No Power to an Outlet? Here’s How to Troubleshoot

Having trouble with an outlet in your home? If anytime you plug something in it’s falling out of the outlet, or if your outlet just won’t work, you’re in the right place.

In this post, we’re troubleshooting bad outlets. Before you start removing the receptacle from the wall or tinkering with wires, let’s narrow down the problem.

Try a Different Electronic

Upon finding this article, you probably already determined that the appliance wasn’t at fault. But in case you haven’t already, be sure to check that your electronic item itself isn’t dead before proceeding.

Check Other Outlets

Is just one outlet being finicky or is it actually all the outlets on one wall, or in one room? This is a great first step: testing your other outlets.

Try plugging different things in, such as appliances with smaller voltage than the item that currently won’t turn on. Perhaps you’re overloading and tripped your circuit panel (which we’ll get to here soon). 

Once you determined which outlets aren’t working with your appliances, try using a voltage tester to see if any juice is going to the receptacle. Note the outlets without any power going to them and unplug your appliances in the room before heading over to your breaker box.

Reset Your GFCIs

If you have a GFCI outlet, this type of receptacle can be reset right from the outlet itself. If upon pressing the “test” button on the receptacle, it doesn’t pop back out, you might not have power to the GFCI. Or, the outlet could need to be replaced. 

Peek in Your Breaker Panel

This is usually the best place to uncover what’s wrong with your outlet. You may have either tripped the circuit breaker or blew a fuse in the box. 

If after flipping a switch, it clicks back into tripped position, there might be an issue with your wiring (or you missed our instructions above to unplug devices from your outlets in that room and are still overloading on your voltage limit). 

If a blown fuse is the culprit, unscrew it and replace it with one of the same amperage. 

A loose wire inside of your box or an outdated electrical panel could very well be your holdup, which would require the help of an electrician to troubleshoot; however, we have one more thing you can check before calling for professional assistance.

Unscrew the Receptacle to Check for a Loose Connection

Sometimes, the problem really is your outlet itself. The only way you’ll know is to unscrew the receptacle from your wall and do some investigating.

Once out of the wall, look for loose terminal screws or wires. Even if they don’t seem loose, give the wires a soft tug from their connectors just to double check. Be alert for burnt or corroded wires as well, or damage to your insulation. Here are some tips for spotting bad wiring

If even after removing the outlet from the wall you don’t see anything amiss, it’s time to tag in an expert. 

Know When to Call the Professionals

A trained electrician is most qualified to assess your outlet troubles and get your power working strong.

Our team at SWFL Electric can even offer recommendations for relocating your outlets for better performance and how to childproof your outlets to ensure they are tamper-resistant. 

Contact us online or give us a call at 239-307-0716 and we’ll check out your situation right away. 


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