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Why is the power outlet not working? Quick Fix

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  • 3 min read

Electricity forms the backbone of any modern infrastructure, whether it’s your house or a corporate office building. This means that if any of the hundreds of electrical outlets we encounter every day stop working, it can be a major inconvenience. 

In this article, we’re talking about why your power outlet isn’t working, and what you can do to fix the problem.

Why is your power outlet not working?

There are many reasons why an electric outlet might not work. Some common causes include:

  • Tripped circuit breaker
  • Blown fuse
  • Burnt out outlet
  • Loose wiring
  • Short circuit

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How to fix this?

Here are five fixes you can try out. 

Check the circuit breaker

Most modern houses are equipped with circuit breakers that are designed to trip when there’s an excess of voltage to protect any appliances that might be plugged into the power outlet. That said, once the breaker has been tripped, it needs to be manually reset before any outlets connected to that breaker become operational again. 

In case you’ve recently experienced a voltage spike, check your breakers to see if all of them are on and if any have tripped, reset them before trying out the outlet again. 

Check your fuses

Another commonly used protective measure in case of voltage spikes is a fuse, especially in older houses that weren’t designed with circuit breakers in mind. In case you have a blown fuse box, none of the connected outlets will function until the fuse box has been replaced. 

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Check the GFCI outlet

Similar to circuit breakers, GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets trip themselves off when they detect a short. In case any of your GFCI outlets have been disabled, any connected outlets won’t function. Try resetting the GFCI outlet and if it keeps tripping, get an electrician to figure out where the short is before getting your outlets operational again. 

Loose wires

A very common cause of outlets functioning improperly is loose wiring. In case your outlet only works at a certain angle or requires excessive force, try opening it and examining the wiring underneath. Fix up any loose wires and it should be perfectly operational. Of course, if you don’t have experience working with outlets or don’t know what to do, it’s recommended that you contact a professional electrician. 

Faulty outlets

Finally, sometimes it’s just the outlet that needs repairing. Over time and with repeated use, outlets tend to burn out or break causing them to stop functioning. Such cases almost always require an electrician as the entire socket might need to be changed. 

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: