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Troubleshooting Electrical Outlets

Posted on: January 23, 2014

Are you having problems with some of the outlets in your home? While actually trying to repair an electrical outlet on your own can be dangerous, you can at least diagnose many of the most common electrical outlet problems. Before you call Kolb Electric, see if you can pinpoint the problem by trying the following steps.

How to Troubleshoot Faulty Electrical Outlets

If you were trying to plug something into the outlet and it wasn’t working, try plugging it in somewhere else. If it works, it’s likely a problem with the outlet. If it still doesn’t work, the problem is with the device itself.

Look for any wall switches and turn them on. If the appliance works after flipping the switch, you shouldn’t have any further problems.

Check other outlets near the dead one. If any more don’t work, mark them with tape.

Unplug everything from nearby outlets to eliminate the possibility of a short or overload.

Make sure the circuit breaker isn’t tripped. The circuit breaker will be located in the breaker box, usually in the garage, basement, or kitchen. To see if it is tripped, open the box and see if any of the breakers are in the RESET or OFF position. If they are, turn the appliance off, switch the breaker back into the ON position, then try to device again.

Check for blown fuses. To do this, turn off the main switch and use a flashlight to see if any of the fuses are burnt or blackened.

If the dead outlet is a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter), try to find out if there’s any reason it may be tripping. GFCIs shut off power to outlets when they detect a leak in electrical current, so if they continue to trip after being reset, there could be a dangerous current leak that requires an electrician’s attention.

If you have dead outlets in your home, or if you need electrical troubleshooting in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, call Kolb Electric today!

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