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Troubleshooting Electrical Outlets


How to Repair an Outlet that Lost Power: Electrical Troubleshooting Methods for a Wall Outlet and Electrical Circuit Wiring.

Lost Power to an Outlet

Electrical Question: The power to an outlet went out.

This electrical troubleshooting question came from: Pattie, a Homeowner from Rio Linda, California.
Thanks for your electrical question Pattie.

How to Repair Outlets that Lost Power

Application: Testing Electrical Circuit Wiring for Outlets.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with hand tools and electrical troubleshooting skills.
Precaution: Identify the affected outlet circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring or inspections.
Note: Electrical troubleshooting is best performed by a qualified licensed electrical contractor. Homeowners should not work in live electrical panels due to shock hazards and dangerous arc flash hazards.

Electrical Troubleshooting for a Wall Outlet and Electrical Circuit Wiring

  1. Identify the circuit breaker for the outlet that lost power and turn it off.
  2. Remove the outlet and inspect the electrical wiring.
  3. Look for burnt connections to the outlet or a burnt wire splice.
  4. Burnt or damaged wiring and splices must be replaced or repaired using new wire and materials of the same type and size.
  5. If the outlet is damaged then a replacement outlet of the same voltage and amperage will need to be installed.
  6. After the repairs are completed install the outlet and cover.
  7. Turn the circuit on and test the outlet for normal power.

More about Electrical Troubleshooting

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Help for Homeowners
Do-It-Yourself Electrical



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Wiring GFCI Outlets
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120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
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How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
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Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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