Electrical Outlet Stopped Working

February 23, 2015

My wife pluged a Vicks vapor machine into our bedroom outlet. The outlet stopped working. The the vapor machine and my ceiling fan with lights also quit working. I put in a new plug and checked the wiring in the fan. All the wires are connected and there are no burn spots on the wires. How do I fix it?


By kris lemaster


February 25, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Beginning with 1999, Arc Fault Circuit Protection was required for bedrooms in dwelling units. Nuisance trips are common with this type of protection and vaporizers. The original protection was at the breaker - the breaker would trip. More recently, the protection could be in the receptacle much like a GFCI receptacle, and daisy chained.

It is possible that if you have AFCI protection at the receptacle (newer home or remodel) , that another receptacle, which provides the protection, has a tripped pushbutton that needs reset.

It would be bad practice to put the light on this circuit, but it could have been done.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

All of a sudden my whole back of my house went dead, no electrical outlets worked. But half of the circuit still works, but not on the back walls. The breakers never tripped.

I think it is maybe a bad receptacle, but none looked burned and all tested with a receptacle tester that ground and hot were reversed. Please advise.


April 20, 20200 found this helpful

Circuit Breakers do eventually go bad! This one is giving you a hint ,to its flaws. This requires a professional, to take a look at it ,and evaluate the need. This runs your whole house, so be mindful of what you do, with your appliances and plug ins . Use caution until he/she(professional) arrives !

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April 20, 20200 found this helpful

It sounds like there is a shot in your breaker box which is not too hard to fix. I would call an electrician if you can not figure out which fuse needs replacing. There are times that the breaker box is not a fuse but a trip switch that the wires are attached to this. If this is the case try to tighten the wires with a screwdriver and see if this helps. Screws do get loose over time and this can be an issue. Just make sure none of the wires are frayed because then you need to shut off the box, remove the wire, trim it up and put it back in.

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January 2, 2019

I have one outlet in a room that is not working. My daughter used a blow dryer and it stopped working. Also now the light in the hall is out. I checked GFCIs and none were tripped, but I reset them anyways. I checked the electrical box and none of the breakers were tripped, but I know sometimes it can just look that way so I turned the one for her room and bathroom off and then back on.

I did the same with the breaker marked for GFCI outlets. Everything else upstairs works, just not the one outlet and the light. Any ideas?


January 3, 20191 found this helpful

The blow dryer might have shorted out that circuit. Unless you are comfortable with electricity, you should call a qualified electrician.

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January 18, 2011

I plugged my heater into an outlet; now the outlet doesn't work. I replaced the outlet, but still doesn't work. Two other outlets in the room work and the light works. It didn't knock out the breaker. What could be wrong? Please help.

By deb from Wheeling, WV


January 19, 20110 found this helpful

I would try a different appliance in the outlet to see if the outlet in question works. If not then I would reset the circuit breaker and try again. If it still doesn't work it may be the circuit breaker is not working and needs to be replaced. Also try the heater in a different outlet to see if the heater is not working. If the heater does not work then I would say the heater burned out and needs to be replaced.

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January 20, 20110 found this helpful

If you can, try tracing the wiring back to the breaker box. If it goes through a junction box, the wire may have become disconnected there. Please don't keep trying to use the circuit. If you can turn off the breaker, that would be best. If a wire is broken or disconnected it is a fire hazard and should be turned off right away.

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February 22, 20110 found this helpful

My husband got the outlet working. What happen is I wanted to put a fan it the room with a light so my husband took down the old fan with no light. The fan is box wiring, but there was no box, so he put in a metal box. We were reading on box wiring that it needs to have a box clamp to secure it so he put clamp on. He put the fan back up and everything is working now. I bought a book on old wiring and that is what helped us. Thanks to all.

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I have a single outlet in my living room that is not working. All other outlets and lights are working fine. I changed the outlet to a GFCI, but it is still not working. I checked the wire with a voltage meter, no juice coming in through wire.

This doesn't seem to make sense. I checked the panel, nothing is tripped. This outlet is about 5 feet from another outlet, that one is working fine.


January 22, 20180 found this helpful

My husband the electrician says that your new outlet is wired backward meaning that you have your wires switched. Please switch your breaker off before correcting this.

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May 17, 2017

The outlet just stopped working. I am not sure why, but here is the confusing part. The breaker is not flipping off, but when you turn the breaker off then back on it works for a second and stops again. I have lived here for 3 years and nothing like this has happened before.

So what do I do to fix this? Would a new outlet fix this or is it a more serious issue? I'm kinda worried there may be an exposed wire or something shorting it out. Anyone else have this issue or any ideas?


May 17, 20171 found this helpful

You could have a loose wire. Here is an article from Family Handyman that tells you how to troubleshoot:

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May 22, 20170 found this helpful

My husband is an electrician. He says that it either has a bad breaker or a loose connection. Either one can cause at the least an outlet that does not work or at worst an electrical fire. You would do well to hire a certified electrician to check it out for you.

