Why Isn’t My Outlet Working?

Of all the amenities in our home that we take for granted, there might not be any that we use as much as outlets. They’re the source for all the power we use in our home, and when that harmony is disrupted it can throw a mighty big wrench in our day-to-day routine. You’ll jiggle the plug, take it out and re-insert it, and any other minor methods of troubleshooting you can think of to try and get it back in working order. However, when that doesn’t work, we’re at a loss. What’s going on?

Unless you’re an experienced electrician, finding out what went wrong with your outlet can be a fruitless endeavor. To help smooth out the process, Mister Sparky’s team of expert electricians have a quick “Outlet 101,” so you hopefully won’t be asking, ‘Why isn’t my outlet working?’ anymore. If you run through these tests and indicators and discover that they still don’t provide a solution, then don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Mister Sparky is the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s premier electrician, and we’d be glad to help our neighbors remain safe and sound and avoid electrical problems.

What Kind of Outlet Is It?

This is an important distinction. If the malfunctioning outlet is a GFCI outlet, then there might be a simple solution to your issue. GFCI outlets are installed near places where water could cause short circuits, such as bathrooms, the kitchen, or exterior surfaces. The telltale sign for one of these is a small, rectangular “RESET” button in the middle, which activates the outlet once it’s been tripped. If your problem outlet is a GFCI one, check to see if it’s been tripped. If it has, all you may need to do is press the reset button, and you’ll be good to go!

Tripped Breaker?

If the outlet isn’t a GFCI outlet – or if it is, but it hasn’t been tripped – then make a quick trip to your circuit breaker to see if something tripped the power for that outlet. If it’s been tripped, then your problem is solved, but if it hasn’t, then something else is to blame.

Is It the Outlet, Or Something Else?

Just to be safe, swap out the plug currently inserted in the outlet with the plug to something else, in case the issue isn’t the outlet but the device. Sometimes, it’s something as simple as this, and you avoid having to shell out a ton of money for an electrician that would’ve told you the same thing.

Poor Connections

Over time, some of the linkage points that drive power to your outlet can become loose. There isn’t really a way to check this unless you have experience with electrical home renovation, so if you’ve eliminated all other possibilities, it might be time to put in a call to a professional like Mister Sparky.

Signs Something Else Is Amiss

There are a few ways to tell if your outlet is suffering from something more than just a loss of power.
– Charring around the edges of the outlet
– A distinct, unusual, burning smell coming from the outlet
– Arcing when removing a plug from an outlet

If you experience these, then not only is something wrong with your outlet, but it could potentially pose a risk of fire. Definitely give an electrician a call as soon as possible.
Hopefully you’re able to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with your outlet after reading this. If not, feel free to give Mister Sparky a call at 214-613-0481 for the most reliable service in the DFW area!