Tripped circuit breaker, tripped GFCI outlet, overload, bad wiring, faulty electrical outlet, etc. are some of the most common reasons why multiple outlets stop working. To resolve such issues, you will first have to identify the main electrical panel and start troubleshooting.
Multiple electrical outlets lead to the possibility of them sharing the same circuit. However, there is no need to panic. The fixes are simple and in the best scenario, you can save yourself some money by doing some simple checks yourself, given you have the experience.
Multiple Outlets Not Working
There are a few most likely issues that could lead to multiple outlets being nonfunctional. We will thoroughly address such issues in this section.
When there is an overload in your circuit breaker, it trips and shuts itself off automatically. This is to prevent additional electrical flow that can cause fire hazards. The only way to solve this problem is not to overload the circuit by limiting the usage of multiple appliances at once.
Tripped Circuit Breaker
To check whether a breaker is tripped or not, you have to look at both sides of the breaker panel. Once you identify a breaker that is tripped, look at the label to see if it is responsible for the power outage of the appliance that you are having trouble with.
In most cases, flipping the switch to the “ON” position should resolve the issue immediately. However, make sure you have unplugged all the devices before doing anything with the breakers.
Tripped GFCI Outlet
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI outlet is used in modern residential buildings to prevent shock hazards. This type of outlet will shut off when there is too much power surging through it. Another way such a problem surfaces itself is when the GFCI outlets are commonly connected to a circuit along with the non-GFCI outlets.
There is a reset button below the tripped indicator on GFCI outlets that pops out when it is tripped. All you have to do is simply remove all the plugs, push the reset button, and observe the outcome. Yet, if the outlet is not resetting, then there is a problem with the GFCI outlet itself.
Loose wiring is inevitable and pretty common. The main reason behind loose wiring is the frequent heating and cooling of the wires which causes them to expand and contract intermittently. This eventually causes the wiring to loosen.
Another reason for loose connections is when the outlets are relatively new or being replaced. To fix this issue, you can try removing the cover plate of the circuit breaker with the power turned off and see if there is any loose connection.
If your home is an old-fashioned one, there is a rare possibility that you could have an electrical panel that contains fuses instead of breakers. The filament of the fuse gets overheated and breaks when there is an excess current or direct short condition. In such cases, you will have to unscrew the bad fuse and replace it with a new one of the same type having a similar amperage.
As a homeowner, it is frustrating to see the electrical outlets not working properly. However, diving into the issue to resolve it yourself can be disastrous for you and your family. Therefore, the best practice is to always call a veteran electrician to assess the situation at first.