Posted on: 5 April 2021
One of the more common residential electrical repairs an electrician provides is to fix a dead outlet. If you barely have enough outlets to go around, having an outlet that doesn't work is a major inconvenience. Here's a look at some possible causes of a dead outlet and the repairs an electrician might do to get it working again.
Power Supply Problems
You can probably handle some power supply issues yourself. For instance, you may have forgotten the outlet is controlled by a wall switch and the switch has been off all this time. Alternatively, maybe you never knew the outlet was on a dedicated circuit and the circuit breaker tripped. In that case, none of the other outlets or lights would be affected, and you may not think about checking the electrical panel.
If you turn on the switch or reset the tripped circuit, your problem might be solved. If not, you may need an electrician to make repairs such as replacing a bad breaker in the electrical panel.
Another possible power supply problem is when a GFCI outlet trips as a safety measure. Pushing the reset button usually fixes this problem, but if the outlet is bad, you might need an electrician to replace it.
Wiring Is Loose
If there is a loose connection or if the wiring doesn't make contact, the outlet will be dead. An electrician can take the cover off the outlet and look for loose wiring. If that's the case, tightening the connections should fix the problem and restore power to the outlet.
Outlet Is Burned Out
If you don't have enough outlets in your home, you may plug multiple electronics in a single outlet using an adapter or extension cords. When a circuit gets overloaded, it might start smoking, spark, or burn out. If you don't see it happen, you might see char marks on the outlet later.
An outlet that has burned out for any reason should be checked by an electrician before you use it again. There might be melted parts or exposed wiring behind the plate that need to be repaired before the outlet is safe to use again.
A dead outlet can be a mystery. However, an electrician can use a multimeter to test the outlet and pinpoint the problem. However, sometimes the problem is easy to see and the cause is obvious. Other times, the problem might be away from the outlet in the wiring or electrical panel and more difficult to determine. Before you call an electrician, make sure that what you have plugged in isn't the problem. This can be done by plugging the appliance into a different outlet to make sure that it works as intended. If it does work in a different outlet, then go ahead and call an electrician as the other one you did use is likely broken.
For more information, contact a company that provides residential electrical repairs.Share