One Outlet is Dead

If a single outlet is dead and all the others on that same circuit are still working fine then the outlet itself is damaged or no longer connected properly. Go to the main panel and turn off the breaker to that circuit. (You do have the circuits identified right? )

Use a circuit tester, or plug a lamp or radio into one of the other outlets on that circuit to make sure the power is really off. Remove the cover plate from the problem outlet, unscrew the top and bottom screws that hold the outlet in place and carefully pull it out of the box. Look for loose wires, burned marks etc. If a wire is loose, tighten the screw that holds it, plug a tester into the outlet and make sure none of the bare wire or contacts are touching anything. Then turn the power back on and see if the outlet works properly. If it does, turn the power off again and reinstall the outlet and cover.

If the outlet does not work then use a neon tester to see if there is power going to the outlet. Put one probe of the tester on the wire on each side of the outlet and see if it lights up. If it doesn’t, then the outlet is OK and for some reason power isn’t getting to it. The mot likely reason why power would not be getting to the outlet but there is only one bad outlet is that this particular outlet is the last on in a series and a wire has come loose at the outlet before it in the series. Identify the problem outlet, disassemble as described above and tighten any loose connection.

If the receptacle has failed you will need to replace it. Remove the old receptacle and make sure you notice how the wires are attached. The white wire should attach to the silver contacts on the new receptacle and the black to the brass. Also be sure to fasten the green ground wire. Reassemble the receptacle and you should be in business.

{ 7 comments… read them below}
Bill
the heater receptacle does not work in my bathroom light/vent/
heater. I plug the heater into the light receptacle and it works.
The heater works in other receptacles in the house, but not in fixture.
Paul
Loose wire inside the fixture?

Joe
My outside electrical outlet on the side of the home tripped last Christmas due to too many Christmas lights. This circuit isn’t connected to the main breaker box inside the home, and it’s not GFI. I cannot find a way to reset this outside outlet. Any idea where to look?
Paul
As far as I know all the electrical should go through the main box. If it doesn’t that suggest some “handyman” made some bad decisions in the past. I think it’s time to hire an electrician to figure out what is really going on.
I have noticed that when breakers pop it is not always as easy to see as you would think. Have you tried switching off all the breakers and then switching them back on?

Hawk
Joe… I had the same thing happen to me. After a very long investigated search, I found that one of the wires that is connected to ANOTHER outside wall outlet was loose. Once I tightened it, the original outlet worked as well. I am only assuming but I think all the outside outlets are wired togrther. Hope this helps.
Hawk

Tanya
I have 4 outlets in my bedroom that are dead. My ceiling fan and overhead light work just fine along with the rest of the outlets in the house. I have already changed one outlet hoping that is all I needed to do with the others but it is still not working. What is wrong and how do I fix it.
Paul
Mobile home wall outlets are wired by cutting a notch in the wall studs before the siding is applied and running the wire from the box along the wall. I would take a look at the outlet box nearest the main electrical box and see if you can find issues there. Next up would be the dead outlet closest to the box.
Have you driven any nails or screws into the outside wall at the level of the boxes that might have hit the wire?

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