Is Your Power Out in One Room?
Tips To Troubleshoot Why Your Outlet Stopped Working
We receive many calls for an electrician to check why power is out in one room in their home, or why their outlet stopped working in their kitchen, bathroom, or garage. While it’s great to have a thorough annual inspection performed on your electrical system, we have noticed a pattern: The culprit can be a simple DIY fix.
Try these troubleshooting tips before you call for an expert:
Check the circuit breaker of that particular room in your electrical panel. If you see the circuit breaker is tripped, try resetting it once and check if the power comes back on or not.
My circuit breaker is tripped:
To properly reset a tripped breaker, first, you must push it all the way to the "off" position. Next, flip it to the "on" position. Note: the breaker won’t reset going from the tripped position to "on."
If the breaker trips again, then there may be an issue with the sockets or within some appliance connected to that same room. You’ll want to make a mental note of: Did you recently install a new appliance? New appliances pull more power versus older models.
My circuit breaker is not tripped:
After checking the circuit breaker, and it's not tripped, it could mean a simple DIY fix. Most rooms, especially the kitchen and bathroom, have what’s called a ground-fault circuit interrupter, or commonly known as GFCI. This is a fast-acting circuit breaker designed to shut off electrical power to prevent fatal electrical shocks from power overload or shortages. Since water and electricity don’t mix; this is why you’ll find these in common areas such as a bathroom, garage, or kitchen.
GFCI outlets visually stand out from standard outlets having a longer center that includes two buttons. Some include a light indicator that shows a solid green or red color. Look around your room and find your GFCI outlet that has two buttons in the center. If your room has one, this is where you want to start troubleshooting.
First, you want to reset it.
Find the two buttons. First, press the "test" button. Now press the "reset" button. If your GFCI outlet has a light indicator, it should show a green light now.
Normally, this will restore power in the room and you’ll be good to go!
If the GFCI won’t reset, it could be because there is no power supply going to the GFCI or the GFCI may have gone bad. If the GFCI trips every time you reset it, there may be a dangerous current leak somewhere in the circuit. If this is the case, you’ll need an electrician.
When you call, be sure to let us know all the troubleshooting steps you performed and what happened. This will help save time while the electrician is there. You’ll want to mention how the buttons were when you first inspected the GFCI, and any things you noticed like the ones below while troubleshooting your GFCI:
- If the reset button doesn’t pop out when you press the "test" button, it could mean that the button was not pushed in enough for the current to reach the unit, or you have a defective GFCI.
- If the reset button pops out when you turn something on, the downstream ground fault could be the reason or GFCI could have been wired incorrectly.
- If the reset doesn’t stay in, there could be a ground fault downstream of the GFCI, or it may have been miswired.
- If the reset button is out, but the plugged-in devices work, there could be a reversed line and load. In rare cases, the circuit interrupter could be defective.
- If the reset button is in, but the plugged-in devices don’t work, then the GFCI could be miswired, is defective, or not receiving the current.
Having a yearly inspection of your electrical system will help rule out problems down the road while keeping peace of mind knowing your home is safe. Our Comfort Club has a whole-home inspection that includes your electrical system, plumbing system, and your annual AC unit cleaning. Read more about this program.
If you ever feel you need an electrician to take a look at your system, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always here for you.