Do you have an electrical outlet now working? Is it something you should worry about? It can be frustrating, you plug in your phone and it doesn’t charge, but does it require an electrician? Here are a few tips to troubleshoot a broken outlet 

First, the anatomy of an outlet. The “shutters”, are the vertical slots in the outlet and the “ground” is the small hole beneath the shutters. Depending on the age of your home, it may have a 2 prong or 3 prong plug. If the wiring in your home is older, the ‘ground’ may not be present. 

There are a few reasons why an outlet fails.

A tripped circuit breaker from an overloaded outlet. This safety feature should stop the flow of electricity when the outlet is dangerously overloaded. A blown fuse can also happen when too much electricity is being drawn from a single outlet.

GFCI outlets are designed to shut off when there is a leak in the electrical current. The outlet should have a “reset” or “test”  button that can be reset by pushing it. But typically it is the home’s wiring that is the problem. Wires degrade as they age, they can also become loose or split, creating a loss in electrical current or short circuit.

Check the outlet itself by plugging something different into the outlet. If it is the outlet, try other outlets in the area to see if they are working.

If you are comfortable, check the circuit breaker to see if any of them have flipped. They should all be in the “on” position.

A failed outlet can be a big red flag when it comes to your electricity. 

The wiring for any home or business is a complex system, if your wires are poorly connected or weak, opening up the wall or outlet and wrapping another wire around it, hoping it creates a stronger connection, is very dangerous. Especially when you are not using the right materials. It can cause significant electrical shocks when plugging devices in or cause outlets to overheat.

When it comes to electricity, it is better to contact a skilled electrician instead of trying to do it yourself. Trust the team of professionals at Sanford Electric Company for affordable and safe repairs and maintenance.

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