What Causes Electrical Outlets To Stop Working?

When an electrical outlet stops working, this can be a disconcerting feeling. You are going to want an immediate solution to ensure there is enough electricity coming through the connection to ensure you don't have to lean on other outlets around the property.

This is a common concern and it is something property owners do deal with from time to time.

Here is a breakdown of what to do for those who are looking to figure out what causes electrical outlets to stop working entirely.

Causes of Electrical Outlet Not Working

1. Damaged Wiring

This is a reason that is going to come up when it comes to an electrical outlet that doesn't work the way it is supposed to. In a situation such as this, the wiring will become loose or frayed. If this happens, the electricity is not going to pass all the way through to the outlet as it is supposed to.

This can lead to sparking and/or a damaged connection. It depends on which wire has been damaged and how severe that damage is.

The best solution is to replace the wire and go from there.

2. Circuit Breaker Is Tripped

This is one of the more common reasons for an electrical outlet to stop working. What happens is the circuit breaker trips as soon as there is additional load on the circuit. This is a built-in safety feature that is necessary for any type of approved electrical circuit.

You will want to remove all of the appliances off of the circuit and then reset the lever. This should kickstart the outlet and circuit again. If you don't remove the dead appliance, the circuit may lose electricity again.

This is why it's best to clear the circuit and then begin working on the fix.

3. GFCI Outlet Shut Off Automatically

There are GFCI outlets that are set up around properties that do have specific safety features in place. These safety features are not for show and will play a role in how well the outlet ends up working as soon as it is set up.

Imagine a burst of electricity goes through the outlet. If this happens, there will be a situation where the GFCI outlet is going to turn off on its own. The reason for this is due to the built-in safety feature which causes the GFCI outlet to not take in electricity as a precaution.

This is just to make sure nothing happens that will cause a spark or additional damage. To fix the problem, just press the reset button and that should ensure the outlet begins to work the way it is supposed to. It will only take a few seconds to reset.

4. Bad Connection

There are situations where the connection to the electrical outlet is going to go bad. This does happen with aging outlets or ones that have just been put into place. Your goal should be to take the outlet apart and see what is going on.

There are several components associated with the electrical outlet and it's best to look at each one of them. The goal is to see whether or not a loose screw is present and if that is the reason things are breaking apart on you.

An electrical outlet that doesn't work as intended might come down to a damaged connection. This is a real concern and you will have to fix the connection to make sure it begins to work again. Otherwise, it will flicker on and off or remain turned off completely.

Final Thoughts

These are the main reasons an electrical outlet is not going to work the way you want it to. It is a real concern many property owners have to face and there is no reason to panic. The goal should be to better understand what your options are and go from there.

If you take the time to figure this out, you are going to be in better control of the process and it will work out the way you are hoping for it to.

When an electrical outlet doesn't work, take the time to get to the root cause. This is the only way to fix the problem.

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