Is My Outlet Dead?


Do you have an outlet that seems like it isn’t working correctly? Our Marietta electrical company shares some tricks about how you can determine if it is broken and how you can potentially troubleshoot it without the help of an electrician.

Step 1: Is the problem the outlet?

Unplug the electrical appliance that is plugged into the “trouble” outlet. Connect a small working lamp into the outlet instead. Often, the problem isn’t even with the outlet; it’s caused by broken or faulty electrical objects. If the small lamp doesn’t light up, then the problem is with the outlet.

Another important thing to do before you call an electrician is to double check that the outlet isn’t connected to any switches. Many times when our electricians at Lightning Bug Electric get called out to fix a broken outlet only to find that it’s connected to a switch that has been turned off. It’s always good to do a switch check before you decide the outlet is broken.

Step 2: Does the outlet need to be reset?

Electrical outlets that are in locations that can get wet, such as bathrooms, kitchens, patios, etc., have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for protection. A GFCI outlet will have two buttons in the middle: one that says TEST and another that says RESET. If the outlet has tripped, the RESET button will be protruding a little bit. Push the button and test the outlet.

If the problem outlet is a GFCI but the RESET is not protruding out, there is a chance that it is connected to another GFCI outlet that has tripped and needs to be reset. Check all your home outlets and reset them, then test the problem outlet to see if it works.

Step 3: Did you check the breaker panel?

The circuit that the outlet is on could have been tripped. Check the circuit breaker panel to see if the tripped breaker is between ON and OFF. If so, turn it on and test the outlet.

Step 4: Don’t know what else to do?

If you have exhausted all these options and your outlet still isn’t working, call an electrician. A professional can solve the problem and have your outlet working in now time.

Call Lightning Bug Electric if you have an outlet that just won’t work.

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