Don't Be Powerless: Troubleshooting a Dead Electrical Socket

Plug sockets are one of those things you tend to take for granted. Especially in the modern world, where people use a great number of different electrical devices every day, you probably don't give much thought to the power supply points when they're plugged in.

The one time you're sure to be more aware of them, unfortunately, is when they stop working. Before you call out an electrician, try troubleshooting the socket yourself. Even if there's nothing you can do to fix the problem, it can help a professional diagnose and remedy the issue more quickly.

Check for signs

Before you do anything else, carefully inspect the plug socket. Look for any sign of burn marks, hissing, or crackling sounds or heat emanating from the area. If you notice any of these signs, call an electrician immediately and explain what you've found.

Determine which socket is the problem

The first step in troubleshooting the problem is to find out whether it's an isolated fault or not, as this will help you work out what the cause could be. If you've noticed one particular socket isn't working, check all of the other plug sockets in the house to see if they work. If none of them do, make sure the appliance isn't at fault – test a socket with something you're certain works. You may also have a problem with the mains circuit breaker, which is normally located somewhere like a garage or basement

Check the circuit breaker

If you've managed to determine that it is just one socket or the sockets in a single room, check the circuit breaker for any tripped switches. If you discover that one of the circuit breaker switches has tripped, it could be caused by a faulty appliance, so be careful plugging it back in.

Check the fuses

Fuses can blow in circuit breakers, which could be causing the problem. If you're confident enough to do so, try changing the fuse. If not, don't worry – an electrician can do this for you and will be able to ascertain if it's necessary.

Call an electrician

Don't worry if you seem to be getting nowhere. Any information you can give an electrician can help them to work out what's going on. If the power has gone throughout your home, make sure there isn't a power cut over a wider area. Ask a neighbour if they're experiencing any problems.

About Me

DIY Electrical Work: Easy Repairs, Simple Projects and More

Whether you are an avid DIY fan who wants to learn more, a parent who wants to teach your child about electricity or anyone else interested in learning about electricity, this blog is for you. Hi, my name is Peter, and I apprenticed as an electrician when I was quite young. Unfortunately, a series of layoffs caused me to leave my job and pursue work in another industry. I love what I do now (trucking) because it allows me to see so much of the country, but I still like to dabble with electricity. This blog is devoted to electrical DIY tips and more. I hope it helps you, and you enjoy it.