Why Outlets Stop Working


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

What happened to make my outlets stop working? How to Identify and Repair Outlets, The most common reasons why wall outlets stop working and how they are repaired.


Outlets that Lost Power

Electrical Question: What happened tom make my outlets stop working?

The following electrical questions have similar problems where power was lost to outlets. The typical cause for lost power to outlets and and methods of repair are described below.

Why did the outlet stop working?

I usually try to fix stuff before I call a pro, but this electrical outlet has got me stumped.

Any ideas what happened?
Thanks

This electrical wiring question came from: Elliot, a Homeowner from Winter Springs, Florida.

What could the problem be with out Outlets?

This electrical wiring question came from Wayne, in Evansville , Indiana.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your Home Electrical questions Elliot and Wayne.
How to Troubleshoot Outlets that Lost Power

Identify and Repair Outlet Problems

Application: Testing Outlet Circuit Wiring
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best Repaired by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools a Voltage Tester or Plug-In Circuit Analyzer.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools, the extent of the electrical repairs, the number of outlets that are affected and access to each location.
Precaution: Identify the GFCI outlet circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.

How to Troubleshoot Electric Outlet Problems

Problems that May Prevent Electrical Outlets to Stop Working and Where to Look.

Repairing Burnt Electrical Wire on an Outlet Circuit

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Electrical Wire for Outlets
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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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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

3 Responses to “Why Outlets Stop Working”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Patty,
    The circuit should be turned off and repaired as soon as possible. The electrical wiring inside the outlet boxes and lighting devices that are on the same circuit will need to be inspected for a loose or burnt electrical wire connection, or faulty wire splice. Once identified the appropriate repairs will be required to restore the power to the room. This is best performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
    I hope this helps,
    Dave

  2. patty gillespie says:

    I plugged a vacuum cleaner into an outlet and it worked fine but then it quit. Now the lights in that room do not work but in the other side of the room the outlets work fine. I checked the breakers and changed the outlet.

  3. Peter says:

    I like electrical wiring and I’ve learned a lot from your website and blog. As an electrician, I think it’s always good to learn more and keep current with the electrical troubleshooting methods that are discussed here.
    Thank you so much.

    Peter