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Jan 08, 2022

How Can I Know If My Outlet Is Working or Not?

What good is electricity if you cannot connect your devices? The electrical outlet is the terminal that turns electricity into real power for your devices and appliances. If your electrical outlet is not giving juice, then continue reading to learn about some troubleshooting tips. If you prefer to leave the electrical work to a certified electrician, then call Mr. Electric of Houston to speak with a live representative and schedule an appointment or request an urgent dispatch. We have you covered with everything from an electrical outlet installation to the eventual electrical outlet replacement.

Check for Severe Damage

Before we get into troubleshooting the outlet, let us make sure the coast is clear and safe. If you notice any of the following, then we recommend you shut off the power to the outlet by switching off the respective circuit breaker and call an electrician:

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  • Loose Outlets: If plugs don’t snuggly fit into the outlet but instead wiggle, then you have a sign of internal wear and tear. This indicates potential future issues.
  • Scorch marks: Discoloration, burn marks, and melted portions of an outlet indicate an uncontrolled current.
  • Smell of Smoke: If your outlets are smoking or giving off the smell of smoke, then call an electrician immediately!

Make Sure the Problem Is Not with the Appliance

Sometimes what you think is a faulty outlet is in fact a faulty appliance or device. Before you spend considerable time on troubleshooting the outlet, make sure the problem is not with the appliance or device instead. Bring a working lamp or phone charger and plug it into the "problematic" outlet. If even that does not work, then continue to the next step.

Check for a Switch to the Outlet

Some outlets are controlled by a switch, usually next to the light switch. Look around for any unused switches and flip them on to see if it activates the outlet.

Reset the GFCI or Circuit Breaker

Electrical outlets that are in close proximity to plumbing fixtures or vulnerable to moisture, such as outlets in the kitchen or bathroom, are usually protected with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). These outlets will automatically shut off when they come in contact with water or moisture. In this event, the GFCI outlet’s RESET button will protrude out. Wear rubber gloves and push the button inward to reset the outlet. If the outlet trips again, then there might be moisture in the outlet. Do NOT force the reset button. Call an electrician instead.

Similarly, the circuit breaker may have tripped, cutting power to the outlet. Head to the electrical panel and inspect the rows of circuit breakers. If the corresponding circuit breaker is tripped "OFF," then flip the switch back ON and see if the electrical outlet is now working.

Call an Electrician

If the outlet is still not functioning, then there might be a problem with the wiring. Call Mr. Electric of Houston to consult with a representative and request an emergency dispatch or schedule an appointment. Our dedicated electricians are ready to help.

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