hot Outlets

Some homes have outlets that only work if a switch is turned on. The switch may also control the lights, or it may be only for the outlet. If the switch is turned off, the outlet won’t work. This is called a half-hot outlet. If an electrical outlet is not working, try looking around the room for a switch that doesn’t seem to go to anything and flip it on or turn on the lights in the room. If the outlet starts working, it’s a half-hot outlet operated with a switch, and the switch must be on for it to work.

Circuit Breaker Tripped

Electricity comes into the home through the electrical panel, where it is then split between various circuit breakers and sent to where it’s needed at the time. If there is too much of an electrical current flowing through a circuit, the breaker could trip. When this happens, anything on the breaker will turn off to help prevent potential damage. In some cases, it can lead to multiple outlets not working.

If an outlet has stopped working, check the breakers in the electrical panel to see if any are tripped. It can be difficult to see which one has tripped, so it may be a good idea to try each one and see if there is one that’s not fully turned on. If one is found, turn it to the off position, then flip the circuit breaker on again. This should fix the issue, but if it begins to trip regularly, a call to an electrician is needed.

Fuse Has Blown

Older electrical systems may have fuses instead of breakers, but they work in a similar way. Instead of a breaker tripping, the fuse can blow. If this happens, the glass will look discolored, or the metal pieces will be melted. The fuse will need to be taken out and replaced before the outlet starts working again. If this happens again, it is necessary to have an electrician do an inspection, and it may be recommended to upgrade to a circuit panel. Fuses are outdated and can start to have regular issues due to their age, so upgrading the panel can prevent this from happening again.

GFCI Outlet Not Working

If the breaker has not tripped, it may be that the outlet has stopped working because it’s on a GFCI circuit. Even if the outlet isn’t a GFCI outlet, if it is on the same circuit as one, the GFCI outlet could trip if it detects a short. This is done to help protect against electrical shock if water comes into contact with the electricity. These are generally located in kitchens and bathrooms and may be near the microwave, sink, or other places that require electricity in a room that also has plumbing. Pressing the reset button on the GFCI outlet should get it working again.

Connecting Wires are Loose

If the outlet isn’t working, but the room has power, it may be that the connections to the outlet aren’t working properly. This can also be the case if the outlet isn’t working properly, but the light switch does. Loose wiring can be dangerous and can lead to shocks or an electrical fire because of arcing electricity, so it is necessary to have an electrician take a look and fix the connecting wires. In most cases, reconnecting the outlet to the wires will fix the issue, and it should not reoccur.

Outlet Has Burned Out

When there are strong electrical currents, it can cause an outlet to burn out due to a small electrical fire. Though the fire may not last long or damage anything other than the outlet, it is important to avoid using the outlet until it can be repaired or replaced. Burned-out outlets can happen if there is a surge in electricity when plugging something in or when there are issues with the outlet itself. An outlet that has signs of burning, like scorch marks, can be a fire hazard, so it is important to have it fixed as quickly as possible.

Outlets are relied on daily to run appliances, charge electronic devices, and more. When an outlet stops working, Allied Electric can get it working again. We help residents in Prescott and Prescott Valley, and we’ll be able to do a thorough inspection to determine why the outlet stopped working and what is needed to get it working again.

Contact us today at (928) 232- 4028 to schedule an appointment or to get fast help for an outlet that has stopped working in your home.