One electrical job a homeowner can do without a professional technician is fixing a dead outlet. It is still important to learn the step-by-step actions to take, though it doesn’t involve a lot of complex work. Today, we at Peterkin Electric would like to walk you through how to troubleshoot the outlet, fix it, and navigate a few basics.
How Do You Troubleshoot a Dead Outlet?
A dead outlet is a localized issue most of the time. Without there being a larger-scale electrical issue, the outlet can go dead. Look for a simple solution such as a tripped circuit breaker or GFCI outlet, first. Simply reset it and turn on anything plugged into that outlet if that’s the case. Additional solutions:
– If the problem is more extensive, test other outlets to see.
– To see whether it works, plug something else into the outlet.
– Unplug something to prevent overloading if the breaker tripped.
– On a GFCI, Push the Reset Button. Look for terminal screws and loose wire connections. Turn off the breaker serving the outlet and remove the faceplate using screwdriver to remove the screws holding it when checking for loose connections or bad wires. You are good if you can verify there are no wiring or connection problems. You will need to call an electrician if not.
Repairing an Electrical Outlet
Being a simple and has no moving parts is a standard, non-GFCI outlet. The problem is usually localized if you have a dead outlet. In most locations, a permit isn’t required to work on electrical outlets, though there are safety considerations. To ensure no current is running through it, you must make sure the circuit breaker is turned off, and test the outlet with a voltage tester to work on an outlet. Replacing the outlet with a 15-amp, 20 amp, or GFCI model is usually the best solution. You’ll need a flat head or Phillips’s head screwdriver, a voltage tester, or GFCI tester, depending on the model. If you’ve isolated the problem to a single outlet, proceed with the following steps. On the non-working outlet, remove the faceplate. For damage, corrosion, burns, or wear, check the wires, connections, and screw terminals. To see whether it is loose, bend each wire at the screw terminal or stab-in connection.
Steps to Replacing a Dead Outlet
1) The old outlet should be disconnected and removed.
2) Of the hot, neutral, and ground wires, bend a loop in the ends.
3) While the neutral white wire connects to the silver screw, the hot black wire connects to the brass screw, connect the wires. The ground wire connects to the green screw.
4) Around their respective screws, all wires should be looped clockwise.
5) Connect pairs of like-colored wires along with a pigtail wire under one connector if the outlet has pairs of hot and neutral wires. This neutral wire is about 6 inches long.
6) Ensuring wire ends are lined up (the connector’s package label should say how many wires it is rated for) reinstall the wire connector.
7) Turn on the circuit breaker and test the outlet.
8) If successful, reinstall the faceplate.
Call an electrician if the outlet still doesn’t have any power, it works intermittently, or there are other issues preventing it from working normally. There could be a problem elsewhere in your electrical system that would be dangerous to attempt a DIY fix on.