Why Aren't My Outlets Working?


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.

Bad Connection

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!
Share To: