Why Isn’t My Electrical Outlet Working?

Hand turns on, turns off charger in electrical outlet on wall, close-up with copy space

Everyone has gone to plug something in before only to find out their electrical outlet isn’t working. While this may not be the end of the world as far as your electrical system is concerned, it can very frustrating, especially if it is an outlet you use all the time or if more than one outlet in your home is down at a time. While the right course of action may very well be for you to call a professional electrician, you may also want to do some light troubleshooting on your own first—just to see if there’s a simple explanation for why your electrical outlet isn’t working.

Common Reasons Your Electrical Outlet Is Not Working

  1. There’s a problem with the device: The easiest explanation for a faulty outlet is that it’s not faulty at all. The next time you plug something in only to find it’s not working, try a different outlet before jumping to conclusions—there’s a good chance your device is the problem, and you will have saved yourself a big hassle!
  2. You’re experiencing a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker: Blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers are among the most common explanations for outlet issues. You can check to see if your circuit breaker has tripped by finding your electrical panel and seeing if any of the handles do not line up with the rest. If this is the case, you can usually reset the system by turning the handle off and then back on again. If the breaker does not reset after that, you will want to call an electrician right away.
  3. The Outlet Has Become Overloaded: You can overload an outlet by plugging in too many extensions—especially in the summer when you’re likely drawing extra power through your AC. If this happens, your whole electrical system may trip, in which case you will want to follow the same steps from above. In general, you should avoid doing this, as overloading outlets with power strips and adaptors is not only dangerous for you but for your whole home.
  4. You have a wiring problem in one specific area: When one of your outlets is down, make sure to check the others nearby. If the outlets aren’t working ion one specific part of your house, an electrician may want to look specifically at the wiring in that area.
  5. The resent button needs to be pushed: If you have a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet, you may just need to press the reset button. If you still do not get power after that, you will want to contact a professional electrician.

Safe Outlet Testing & When to Call an Electrician

Remember, before testing any outlets, make sure what you are plugging in fits correctly, and that your outlet is properly covered. You can purchase an electrical outlet tester online or at your average home improvement store. This device should indicate whether there’s a problem with your outlet’s wiring, or if the outlet is not grounded correctly.

For safe and fast resolution to outlet problems, you can also call our experienced Raleigh electricians at CMC Service Experts. We provide outlet repair service for particularly tricky outlets—or for when you just don’t have time to troubleshoot on your own! Call now to get a free night light receptable with any outlet replacement, and find out why customers in Raleigh and beyond love CMC Service Experts for yourself.

Dial (919) 246-4798 24/7 to emergency and same-day service, or contact us online for more information. Financing options are available.