It’s A Dead Electrical Outlet - What Now?

You go to plug in your hair dryer and it won’t start. You reach to turn on a lamp, and get nothing. Maybe you’ve just moved into a new place and discovered a dead outlet - or it’s a brand new occurrence in your home.

What Can Cause A Dead Electrical Outlet?

The most common cause of a dead electrical outlet is a tripped circuit breaker or tripped GFCI. This should be your first check if an outlet isn’t working.

Less common, but more complicated to fix, causes include loose wiring or the receptacle failing internally.

If your outlet has never worked, it is also possible that the person who installed it never properly connected the wiring.

Note From Our Techs: If the outlet isn’t dead, but you hear buzzing, give an electrician a call. You should not ever hear buzzing from a wall outlet. If an outlet is sparking or shows any signs of blackening around the outlet plugs, call a professional immediately.

What Can You Do If A Dead Electrical Outlet Happens To You?

The absolute first thing you should try is using a different appliance and plugging it into the outlet. We’ve had more than one embarrassed customer who just had a faulty hairdryer or a burned-out lightbulb on a lamp - and no problem at all with the actual outlet!

After you check that, also look to see if it’s connected to a light switch. Probably just as embarrassing as the scenario above, but it happens!

Check other outlets in the vicinity. If more than one is out, chances are it’s a circuit breaker (or fuse, if you live in an older home).

Next, if your circuit breaker isn’t tripped and the GFCI isn’t either, then it’s time to call in the big guns (hint: That’s us!). Electricity is not something to mess around with in your home. Electrical fires can happen quickly and can cost you your home or even your life.

Have an electrical emergency? Our technicians are available 24 hours a day to ensure your power is working properly.


For over 25 years, ServiceOne has been trusted to provide top-notch sales and service to homes and businesses in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area and in Dubuque, Iowa. With over 90 employees standing by to help you, you can always trust us to deliver 100% satisfactory service. We offer Home Warranty & Service Agreements, HVAC services, Plumbing services, Electrical services, Appliance Repair, and also help with Generators and Home & Business Automation. For more information about our services, contact us today!

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