electrical outlet not working

How to Repair an Electrical Outlet (Indoor and Outdoor)

If you are wondering how to fix this electrical outlet not working problem at home, you have come to the right place as it is easy, and anyone can solve those electrical outlets by just following the steps below.

The best way to fix it is to change the outlet completely. But that may not be necessary if you check a few things before changing it, like the circuit breaker, fuse, loose wire connection, bad wiring, and GFCI or ground-fault circuit interrupter. 

After that, you can tell the exact problem and what you should do to fix the outlet problem as soon as possible. But you need some tools first.

GFCI Electrical Outlet Not Working Problem (Solved)

Tools Required to Fix Electrical Outlet

Before you start fixing the electrical outlet not working problem, you need some tools to do this work.

  • A screwdriver
  • Flashlight
  • Safety glasses
  • Hand gloves
  • Voltage tester
  • A plastic chair

You may be thinking, why the plastic chair? 

It is for your safety as Plastic is not a conductor of electricity, and the law of electricity says:

  • The current will choose the shortest path always.

That means if you mistakenly touch a live wire and your body becomes a path for it, it will go through your body, avoiding the larger road and destroying every cell you have. 

Check for Any Loose Wires

That is why Plastic is very suitable while working on an electrical wire. You can also buy plastic boots built especially for this purpose. You can also use other non-conductive materials like paper, glass, rubber, porcelain, and ceramic.

Please note: Fixing an electrical outlet is dangerous, and it has live voltage. Use protective gloves and stand on a plastic surface so that it can not shock you. Be very careful while doing it, and call a licensed professional so he can deal with it better. And please turn off the power supply before you do any work.

electrical outlet
Marco Verch on Flickr

Also, read: How to rewire a table lamp at home

1. Check the Other Outlets in Your House

Check the Other Outlets

To fix the electrical outlet not working problem, start with checking other electrical outlets in the house. Use a voltage tester and see if it has the power. If you see it is working, your previous outlet has a problem, and you need to fix it or change it completely.

2. Install a New Electrical Outlet

Install a New Electrical Outlet

First, turn off the power supply of your whole house before you do any work. Take a photo of the wiring before you remove them. Take out your screwdriver and open the box and carefully disassemble the wires. 

Then put the new outlet and reassemble all those wires back as before. Recheck again using the picture you have taken previously and see all the phase, neutral, and earth connections are in place as before. Then turn the power on and test it using your voltage tester. The outlet should work fine. 

3. Check the GFCI Outlet

Check the GFCI outlet not working

GFCI outlet not working or GFCI won’t reset issue is common. It means Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. It is a fast circuit breaker designed to shut off electric power when there is a ground fault within milliseconds.

You may not have it in your house, but if you do, check if it’s tripped. If it is, then try to reset it. If it does not work, press the Test button to check if it has the power supply. If nothing happens, then you have surely a loose connection. 

4. Check the Normal Circuit Breaker

Check the Circuit Breaker

It is also a common. Your outlet stopped working breaker not tripped. If the electrical outlet is not the problem, then you may have a tripped circuit breaker. The breaker is the protection against any electrical surge.

If there is a surge and that current passes through the breaker, it trips and disconnects the line. So your electrical equipment remains safe.

So check it and if it is tripped. If it is, turn it on again and test your outlet. The breaker is located may be on each of your electrical boards or on a piece where all the circuit breaker is there. Find it, and turn the breaker on again.

5. Replace the Blown Fuse

Replace the Blown Fuse

Not every house has a circuit breaker. Some homes have those old-age fuses installed on every electrical board or separately for the outlet. They work similarly. 

In every fuse, there is a thin copper wire. When a surge current passes through it, the fuse gets heated and melts down, thus cutting the line.

  • This fuse can also be found where the circuit breaker is.

This process is slow and does not protect electrical equipment that much. That is why modern circuit breakers come in place. It works on a millisecond level. 

So if you house a fuse, see if that copper wire is melted. If it is, replace it, and the fuse should work fine. You can get this copper from any electric wire available in your house. 

6. Check for Any Loose Wires

Search for a Bad Electrical Connection

There could be a bad electrical connection that is causing it. Check for any loose terminal screws, any stab in the connection wire, or any loose wire in the connectors. Sometimes rats can cut the wires if you have rats in your house. Check it and fix the outlet issue.

Outdoor Outlet Not Working Issue FAQs

Outdoor Outlet Not Working Issue

Why is my electrical outlet not working?

Maybe your outlet is damaged, a fault in the circuit breaker, or the fuse is damaged, GFCI has a problem, or you have a loose wire in the circuit. Check them all, and possibly your outlet will work again.

How to fix an outlet that does not work?

The best way to fix the outlet is to replace it. But you can check if there is a loose connection in the back end. Open the outlet and check the connections.

How can I reset a dead electrical outlet?

Electrical outlets never die unless it is broken. So make sure the connections are complete without any loose wires, and it will work just fine. If not, then it is better you replace it.

fix electrical outlet at home

Last Words

So how to fix the electrical outlet not working issue? You know now as identifying and fixing an electrical outlet is easy, but you should have those tools available near you. A simple circuit breaker check can fix it. Just check one by one and see who is the culprit that is causing this electrical problem and then fix it. I wish you the best of luck. 

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About Author

Nazim Ali

Nazim Ali is an engineer who loves fixing things at home. He loves to try new things and share the knowledge with the world.