A malfunctioning outlet can be a source of frustration. When one of your outlets suddenly stops working, it is easy to give up on it and delay the inspection and repair until you need the outlet again. A malfunctioning outlet, however, could be indicative of a more serious problem with your home’s electrical system, so it is best to have it checked ASAP.
There are two usual reasons behind a malfunctioning outlet: a tripped circuit breaker or a faulty or burned-out outlet.
If you suspect that an outlet stopped working due a tripped breaker, check the electrical panel and reset any breakers that shut off. You will see that once a circuit breaker trips, the knob may not flip to the opposite side. It’s also possible that other plugs have been affected, especially if the circuit was overloaded.
The problem might also be caused by a GFCI outlet, especially if the outlet in question is in your bathroom or kitchen. These outlets are designed to shut down by themselves once they detect a short or overheat. Should this be the case, try resetting all GFCI outlets in the room.
At times, the problem lies with the outlet itself. Its contacts might be loose, or perhaps it wasn’t properly installed in the first place. You can easily check if a faulty outlet is the real cause of your electrical woes by plugging a different appliance into the outlet.
In some extreme cases, however, electrical outlets may literally burn out and start a fire. For this reason, a broken outlet must be replaced immediately to avoid the risk of electrical fires. Jobs of this nature are best left to the hands of professionals to best ensure your home’s safety. Make sure to call a licensed electrician who can help you with other electrical problems as well.
Why Is My Electrical Outlet Not Working?, Angie’s List
What Would Cause a Wall Outlet to Not Work?, SFGate