When the electricity goes out in your whole house, you know it’s usually due to trouble with the breaker panel – or the utility company. Electrical outlets not working in one room, though, is a new one, and much harder to diagnose.
However, strange as this problem may seem, it does happen sometimes and with a little detective work, you might be able to find out the cause. Just work your way through this list.
1. Faulty Appliance/Plug
Sometimes you may find that the issue of an electrical outlet not working in one room, is actually the fault of one of your appliances. Unplug and check every appliance in that room – look for hazards like wear, melting, or damage to the appliance itself and to its cord. If they are all in good shape, plug them back in and set their reset button, if any.
Still no luck? Try hauling one or two of the most portable appliances (such as a lamp) into another room and connecting them to outlets there. If they work fine in the new location, go back to your original idea – you do have an issue with your outlets.
2. Tripped Breaker
Next, take a look at the breaker box. Even if you’ve already checked the breaker and it seemed that everything was okay, look again. Sometimes a breaker won’t trip completely – and that means it won’t be obvious at a quick glance.
Experiment by unplugging all appliances in your problematic room, then flipping the breakers to the “off” position and back to “on.” If any one of them fails to snap back into its proper position, or if it trips repeatedly, you probably have got an issue with the electrical panel.
Make sure that you are not overloading the panel by connecting too many appliances into the same circuit. If the breaker trips persist, it’s time to call an electrician. He’ll inspect your panel and repair or upgrade, as necessary.
3. Reset The GFCI Outlet
Do the outlets in your room happen to include any ground fault circuit interrupters? GFCI outlets are most likely to be found in a kitchen, bathroom, laundry, or basement. They are required by code to be used in these rooms, in order to protect against accidental electrocution caused by water contacting the outlet. Make sure that there is no moisture affecting the outlet. If it’s all clear, your next move should be to press the reset button located on the GFCI outlet.
4. Old Outlet
Sometimes outlets just stop working, due to old age. You’ll be relieved to know that replacing the outlet with a new one will solve the problem and is reasonably simple to install – although the installation will have to be done by a professional. Do-it-yourself electrical work is almost never a good idea; there are just too many variables and too much potential to make dangerous mistakes.
5. Loose Electrical Wiring
One or more of your outlets might be affected by a loose wire, which means that the wiring either has gradually loosened over time or was never connected correctly to begin with. This can affect all the other outlets on the same circuit, causing them to malfunction (or rather, stop functioning) as well. Here, secure reattachment of the wires will often be the solution to the electrical outlets not working in one room.
6. Burnt Out Outlet
Watch out for red flags which tell you that an outlet is burning. Sizzling sounds, black or brown scorch marks, a melted appearance, or an outlet that feels hot (never actually touch an outlet you think is faulty — just place your hand close to it) all mean danger. If you smell an intense burnt odour or see smoke, evacuate your home and call 911. You have an electrical fire!
Otherwise, avoid using the outlet until you have it safely replaced.
Keep Your Home Powered With Sun Electrical
If you have a problem with an outlet or your electric panel, contact us.
We will perform an electrical safety inspection and recommend expert solutions to keep your home powered safely.