ask the electrician
Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

Why Outlets Stop Working

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

© By:

Outlets that Lost Power
Electrical Question: What happened to 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 in detail 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?

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

What could the problem be with out Outlets?

This electrical wiring question came from Wayne in 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

The following is a list of problems that may prevent electrical outlets to stop working, and where to locate these potential electrical problems.

Repairing Burnt Electrical Wire on an Outlet Circuit

See More about Wiring for Electrical Outlets

Bathroom Electrical Wiring

Electric Outlet Wiring

Wiring a GFI Outlet
Wiring Diagram GFI

Circuit Breakers

Electrical Wire for Outlets

The following may also be helpful for you:

electrical wiring book

A Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Be sure to get your copy of my BIG Book:
Perfect for Homeowners, Students and Electricians
Home Electrical Wiring - Room by Room
120 Volt Circuits
240 Volt Circuits
Multi-Wired Circuits
Wiring Methods for Installing Home Electrical Circuit Wiring
Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Electrical Wiring Video

Home Electrical Wiring Videos about this Topic and More

Check out my YouTube Channel, and Subscribe!

Learn more with my Home Electrical Video Course:

Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

More articles about electrical circuit, Outlets Stopped Working, Troubleshooting and Home Electrical Wiring:

« Previous Next »

Troubleshoot Electrical Outlet Wiring Problems

Why Space Heaters Can Cause Electrical Outlet Problems

Comments about this Electrical Project

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,

  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.