Some of My Electrical Plugs Are Not Working

Some of my outlets stopped working suddenly. There are a few reasons that this could happen.

Step one:
First you could have too many devices plugged into the circuit. (A circuit is one breaker feeding several outlets or even lights.) Check your breaker panel and notice if one of the switches are out of alignment or in the off position, sometimes this is a little tricky because some breaker handles move ever so slightly. If you notice it is in the tripped position try resetting it, if it resets your good to go, just remember some of your branch circuits are running at capacity and adding something like a microwave, toaster, or even a coffee pot may overload the circuit.

Step two:
Some circuits are protected by a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) and you may have noticed this outlet in the kitchen, bathroom, outdoors, or even in the garage. These have a test and reset button on them. Other devices or outlets that are tied in with these (GFCI’s) look similar to the other plugs in your home. If a device or, for instance a hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, or other appliance is starting to wear out it could trip the GFCI shutting down other plugs and sometimes lighting circuits First push the test button (on the GFCI) and then push on the reset button, sometimes this takes a little effort. These GFCI’ s are occasionally hidden behind boxes in the garage or even outside on the porch so look hard to find them and it could save you that hard earned dollar.

Step three:
Without knowing we overload circuits and as a result of the breaker malfunctioning (not tripping) or the plug starting to wear it creates heat, with this heat the device (plug) starts to become loose from the wiring behind the plug. Heat is our enemy, the result is lose of connection from plug to plug, or even a shorted receptacle (plug) this is now a serious concern. You should contact an electrical contractor to take care of this situation as soon as possible.

Your Southern Oregon Electrical Contractor, C. McCumber