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November 7, 2016

I plugged my vacuum and straightening iron into my outlets on the exact opposite side of the dressing room table. I have another outlet, a lamp is plugged in that one. I plugged my vacuum and straightening iron same outlet vacuum worked for a few minutes then went out!

The outlet stopped working! The breaker was on on position! I flipped it off and on, but that didn't work. Would it help if I shut off the main breaker? And then flipped it back on again?


November 26, 20160 found this helpful

I was vacuum the house. The extension cord was plug into on of the outlet in the dining room when suddenly the vacuum stopped working. I check the electrical panel and everything was okay. I resent all the outlets and still not working.

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August 21, 2015

We have a plug in our kitchen that is a switch for our undercabinet lighting on one side and on the other side is a plug. The plug has suddenly stopped working, even though the light switch is working fine. The breaker is also working fine. We have changed the plug, but it is still not working. Any ideas as to what else we could try?



August 24, 20150 found this helpful

An electrician could fix this for you.

You need a meter to detect if voltage is present at the receptacle and if the neutral is connected by measuring resistance to ground. There exists a plug in device with three lights that will give you that information.

Another thing to consider is that kitchen receptacles are GFCI protected. It may be that the standard receptacle you replaced is fed from a GFCI receptacle which is tripped. The lighting would not be on the GFCI receptacle. Check to see if any other receptacles are dead, if so I would lean toward a tripped GFCI somewhere.

Good luck.

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August 24, 20150 found this helpful

I like Bruce's first line of advice-- call an electrician. Bruce is an electrician, and can explain these things, but nothing beats having a trained professional fix things for you.

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March 4, 2016

I had a nitelight plugged in. The bulb was loose and I tried to tighten the bulb and it popped; now the outlet doesn't work.

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September 27, 2015

My plug sockets stopped working. There was no bang or odd noises. I checked the circuit breaker, but nothing was tripped.

I have unplugged everything then re-booted it, but nothing! My lights are working though. I need some help please.


September 28, 20150 found this helpful

The most common cause of outlets failing would be a tripped breaker in your power panel. You have correctly troubleshot the situation by unplugging the connected devices and turning the breaker off then on to reset it. Still, no luck.

The second leading cause of receptacles failing would be a tripped GFCI or AFCI receptacle. One receptacle tripping can take out a whole host of receptacles. Look to see if you have any such receptacles (with a test and reset button) . If that receptacle has no power, try resetting it and hopefully power will restore to the others as well.

It is possible the power for these receptacles have a switch. This hidden switch could be turned off (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation).

After that you are entering an area best left to an electrician. Something has opened the circuit. Wiring could have overheated and burnt open. A rodent could have chewed through the wire. A breaker could have failed. In a multiple occupancy dwelling (duplex, apartment ...) it is possible another tenant could have opened the circuit from their side of the wall. All of these situations require the knowledge and equipment an electrician would supply.

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September 27, 2014

I have one outlet in the bedroom that stopped working. I reset all the GFI switches and replaced the outlet, but still no power. Any suggestions?

By Tyrone from Brandywine, MD


September 29, 20140 found this helpful

Call an electrician.

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September 29, 2012

I moved into a private rented flat today. When I turned on the shower to wash the shower room down and it blew all my sockets, but it hasn't tripped it out on the main board. I have reset the main board, but still nothing is happening. Any ideas what it could be, please anyone? Thanks.

By Adam


October 1, 20120 found this helpful

Telephone the landlord NOW and ask them to have a professional come in to check the 'on-demand' water heater to the shower-it sounds as though the wiring is wrong on that feature.

Whilst awaiting the service call engineer, do not use any of your electricals on any circuit you think may share with the shower room, and be alert to any electrical overheating (burning plastic smells or a metallic 'tang' in the air). Feel for 'hot spots' along the walls, outlets, and at the mains box-CAREFULLY to avoid burns or shocks.

I think you got very lucky. When I lived in Guatemala (mid-90s) a co-worker was electrocuted in her shower because of faulty wiring in the on-demand shower feature.

Be sure to write down the date and time of the telephone conversation, and what the landlord promised he/she would do to remedy this extremely dangerous situation. You may need the information to prove that you made contact, and to recoup any out of pocket costs associated-for example, if your landlord does not act quickly to repair this you may have to take a hotel room until it is done, or even move out completely should the landlord prove unwilling to sort this immediately.

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March 1, 2014

The outlet is suddenly dead. The wiring all looks good.The hot wire is hot. I installed a new outlet, it won't work. Any ideas?

By S from southern CA

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January 19, 2014

We recently redecorated our kitchen. In doing this we changed the positions of some of our plug sockets. These all work fine and have no problems. However, since doing this 4 different plug sockets in 2 separate rooms have stopped working.

We have tested the electrics and using the mains tester pushing straight down it shows no power, but when you angle it to the left and right it shows power, but nothing works once plugged in. Does anybody have any advice? Thanks in advance.

By Jon Rose

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January 6, 2011

Two of my electrical outlets quit working. It didn't even throw breaker switch, but I did hear a click in the breaker panel.

By betty

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