Home Services

Outlets Not Working? Try This Before Calling an Electrician.

You have miscellaneous outlets not working at your home and aren’t sure what to do. Do they need to be replaced? Is there bad wiring somewhere? Diagnosing electrical issues on your own can be tricky and any number of things could be causing an outlet to be ‘out’. 

Thankfully, our partners at Joe Schmo Electrical Services explain one thing you can easily and safely try yourself before calling an electrician to your home. 

If your home was built in the last 40 years (1980’s or newer), it should have GFI protected outlets for your safety in areas of your home prone to moisture (bathrooms, kitchen, garage, exterior, etc). If you’ve had electrical upgrades to an older home, it is also possible that you have these outlets in some or all of the mentioned locations. GFI (or GFCI) stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. If any electrical current leaks, there is a circuit breaker inside the outlet that notices and shuts off in order to prevent shock. As helpful as these little things are, they could be the reason you have some random outlets (or even lights) not working.

When a GFI outlet is tripped, it causes not only that outlet to shut off, but also anything and everything else on the same circuit. So, a simple click of the reset button (located on the outlet) will remedy your loss of power issue. This might sound extremely obvious to many, BUT these reset buttons can sometimes be difficult to find. Depending on when your house was built and how it was designed, a number of outlets (even in different areas entirely) can be on the same circuit. For example, in the ’80s a GFI outlet would be installed in the garage that would wire all of the garage, exterior, and bathroom outlets to the same circuit. So if one outlet in any of these areas thinks someone got shocked, they all shut off. Since the late ’90s, things have changed and bathrooms have to be on their own circuit, they can’t be part of the exterior. If your home fits this description you will find a reset button for the garage & exterior outlets (likely in the garage) and another reset button in one of your bathrooms. 

We realize this can be overwhelming, especially if you recently moved and aren’t familiar with your new digs. If you need someone to walk you through the process, Office Manager Rachelle with Joe Schmo Electrical Services will happily take your call! Of course, if you’re still having issues after resetting your GFIs, you will want an experienced electrician like the techs with Joe Schmo to come out and take a closer look. While you might have to do a little digging behind garage shelves to find the funny looking outlet with the buttons… hopefully, we’ve saved you from the panic of thinking you have a serious electrical problem! 

For more information on this topic or any electrical related questions, don’t hesitate to call Joe Schmo Electrical Services at (317) 775-1011!


This article was co-authored by F.C. Tucker Home Services and Joe Schmo Electrical Services

Joe Schmo Electrical Services — (317) 775-1011 —