When you plug your cell phone charger into an outlet, you may encounter a situation where your phone doesn't start charging as it should. In this case, the electrical socket you are using may be faulty. You might wonder if there's something you can do to troubleshoot the problems yourself or if it's necessary to engage a proficient electrician for assistance.
In most cases, homeowners can troubleshoot faulty sockets without needing professional help. While there is a possibility that you might still need to contact an electrician, this guide will walk you through a troubleshooting process that focuses on the most common causes and solutions.
Test Other Outlets To Discover if They Are Functional
When a socket loses power, it is common for close outlets also to experience the same issue. Thus, try plugging your charger into them within the same room to check if they are functional. If these outlets are also defective, the issue may stem from the breaker panel
Inspect Your Home's Breaker Panel for Flipped Breakers
The breaker panel, typically situated in the basement or utility room, contains several switches known as breakers, each responsible for powering a specific area of your property. When you open the panel door, you'll see rows of switches labeled "ON" on one side and "OFF" on the other.
Suppose a breaker has flipped. In that case, its switch will rest between OFF and ON. If you come across a switch in this middle position, flip it to the OFF side and switch it back to ON. This action will reset the breaker. Proceed to the problematic socket and retest it.
Unplug Devices To Prevent Electrical Circuit Overload
If you discover that power returns to the socket after flipping the breaker, it is possible that you've overloaded the circuit. Overloading a circuit occurs when you connect numerous devices, especially those that generate heat, to the same circuit.
Every switch in the breaker panel is responsible for a distinct circuit. If an overload happens, the circuit breaker will trip, cutting off the power. This issue occurs because you are trying to draw more electricity than the circuit can handle.
Notably, if the breaker flips without overloading the circuit, it indicates a possible short circuit. Usually, a short circuit occurs when there is an interruption in the intended flow of electricity, typically due to accidental wire contact. Short circuits pose a significant fire hazard. Therefore, if the breaker trips again after resetting it and you have no devices plugged in, it is crucial to keep the breaker off and promptly call an electrician for assistance.
Loose Connecting Wires Cause Power Loss
If you have followed the previous troubleshooting steps and the socket still lacks power, there is a possibility that loose wires are the cause. If you feel insecure about checking the socket’s wiring, now is the appropriate moment to seek an electrician’s assistance.
The Socket Itself May Be Faulty
While it is not a frequent occurrence, outlets can burn out or become faulty, causing them to stop functioning. If you do this task yourself, ensure that the breaker switch connected to the socket is OFF. Next, remove the socket cover and use a screwdriver to disconnect the wires from the old socket. Install the new socket, ensuring that the wires are well-connected.
Contact an Electrician if Power Issues Persist
If the previous steps did not resolve the issue, an electrician could help locate difficult-to-find electrical problems with special equipment and testers. It's advisable to consider contacting an electrician at this point.