As a homeowner, having a problem with your electrical system can be frustrating. One common issue that you may experience is an outlet or two not working in one room. However, when you check other rooms of your home, the outlets may be operating just fine. There could be several culprits causing this issue.
One of the first things that you should do is check over the appliances that you’re trying to plug into the outlets. See if they have any melting or other obvious damage to their cords. If you don’t see any problems, then take the appliance to another room and plug it into a different outlet. If the appliance works there, then you can narrow down the issue to being directly with the affected outlets. If the appliances don’t work on other outlets, then it could simply be that the appliances you were trying to plug in are broken.
Tripped Circuit Breaker
Head down to your electrical panel box and see if the circuit for the area with malfunctioning outlets is tripped. Sometimes it can be hard to see a partially tripped breaker. You can turn the breaker to the off position and then back on again. Pay close attention to see if there is any immediate movement of the breaker that would indicate tripping.
If the breaker instantly trips, then it’s an indication of a problem with your electrical panel, or you’re overloading your circuit. You can try unplugging everything from that circuit and turning it back on. If it still trips, then you should contact an electrician for further assistance. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to unplug any appliances that are powered by the circuit breaker that you’ll be resetting to prevent any unintentional damage. Power surges caused by turning circuit breakers on and off can damage other appliances connected to that breaker.
If you notice the outlets that aren’t working are square instead of oval, then they’re GFCI outlets. These are identified by not only their square shape but their two buttons that state Reset and Test. You’ll find GFCI outlets mainly in wet rooms of your home, like your laundry room, bathroom, kitchen, and even basement.
For these outlets to run correctly, they must be reset when first turned on. If you recently had a power outage or shut off the breaker for any reason, then your GFCI outlets will need to be reset. Fortunately, this is a fairly easy fix. All you need to do is push the red Reset button on each GFCI outlet that isn’t working.
One less common reason that some of your outlets may not be working is that they’re faulty. This is most likely to happen if you’ve recently replaced your outlets. You may have gotten a bad batch of new outlets that don’t function. Contrarily, you may have multiple outlets that have aged and completely worn out to the point that they’ve stopped working. The best way to determine if this is an issue is to simply call an electrician who can evaluate each of your faulty outlets to see if the outlet is indeed the culprit of your issue.
If you’ve recently moved into an older home, you may have noticed that some of the outlets aren’t working. This could be due to the result of the previous owners essentially disconnecting certain outlets. It’s not uncommon, especially in older homes, for wires to be capped off or rerouted from existing receptacles. Instead of covering the old outlets with a plate, they simply reinstall the old outlet without any power going to it.
Another reason why many different outlets in your home may not be working is loose wiring. This is common in older homes where the wiring has simply worked itself loose over time and in newer homes where outlets weren’t installed correctly. Both of these issues can be remedied by having an experienced technician tighten up the electrical wiring going to all the outlets throughout your home that aren’t currently working.
If you notice that all the outlets that aren’t working have burn marks around them, it’s a key indication that there’s a problem with your circuit. This could be the result of overloading a circuit and/or defective wiring on the circuit itself. Either way, it will affect all the outlets that are currently attached to that circuit. It’s always best to shut the circuit breaker off to any circuit that has burnt outlets and contact a licensed electrician to handle the issue before it causes an electrical fire.
Just decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon for homeowners to try and do their own wiring to save a few bucks. Unfortunately, this can lead to many different problems for new owners of these homes who aren’t familiar with the existing wiring setup. One common problem you may run into is that your outlet is controlled by a light switch.
In some cases, you may have both receptacles on your outlet controlled by the light switch. The switch may even control multiple outlets throughout one room, or you may have multiple light switches controlling various outlets. This is typically the result of outlets being added onto the existing wiring. You’ll have to manually turn the light switch on to allow power to go to your outlet to use it.
In other cases, you may have what is considered to be half-hot plugs or switched outlets. With these, the bottom receptacle works, but the top one doesn’t. That is until you turn the switch for the top receptacle to the on position. You may notice that multiple rooms in your home have this half-hot plug setup that requires you to turn the switches to the “on” position in order to get power to the top receptacles.
Early Outlet Tripped
One frustrating reason why multiple outlets may not be working is due to one of the outlets tripping. This typically happens with GFCI outlets. If your home is wired with the GFCI outlet near the beginning of the circuit, meaning it gets power from your electrical panel box first, it could potentially kill the power to all the remaining outlets on that circuit.
Think of this like a domino. When one gets knocked off balance, it takes out all the remaining dominos on its line. You’ll want to try and reset the GFCI outlet to see if that restores power to the remaining outlets on that particular circuit. If this doesn’t work, it’s time to call in a professional to further evaluate your existing wiring setup.
Expert Electrician Services
Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric offers expert electrician services for Rockwall, TX and the surrounding areas. We can also assist with all your heating, cooling, plumbing, drain, sewer, duct cleaning, and indoor air quality needs. Simply contact our office today to schedule an appointment.