It can be quite annoying when your outlet or receptacle stops working. How can you use your appliances or charge gadgets? If you’re pretty handy, you can try to diagnose the problem. Otherwise, it’s best to call a reputable electrician to find a reliable solution. That being said, if you are determined to make a DIY fix, here are seven of the most common reasons why the receptacle is dead:

Blown Fuse

If you still have an old-fashioned fuse box, chances are the outlet isn’t working because of a blown fuse. Check your fuse box and watch out for discolored glass and melted metal to identify the faulty fuse. Then, unscrew and replace it with an identical fuse to prevent further power interruptions.

Circuit Breaker Tripped

It can be annoying when the circuit breaker trips, and this is also the most common culprit why electrical outlet stops working. Circuit breakers control the electricity flowing into your home. When there’s a power surge, the breaker will trip to shut it off, preventing overheating and fires. If the receptacle stops, check the breaker panel as it could be stuck in-between off and on. Then, switch it off and reset the breaker to solve the issue yourself.

Burnt Out

Electrical receptacles can burn out since strong current flows through them. At times, due to wear and tear, wiring overheats and just stop working. Watch out for blackening in the outlet because it means there was a very small fire. This is dangerous so call a licensed electrician to fix the problem before it escalates into a raging fire.

GFCI Tripped

The ground fault circuit interrupter was designed to shut down if it notices a trip. This outlet is usually present in areas with water like your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. It prevents electrical shock as water is a conductor. This outlet comes with reset buttons which you can push to get the outlet working again. If that doesn’t work, there may be bigger problems in your electrical wiring, so professional help is in order.

Loose Connection

The wiring within the outlet can loosen over time with constant plugging and unplugging. This job is best left to a licensed electrician to ensure you don’t get electrocuted or inadvertently start a fire. It can be tricky to remove an outlet from its plate and fix the internal wiring system without the right tools and knowledge. But if you want to check, don’t forget to turn off your circuit breaker before working on the receptacle. 

Worn Out Slots

The outlet metal points can wear, so the grip on the plug is no longer as snug and secure. This happens because of heat and normal use. When this happens, you can expect:

  • Tripping breaker

  • Crackling within the receptacle

  • Sparking

If you’ve got an old receptacle, you need to replace it with a newer one that’s up to code, such as an arc-fault or GFCI outlet. A capable electrician can readily fix the problem.

Defective Outlet

If you’ve got a fairly new house and everything seems in order, you could have a defective outlet installed on your wall. Sadly, this can happen because manufacturers are not infallible. In this instance, calling for electrical services is best, especially if dealing with electrical wiring is out of your realm of expertise. Please view service locations here: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Eugene, Hillsboro and Portland.

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