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Is the Outlet Broken Or the Appliance?

Have you ever plugged in your favorite tool or appliance, only to have it respond in no way at all? Of course you have! We’ve all experienced this issue once or twice in our lives. But what if it’s not the appliance, but the outlet itself? How do you know? How do you find out? The specialists here at Jack Lehr Heating, Cooling & Electric are here today to clue you in on common outlet issues, and how to figure them out!

How Do I Know If My Outlet Is Broken?

For starters, the word ‘broken’ is a bit of a loaded one. An outlet can have any number of issues, some simple and some pretty extensive. But don’t worry, there are surefire ways to know which is which! First off, find out if it’s the outlet itself, or just your appliance:

  • Try plugging the appliance into a new outlet. To be completely sure, ensure that you’re plugging the appliance into an outlet that belongs to an entirely separate breaker. The reason for this is twofold: one, the breaker itself might be the problem, in which case plugging the appliance into an outlet on the same breaker won’t tell you anything. Two, it’s possible that the breaker attached to the outlets you’re using is simply too low-amp to handle your appliance.
  • If the appliance still fails to operate, it’s likely the appliance! If not, we’ve got some less than favorable news…

What’s Wrong with My Outlet?

If the appliance operated completely normally at another outlet, you’ve likely got one of a few issues. Some are an easy fix, but others may require outlet repair or rewiring at the hands of a trusted professional.

  • Check other nearby outlets. Are other appliances in other nearby outlets working? If yes, you’ve probably got a dead outlet! If other outlets are also dead, then you’ll need to have a look at your panel.
  • Is your outlet a GFCI? GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters)  are built to trip at the first sign of electric bleeding or surging. Check the switch on your GFCI to see if it’s tripped. If yes, flick it back on. If it’s not tripped, you’re going to need some outlet repair.
  • Check your breakers. At your electric panel, check to see if your breaker is simply flipped. If it is, try flipping it back on. If it operates normally, the appliance may have been too strong and caused a surge. If the breaker continues to flip upon activation, either the breaker is bad or you’ve got a wiring issue!

If you feel uncomfortable with handling your outlets or breakers, call a professional! Electricity always carries risk, and if you feel you need assistance in even figuring out if your outlet is broken, don’t hesitate to call!

If none of the possible simple solutions worked out, feel free to contact an electrical professional at Jack Lehr! Our certified master electricians are skilled, courteous and highly capable! For outlet repair in the Greater Lehigh Valley you can count on, contact us today!

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