You’re minding your own business, plugging your leaf blower into the outlet on your home’s exterior when it happens. Nothing.
If your outdoor outlets fail to produce the appropriate charge, its easy to assume the worst (I have to replace this outlet, it’s going to be so expensive . . .). However, in many cases, a dead outlet is the result of a simple connectivity problem that can be remedied with a few easy steps. Try the following before you panic, and if you’re still having difficulties, contact our team at Prairie Electric. We’re ready to help!
First, Look for Dead Outlets
Before you decide to crack open your circuit breaker, first check if your other outlets, appliances, or lights have been affected. Try turning lights on and off and checking nearby outlets to see if they have power. Whether you plug in a lamp or use a voltage tester to see what’s working, the important thing to confirm is whether or not other outlets are working.
If you discover any dead outlets, unplug appliances or lamps to be sure there will not be a short or overload. Mark any dead outlets with masking tape so you remember where they are.
Tripped Circuit Breaker
Your electrician will want to look to see if your circuit breaker has tripped or a fuse has blown. Both are kept inside your main electrical panel, located where your electrical wires enter your home, often found in basements, laundry rooms, and/or garages. If he or she notices any breaker switches that are in the “off” position, that breaker has been tripped.
Tripped circuit breakers are usually caused by a temporary circuit overload or a short circuit in a device that is plugged into the circuit. However, the problem can also arise due to a loose wire in an electrical box. Contact Prairie Electric with your questions, for safe resolution of the issue.
Tripped Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter
GFCIs, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, protect your home against deadly electrical shocks by immediately tripping and shutting off your power when they sense an energy leak. You can most often find GFCIs in your basement, kitchen, bathroom, and on the exterior of your home. If you suspect that a GFCI has tripped, a professional electrician can provide a thorough assessment.
If the above causes do not apply to your faulty outlet, an electrician will need to remove it from the box and continue looking for loose connections that may be inhibiting the flow of electricity. Loose connections can also cause the outlet to overheat and even burn essential wiring, so be sure to call a pro immediately if you feel heat or see any sparks, smoke, or smoke damage to your outlet.
Having issues with your outdoor outlets? Contact our team at Prairie Electric with any and all questions. We’re here to help in any way we can!