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It can be frustrating to plug something in to an electrical outlet, only to have the item not turn on. In most cases, the problem is small and is typically something you can fix on your own. Here are some steps you should follow if you have an electrical outlet that is not working.
Make Sure the Electrical Outlet is the Problem
The first thing you will need to do is make sure that the electrical outlet, rather than the electrical item, is the issue. Attempt to plug your item into another outlet that you know is working and then turn it on. If it still doesn't work, your electrical outlet is not the problem. However, if the item works fine in another outlet, you have now identified that the problem lies with the first outlet you tried.
Reset Your GFCI Outlet
If there is a GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupter, outlet, you will want to reset that outlet. Most GFCI outlets are found in kitchens and bathrooms, but can be placed in a variety of other rooms. These types of outlets may have multiple outlets connected to them. If the outlet trips, others connected to it may be affected. GFCI outlets have a "test" and "reset" button on them. Simply press the reset button to reset the GFCI outlet and all those connected to it. Then attempt to plug in your electrical item and use it. If it works, you have solved the problem; if not, proceed to the next step.
Check Your Circuit Breaker
If you are using multiple electrical items at once, you can trip your circuit breaker. The amount of energy you would need to use to do this varies based on the size of your breaker and the wiring in your home. However, if you trip a circuit breaker, power will be out to a certain portion of your home, including the affected dead outlet. If electricity is working everywhere else in your home except for the outlet, odds are, this isn't your problem. However, if power went out in only one room, or all the outlets seem to be out in an area, the breaker is most likely your problem. Follow these steps to fix this issue:
If this solves your problem, you had a tripped breaker. Having a tripped breaker once in a while is not a huge issue. However, if your breakers are constantly tripping, your breakers and electrical panel box are not equipped to supply the electricity you are using. A residential electrical service should be called out to upgrade your panel box.
Look for Loose Connections
If your outlet still isn't working, it is time to check for loose wires or connections. Follow these directions to do this:
There are many reasons why an electrical outlet may stop working. Most of the time, the problem is small and easy to fix on your own. You may need to reset a GFCI outlet, reset a tripped circuit breaker, or reinsert loose wiring connections. However, if you have attempted to fix all of these problems and they don't solve the issue, it may be time to call in an electrician. You may have problems with your electrical wiring, have blown a fuse in your electrical panel box, or need to have the outlet replaced. Contact a company like All American Air & Electric, Inc. for more information.