Why did my Electrical Outlet Suddenly Stop Working?
Electricity provides many day-to-day comforts that we have grown accustomed to. Blow-dryers, toasters, microwaves, coffee makers, and many more appliances are powered to make life easier… until the moment when they don’t! Just as you are ready to begin a job, your power seems to have gone out. Upon investigation, you may realize that it’s only one outlet, not all the power. Thank goodness! But now what? There are a few things that you can safely check. It’s also important to know when the safest option is to call in the professionals.
Reasons Why an Electrical Outlet May Stop Working
Begin your investigation by checking to see whether other outlets are functional or not. Lights, appliances, and chargers may be plugged in nearby. If they’re also not receiving power, write down their locations so that you may thoroughly investigate the solution to your electrical situation.
Check the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter
One of the advances in electricity has been the invention of the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). Electric codes require that GFCI outlets are installed in key areas, such as outlets near water, where there’s a high risk for electrical shock. These outlets will automatically shut down power to avoid overloading and shock. If the GFCI outlet is connected to standard outlets and one of the standard circuits has blown, it will affect the GFCI. Try resetting the outlet; if that doesn’t resolve the problem, there’s probably wiring that’s loose in the outlet. Call for expert help.
Check the Circuit Breakers
Circuit breakers are designed to control the flow of electricity throughout your home or building. It handles a large amount of electricity and distributes it evenly to the outlets. Sometimes an outlet becomes overloaded, for example, when a toaster oven and microwave share an outlet or breaker and are used simultaneously. A breaker will “trip,” or switch off, in order to prevent long-lasting damage by simply interrupting the circuit and turning it off.
To check the breakers, you will need to locate the main circuit panel. Open the service panel door, and search for circuits that are tripped. This will appear as though a switch has been flipped or moved from one side to the other. All active breakers should be aligned to one side. If breakers are flipped, pay attention to whether there is a breaker that is connected to the dead outlet(s). To return the breaker to the “on” position, simply move the tripped breaker completely over to the off position. You may hear a clicking noise. Next, move to the on position. If the outlet(s) are still having problems, the line may be blown. If this is the case, you will need to get professional help.
Older homes and buildings may not have been updated with a breaker box. In that case, a fuse box may be distributing the electrical flow to the outlets. If an outlet becomes overloaded, a fuse will blow, much like a lightbulb. When a fuse has blown, pieces of melted metal or discolored glass will likely be noticeable. You can unscrew the fuse and replace it with one that is identical. This should resolve the issue.
Hire an Expert for all your electrical solutions!
While there are steps you can take on your own to resolve an outlet that is not working, there is a time and place for professionals to step in. Electricity is not something to take guesses about because of the dangerous consequences that can occur from improperly repairing or mistakenly touching things. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by calling in professionals to help you safely resolve the electrical problem.
Some things that are common when an outlet is not working may include loose electrical outlet wiring, or a burned-out electrical outlet caused by a surge which will likely cause a black, charred appearance on the electrical outlet.
A professional can safely inspect the breaker or fuse box, standard electrical outlets as well as GFCI outlets, and check for loose wiring. It may be that electrical outlet installation will solve the problem and the professional electrician can do this job on the spot.
Whom do I call?
BG Electric Service LLC has decades of experience delivering superb customer and electrical services in and around Philadelphia, PA. Our licensed electricians will get the job done right the first time and offer affordable rates. It is worth your investment to hire a trusted electrician to meet your needs so that your jobs can be done to a level of quality that offers safety along with efficiency in your home or business. Contact our top-of-the-line customer service agents today to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed electricians. We look forward to serving you!