It’s a Dead Outlet - What Now?

You go to plug in your cellphone but it isn’t charging. You test all the other outlets in the room, but that single outlet isn’t working for some reason. There are several reasons why this outlet couldn’t be working, but the most common answer is that the outlet is dead. 

A dead outlet is not something to ignore in your home. Home electrical fires account for 51,000 home fires each year. Homeowners should call a professional electrician once a year to check their outlets and conduct an assessment of their home’s electrical system. 

A dead outlet is a frustrating problem for homeowners; however, there could be simple reasons as to why an outlet has died. 

Does it turn on with a light switch?

Some outlets turn on with a light switch. Without the light switched flipped to on, the outlet will not charge your cellphone or turn on that light. 

Why would a switch control your outlet? This is due to your home’s circuit breaker. The other outlets in your room stay hot while this outlet is controlled by the switch, allowing you to plug in a lamp or other appliances that benefit from an easy on and off.  

Loose connection

Loose connections are common with old wiring. If the wiring is damaged or old, the electricity cannot travel properly. Besides the outlet simply not working, it could be making other noises or burning smells could be coming from this outlet. 

These are issues that cannot be ignored and could even cause a home fire. If you are experiencing any of these problems, it is imperative that you contact a professional immediately. 

Check the breaker panel

All the electrical outlets go to a breaker panel. The circuit that the outlet is connected to could have tripped. This is due to a larger amount of electricity being used than that circuit can handle. If you go to your breaker panel, find the room that the outlet is dead in, and simply turn it back on. If it still isn’t working, you can be more confident that it is a dead wall outlet. 

Your outlet is a GFCI 

A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet is designed to reduce electrical shock. When the electrical current is on an unintended path, the outlet will shut off the power. How do you know if your outlet is a regular or GFCI outlet? 

The design of the outlet will be different from one another. A GCFI outlet will have a “test” and “reset” button on the outlet where are a regular outlet will look like a traditional one you find throughout your home. 

While both outlets have their own benefits, it is recommended that homeowners have GFCI outlets in the proper places within their homes. 

While a dead wall outlet could be the culprit as to why your cellphone will not charge, it is important to rule out the problems that do not require an electrician. Make sure to follow the steps above and contact a professional if the outlet is dead. 

For over 25 years, ServiceOne has been trusted to provide top-notch service to homes and businesses in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area and in Dubuque, Iowa. With over 90 employees standing by ready to help, you can always trust us to deliver 100% satisfactory service. We also offer home warranty & service agreements, plumbing services, appliance repair, and help with generators and home and business automation. For more information about our services, contact us today!

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