Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image source Freepik
Power outlets are devices that bridge the connection between your building and the power source. All the electronic appliances that you are running in your house are connected to a power outlet, which in turn is connected to the power source.
A power outlet can either be indoor or outdoor. The naming is in reference to their installation place. Indoor outlets are installed inside the building while outdoor power outlets are installed outside the building.
Any type of power outlet can fail, regardless of where it is installed. So, what are the possible causes of the outdoor outlet not working? Keep reading as we discuss these reasons and even recommend possible solutions.
Tripped circuit breaker
The moment you discover the outdoor is not working the first possible cause should be the circuit breaker.
Circuit breakers are designed to trip and once this happens, they interrupt the flow of electric current from the mains power source to the house.
So, before you do any further diagnosis, check out the circuit breaker that is located at the main panel box.
You can narrow it down to the circuit breaker issue if other parts of the house are still getting power from the same source yet the outlet is not working.
There are numerous reasons why circuit breakers of outdoor outlets trip. One of them is the power surge and the tripping will be a way of protecting the outlet and appliances from getting damaged.
How do I solve this issue?
This is the simplest solution. Just open the power outlet box and check out the exact breaker that is designed for the outlet. If it is in an OFF position, you will change it to ON.
You will have your power back.
If the outlet still fails after you have worked on the circuit breaker, then you will have to try out other solutions.
Or, maybe the circuit breakers are damaged and need to be replaced. You may have unmount the circuit breaker from the panel and inspect it.
If you are considering replacement, ensure that you get high-quality circuit breakers from reputable suppliers.
Tripped GFCI outlet
A tripped GFCI is another possible reason why your outdoor power outlet is not working. GFCI stands for the ‘ground-fault circuit interrupter’ and its main function is to protect the outdoor outlet from unexpected electrical incidences such as power surge.
GFCI outlets have the same working principle as the circuit breakers. They also trip and you can reset them to their original position.
In most homes, ground fault circuit interrupters are located in outdoor setups such as garages and outdoor outlets. So, finding it won’t be a problem.
Once you find the GFCI, you will simply need to preset the reset button and you will have your power back.
Just like in the case of the circuit breaker, you will also have to inspect the state of the GFCI to ascertain that it is in proper working condition.
Any signs of a damaged GFCI mean you must consider a replacement.
Wet outdoor power outlet
Since it is an outdoor outlet, it is installed outside where it will be exposed to all kinds of weather. It can be hot weather or even moisture.
Exposure to water can interfere with the electronic components in the panel.
Not only water will affect the working of the panel but can also be a major safety risk. It can lead to short circuit. So, if the outlet is not working due to exposure to water, you should approach the issue with utmost care.
You should probably involve a professional electrician in doing the repair so that the situation can be back to normal. But before the arrival of the electrician, avoid touching the outlet. If you know how to work your way around it, then wait for the outdoor outlet to dry.
The good news is you can put various preventive measures to protect the outlet from the effects of water damage. One of the methods is to install a waterproof casing over the outlet. The casing will have a door that gives you access to the components but still prevents water from getting inside.
Image source Freepik
Another reason why your outdoor outlet is not working is broken wiring. Any issue with regard to the wiring will end up interfering with the normal functioning of the electric outlet.
The most common issue in relation to wiring is loose wires. If the wires from the power source are exposed to constant movements, they will eventually become loose and this may end up affecting how they get connected to the appliances.
Have you done any repairs in recent days, some of these actions might have touched on the wiring causing damage.
The best remedy to the wiring problem is to inspect the whole wiring system. Determine the physical state of all the wires and initiate the necessary repairs and replacement. Ensure that you use quality wires if you decide to go for the replacement.
Your outdoor outlet could not be working because the problem could be with itself-it is faulty. A problem within the outlet will affect how it operates.
One of the issues that tend to affect outlets is age. Old outdoor outlets are likely to be affected by a series of problems.
Manufacturer defect is another issue that can compromise the quality of the outdoor outlet. You should also check out whether it is among the recalled power outlets.
The best solution to a faulty issue is to buy a new outdoor outlet. Also, ensure that the outlet is of high quality such that it can meet your electrical needs. It should also be from a reputable brand.
At this point, you know the possible reasons why your outdoor power outlet is not working. We have also outlined the necessary steps that you should take to solve the problems. Where you are not sure, it is advisable to seek professional help. And if you have to do replacements, ensure you buy from reputable electronic components distributors.
If you want to find more Electronic Components Distributors, please check out the following articles:
- The Art of Sourcing: How We Identify and Partner with Top IC Manufacturers - November 24, 2023
- Essential Electronics Test Equipment You Should Know About - November 24, 2023
- How To Finish PCBA Design Process Quickly? - November 24, 2023