Why Do Your Outlets Keep Failing?

Electrical problems can be frustrating and, at times, a little bit frightening. Electricity can pose a severe fire hazard, so it's natural to worry when your home suffers from unexpected electrical failures. While many problems aren't inherently dangerous, it's critical always to address these issues as they arise to avoid any potential damage.

Failing outlets are among the most common problems you might face, and there can be several issues that cause your home's receptacles to stop working. If you're suffering from repeated or multiple outlet failures, it may be due to one of these three causes.

1. Significant Wiring Fault

A wiring fault is among the worst-case scenarios you might face. Shorts occur when part of the circuit finds a shortcut to ground, such as a damaged wire coming into contact with another wire or a piece of metal. Random faults should not occur between outlets or switches, but they may happen if a pest enters your walls and chews on the wiring insulation.

Wiring faults can trip your breaker or fuse, stopping all of the outlets and lights in the room from working. Shorts can also damage receptacles and create significant fire hazards. If you have multiple outlets failing and tripping your breaker, contact a licensed electrician and never attempt to override the breaker or fuse.

2. Physical Damage

If you have a frequently used outlet that's failed more than once, it could be due to physical damage. This problem often occurs with appliances and devices that you frequently plug and unplug, such as phone chargers or vacuum cleaners. The act of pulling the plug in and out of the receptacle can loosen the wires on the outlet, ultimately causing them to detach.

In these cases, you'll need to cut power to the outlet, remove it, and check for signs of a loose connection. You may also want to consider upgrading frequently used outlets to higher-end, commercial-grade models that are more resistant to wear. If you aren't comfortable working with electricity, it's best to leave this job to a professional.

3. Poor Wiring

Poor wiring can cause numerous problems with your home's electrical system, including failed outlets. If a previous owner conducted a lot of do-it-yourself electrical work, you might have one or more outlets, switches, or fixtures with a severe wiring problem. These problems can cause outlets to burn out, short, or just stop working.

If you find that numerous outlets around your home are causing problems, it may be worthwhile to hire an electrician to perform an inspection and evaluation. Taking the time to check your home's wiring can help you find any poorly done prior work before it becomes a safety hazard.

Contact an electrician near you if you are experiencing outlet failures in your home or business.