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What Causes a Dead Outlet?
What Causes a Dead Outlet?
blog-detone
Jun 17,2024

What Causes a Dead Outlet?

Picture this: you go to charge your phone, but nothing happens. Frustrating, right? While it’s an annoying inconvenience, it can also signal a more significant electrical issue. A dead outlet is simply an electrical outlet that no longer supplies power to devices plugged into it, and it can sometimes indicate trouble in the electrical system.

In this brief article brought to you by Mr. Electric, we explore the world of outlets – dead and alive. If you’d like to consult with a certified electrician directly, then call Mr. Electric to schedule an appointment today.

Why do outlets go “dead”

Electrical outlets are unsuspecting and humble devices with a simple purpose: to safely connect electronics to the electricity they need to operate. As simple as they are, there are quite a number of reasons an outlet may stop working:

  • Tripped Circuit Breaker or Blown Fuse: This usually happens when the circuit is overloaded with too many devices or there's a short circuit. Think of it like your home's way of saying, "Whoa, that's too much!"
  • Loose or Disconnected Wiring: Normal wear and tear or a poor installation can loosen and even disconnect the wiring.
  • GFCI Outlet Trip: These are like mini circuit breakers within the outlet. If GFCIs detect an imbalance, they cut off power. Sometimes, a tripped GFCI can affect multiple outlets, causing them to go dead.
  • Bad Connection at the Panel: Sometimes the issue is at the source. A loose or corroded connection where the circuit connects to the breaker can cause the outlet to stop working.
  • Damaged Components: Physical damage from a power surge or during renovations can also lead to dead outlets.

How to prevent dead outlets

There is proper etiquette to using electricity. For instance, don’t plug too many devices into a single outlet. Use power strips with built-in circuit breakers for extra safety, but avoid daisy-chaining multiple power strips!

More fundamentally, ensure your electrical wiring is/was properly installed and upgrade old wiring if necessary. For an extra line of defense, use outlet covers and avoid placing heavy furniture or sharp objects near outlets to prevent physical damage.

Remember to have your electrical system, including the electrical outlets, inspected once every two to three years. A certified electrician knows what to look for and how to get to the root of any electrical problem.

What to do when an electrical outlet goes dead

Check the GFCI outlet and electrical panel for a tripped circuit breaker. If you find one, reset it by switching it off and then back on. If you have fuses instead of breakers, replace any blown fuses with ones of the same rating.

If that’s not the issue, then you’ll have to inspect for loose connections. If the outlet looks damaged or worn, then arrange an electrical outlet replacement. Make sure the electricity is OFF before working on electrical wiring! Wear rubber electrical gloves for safety!

If you are unsure or uncomfortable, call an electrician. Mr. Electric is proud to offer quick and affordable electrical repair service. Call today to speak with a member of our team.

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