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.