At least one or two exterior electrical outlets are located throughout most single-family residences. However, these outlets, like the ones you have indoors, can quit operating. So, what causes this to happen? This tutorial will teach you all you need to know about troubleshooting an outdoor power outlet, whether you want to handle it yourself or hire an electrician.
What could cause an outdoor electrical outlet to stop working?
Several factors might cause the failure of your outdoor electrical outlets. You’ll notice that some of them are more subtle than others. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these factors and what you can do to address them.
Circuit breaker has been tripped
Start with the easiest and fastest causes to rule out while troubleshooting your outdoor electrical outlets. The circuit breakers at your home’s main electrical box should be the first thing you check in this instance. Because the circuit breaker for your exterior electrical outlets is turned off, other portions of your house continue to have electricity. This will happen when an electrical fault occurs, such as a rapid electricity spike. As a precaution, the circuit breaker for those outlets will trip, protecting them from potential harm.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet has been tripped
There’s one more circuit breaker to search for once you’ve checked your home’s main electrical box. Outside power outlets and GFCI outlets frequently share the same circuit. The term ‘ground-fault circuit interrupter’ refers to a device that protects the whole course against electrical failures. GFCI outlets function similarly to the circuit breaker you examined before. The breaker, however, is incorporated inside one of the outlets rather than in the main electrical box like the rest.
The GFCI outlet and its circuit protect your exterior power outlet. The GFCI, on the other hand, is frequently seen indoors. In many homes, the GFCI outlet is located in the garage. Examine the GFCI outlet to see whether it has been tripped. One of its buttons will protrude outward when this happens. All you have to do now is hit the reset button to reactivate the circuit. The power to your outdoor power outlets on the same course will be restored due to this action.
Outside outlet or appliance that is wet
After a trip, resetting a circuit breaker or GFCI outlet is usually enough to fix the problem. However, if there is a severe failure in the circuit, those components will trip frequently. That’s aggravating, but it’s also an indication of a potentially painful condition that has to be addressed right away. For example, the exterior outlet might be wet, jeopardizing the entire electrical circuit.
By law, all of your outside outlets must be housed in a waterproof enclosure. When the outlet isn’t in use, the casing will include a closed watertight door to protect it from rain and other weather conditions. Water can come in if the casing or door is damaged or won’t close properly, causing the outlet to short circuit. The same thing may happen to everything you connect to that outlet. Light fixtures plugged into outlets, for example, can get damp and cause the entire system to fail.
Wiring that is loose or broken
It’s also conceivable that your outside power outlet isn’t working due to a wiring issue, though this is less common. The wires that deliver electricity to the outlet, for example, might have gotten loose or damaged. There’s no reason your outdoor power outlet’s wiring should be disrupted under normal circumstances. The cables, after all, are just resting within the wall, with no moving elements in or around them.
Check these 3 simple solutions if your outdoor outlet isn’t working
1. Check to see whether your circuit breaker has tripped.
When an outlet stops working, you should first check the circuit breaker to determine whether it has tripped or if a fuse has blown. Go to your electrical panel, which is commonly situated in basements, laundry rooms, or garages, to see whether one of those items is the problem. The breaker has been tripped if any breaker switches are in the “off” position.
A circuit overload or a short circuit from a device hooked into a course is the most common cause of tripped circuit breakers. If you suspect this is the case, the best action is to contact a professional electrician. This is especially crucial since a loose wire in the electrical box might sometimes be the source of the problem. Working with flexible cables should only be done by qualified electricians.
2. Examine your connections to see if they are loose
Loose connections are another issue that you could have with the outside outlet. To check for this, take the outlet out of the box and inspect it for any loose connections obstructing the passage of power. A faulty connection can potentially create electrical fires by overheating the outlet and causing the wire to burn. As a result, if you suspect a loose connection with your outlet, contact a skilled electrician as soon as possible.
3. Check to see whether your GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) has been tripped
This is a job best left to the professionals unless you’re experienced with GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters). When they detect an energy leak, GCFIs trip and shut down, protecting households from electrical shocks, GCFIs can be found in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and even outside houses.
Contact a skilled electrician if you discover your GFCI has been triggered. As you can see, there are various reasons why an outside outlet could stop working. It’s advisable to hire a professional to restore your home’s functionality to its former glory.