Fusion Electric Blog

How to Handle a Dead Outlet

Are you tired of having to fight with an outlet that just never seems to work properly anymore? If so, then it may be time to call in a professional electrician. However, there are some tips you can use to try and troubleshoot and fix a dead outlet in your home. Keep in mind however, if you are unsure of what you are doing, it is best to leave this work to the pros, as it can be dangerous.

Dead Outlet Troubleshooting Basics

When you are dealing with any type of electrical issue, you will want to start with the most obvious causes of the problem first. Learn more here.

Search for Any Obvious Signs of an Electrical Issue

The first thing you want to do is make sure there aren’t any pressing or hazardous issues present. Things to be on the lookout for include:

  • Does the outlet appear to be melted, discolored or burned?
  • Are the appliances nearby working properly?
  • Does the outlet spark if you plug something in?
  • Have you noticed strange smells in the area?

If you happened to answer with a “yes” to any of these questions, then you need to shut off the circuit if it is safe and contact an electrician right away. Not only do you have a dead outlet, but it may cause more issues – or even an electrical fire – if you don’t take action.

Find Out if the Outlet is the Real Problem

There is no reason to contact an electrician if the issue isn’t with the outlet. Prior to trying to figure out the problem, check the following:

  • Plug in something else. Plug in something in your home, such as a lamp or radio, that you know is working. If the appliance works in the plug, then the issue isn’t with the outlet.
  • Check the home’s breaker panel. In the majority of situations, if a breaker trips, it will kill the other outlets in that “part” of your home. However, if you have a dedicated outlet, such as one for the refrigerator, it will be on its very own breaker. See if it is tripped, and if so, reset it and that should fix the problem.

Check the Home’s GFCIs

The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI outlets, are used in locations where the outlet may become exposed to water or moisture. These are typically found in bathrooms, kitchens, outside and even in utility rooms. With these outlets, they can kick off on their own if an issue occurs. When this happens, then the entire circuit will be turned off. Make sure to check each of the GFCIs present in your home to see if they have become tripped. If so, you can usually just hit the reset button to fix the issue.

Calling the Professionals

If none of the above troubleshooting tips help with the issue, then the best thing you can do is call the professionals. They will be able to easily and quickly determine what the problem is, and get it fixed so you don’t have to worry about it any longer.