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For Electric Cooperative Members

Dead Outlet?

Check it out before calling an electrician

When you plug a lamp or an appliance into a socket, you expect to be able to turn it on. Sometimes, though, you’ll find that the outlet is “dead.”

Before you call an electrician, check a few things out:

  1. Plug something else into the same outlet. It could be that the problem is with the device and not the outlet. If this one turns on, that’s the case.
  2. If more than one device is plugged into the same outlet—or if a full power strip is plugged in there—check to see if everything else is working. If not, try this: Unplug one device at a time until something turns on. It could be that you’ve overloaded the outlet.
  3. If nothing is turning on at that outlet, check your circuit breaker. Open the door and notice if a single switch is turned off; if so, turn it back on. If you can’t locate the circuit that belongs to that outlet, turn off all of the breakers then turn them back on one at a time.
  4. If you plug the lamp or appliance back into the outlet and the circuit trips again, it’s time to call an electrician.
  5. And if your dead outlet has a ground-fault circuit interrupter, you might be able to solve the problem simply by pressing the reset button on the face of the outlet.