Home>Electrical outlet not working? Here’s why – and what you can do

Electrical outlet not working? Here’s why – and what you can do

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You plugged it in, and switched it on. You’ve then switched it off and unplugged it. And still, your electrical outlet is not working!

A faulty or dead outlet can cause hassle, especially if you’re rushing to recharge your laptop or use an electric kettle to make your favourite cup of tea.

Nobody wants to deal with a faulty outlet. It’s annoying!

We’ve already spoken about what to do if your outlets get wet, but when it comes to outlets not working, there can be many more reasons and causes behind these failures.

If you’re frustrated by an electrical outlet that has seemingly stopped working out of the blue, we suggest reading on. We’ll cover 5 of the most common reasons your outlets may fail you, and what you can do about it.

Need an emergency electrician for immediate assistance? Briggs Electrical is ready to spring into action and keep you, your family, and your home safe. Call us 24/7 on 1300 300 222 or lodge a job with us today, whether you need a residential or commercial electricians Melbourne.

5 reasons why your electrical outlet isn’t working

You rely on your electrical outlet every single day, and let’s be honest, you don’t think twice about it – until it fails you, of course.

Whether it interrupts working from home or your favourite TV show in the evening, homeowners experience infrequent faulty and broken outlets due to a number of reasons. Here are some of the most common.

1. Circuit breaker trip

A tripped circuit breaker is often caused by too much electrical current flowing through your electrical circuits. This usually happens when circuits are overloaded due to many appliances being used or run at the same time.

This is a safety precaution and usually indicates an overloaded circuit rather than a problem isolated to your electrical outlet.

How do you reset an electrical outlet?

If your outlet is not working, it could be that you have a tripped circuit breaker; that’s why you need to flip it in an ‘on’ and ‘off’ switch position to reset the circuit.

So you are not resetting the outlet, but rather the circuit that provides power to this outlet (and others around your home). In most cases, resetting the circuit breaker should fix the issue and thus your outlet.

If problems still persist with your breaker, contact your local emergency electrician today.

Blown fuse

If you have a fuse box that operates your electricity, it could be that the problem lies in a blown fuse. You might have a blown or broken fuse that needs to be replaced immediately.

In these cases, more than one electrical outlet may suffer from issues.

Tripped GFCI outlets

A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is a safety device used on power outlets, particularly those near water sources, like the bathroom or kitchen. They protect against electrical shock and automatically detect a short circuit.

If your GFCI outlet is not working, it means that your electrical outlet is not working at all.

Here, you can try resetting the GFCI button to resolve the issue. If problems still continue, don’t try to investigate further. Without proper knowledge, you’re putting yourself at risk. Best to call your local electrician!

Burnt outlets

Strong and sudden electrical surges create heat in your wiring, which can in turn damage your outlets.

If you see black spots or smoke emitting from your outlets, or notice a strange burning smell, you may need to have your burned outlets replaced immediately by an electrician near you, as these could even cause fire hazards if left unchecked.

Loose wirings

Loose wires are some of the most common causes for faulty outlets. While the fix might seem pretty straightforward, it’s imperative that even a task like this is left to a qualified professional.The risk is too high to try to do it on your own!

Poor installation

Unfortunately, you might have fallen victim to poor workmanship from another electrician in the past. If your outlets have been installed poorly or incorrectly, they may malfunction, even if they’re relatively new or don’t present any significant signs of damage.

If you’re quite not sure if you have a faulty electrical outlet, the best thing to do is for you to call an expert commercial electrician who can inspect the problem, carefully disconnect the faulty wirings or faulty outlet, and replace them quickly and safely.

Old outlets

Old and worn-out electrical outlets are exactly that: old and worn-out. And like anything else in your home, outlets may need replacement simply due to wear and tear over the years.

Old outlets may also suffer from exposed or frayed wiring due to decomposing materials, as well as loose electrical connections.

How can you tell if an outlet is bad?

Older outlets can even cause you a bunch of headaches like:

  • Electrical shocks
  • Connection problems
  • Electrical fires

Do I need an electrician to replace an outlet?

Yes. You will need the help of an electrician in Malvern to replace an old power outlet and fix any disconnected electrical wirings.

commercial electrician

How do I fix an outlet with no power?

Trying to DIY an outlet fault can be dangerous.

To prevent the worst situations from happening, you will need to make sure that you know what you’re doing and that the internal wires will not cause any electrical dangers.

Here is how you can test for a faulty outlet.

Try plugging other appliances on the outlet

When you first realise that your outlet isn’t working, simply try plugging in a different appliance. If this secondary appliance works, then this immediately tells you that the fault lies within the original appliance, rather than the outlet itself.

Test other outlets to see if they are working or not

If one power outlet is not working in your home, you should also check if the issue is isolated to that single outlet, nearby outlets, or all outlets in your home.

So check a close-by outlet (e.g. in the same room). Then, check another at the other end of the house. You can now draw conclusions whether the issue is affecting just one or multiple outlets.

Unplug other appliances from one electrical outlet

Overloaded electrical outlets may sometimes cause your electrical outlets not to work. One best way to test this is to unplug all other appliances you have from one electrical outlet to see if some other appliances are drawing more electricity than the others.

Call a Melbourne electrician

Home electrical outlets and home wirings can be complicated. If you can’t work out the issue yourself (or simply don’t want to) then we highly recommend contacting an expert Melbourne electrician.

Save yourself the time and worry!

Do you need an electrician to change an outlet?


Electricians will always have testers and special equipment that will help them to safely identify problems you’re experiencing. This specialised equipment must only be used by a qualified pro.

Electrical outlet not working? Call an emergency electrician in Melbourne today!

Faulty outlets may seem annoying, but the fact of the matter is, they can also present larger issues or hide deeper problems within your home’s electrical system.

If your outlets are failing you, contact our electricians today. And if you’re experiencing burning smells or alarming sparks, don’t hesitate to contact our 24-hour emergency electrical service near you.

Located in Bayside, we service the entire southeast as well as Melbourne CBD.

If something is wrong in your electrical system, choose Briggs’ emergency electrician Prahran, electrician Kingston or domestic electricians in Melbourne, and we’ll be happy to solve issues such as:

  • Blown fuse
  • Safety switch failure
  • Electrical fires
  • Lighting and appliances failure
  • Power failure / blackout
  • Electrical damage due to bad weather

Call Briggs Electrical today on 1300 300 222 or fill in this form to book a job with us.