You go to plug in a device to an electrical outlet like normal and suddenly
for no reason at all the outlet doesn’t work. Even though you did
nothing different from normal, your device doesn’t turn on, nor
does any other device you plug into it. Why would an outlet simply stop
working for seemingly no reason? This is a more complex question than
you might think; outlets depend on a number of factors to work properly,
so picking out which one might be the cause can be difficult if you don’t
know what you’re looking for.
Breaker Trips & Circuit Overloads
The most common reason why a socket will stop working is that the circuit
breaker fuse box that regulates it has tripped due to an overload, causing
it to shut off and prevent any further damage. While this might be obnoxious,
these safety devices have prevented countless numbers of electrical fires,
and are required by building codes to be installed in every system. To
find out if this is the issue, simply go to your circuit panel and look
for the affected circuit. If the breaker is tripped, then you’ve
found the issue. Simply unplug everything on that particular circuit,
switch the breaker back on, and then slowly plug each device back in to
make sure the circuit stays active.
In some cases, a tripped circuit could be an indicator of a bigger problem:
the outlet itself is experiencing a problem. Start by shutting off the
circuit to that particular outlet and then carefully unscrew the faceplate
and pull the socket itself from the wall. If you notice that a wire has
come loose or isn’t connected, then a faulty connection is likely
the cause. Simply reconnect the wire and place the socket back in the
wall. However, if the connections are good then the outlet itself may
need replaced. However, if the socket in question has a ground-fault circuit
interrupter installed, simply press the “reset” button and
check if power has been restored.
If the wiring is all still intact and the GFCI has been reset but still
your outlet isn’t providing any power, your outlet probably needs
to be replaced. The easiest way to tell this is the case is when plugs
struggle to remain lodged in the outlet because friction and thermal expansion/contraction
have caused the power leads to no longer make a proper connection with
your device plug. This could lead to intermittent connections and other issues.
If you need outlets replaced in your home, it’s highly advised you
leave the job to a trained and experienced Marietta electrician.
Schedule a service appointment by calling Lightning Bug Electric today at (404) 471-3847!