What do you do when your bathroom outlet stops working? Do you have to replace the outlet? Is there a way to fix the outlet without getting a new one? You might be surprised to learn that most of the problems that cause an outlet to fail can be repaired. Replacement is not always necessary.
7 Reasons Why My Bathroom Outlet Is Not Working
You cannot fix bathroom outlets not working without first identifying the reasons that can cause bathroom outlets to stop working. Some factors that can affect the functionality of a bathroom outlet include:
1). GFCI Trip
Many people do not use GFCI technology in their bathrooms. But the National Electric Code expects consumers to install at least one GFCI outlet in the bathroom.
If your bathroom was wired by a licensed professional, they should have installed GFCI outlets rather than normal outlets.
GFCI outlets have a safety feature that protects consumers from fires and shocks by de-energizing the circuit whenever it detects a ground fault.
You have to install GFCIs in places that might expose the outlet to water, like a bathroom.
If a ground fault has occurred, the outlet won’t work until you reset it. This is for your protection.
2). Damaged Wiring
I blame dead outlets on worn-out or damaged wiring.
Wiring doesn’t last forever, and if you live in an older home, that wiring will eventually wear out.
If the wiring is compromised, either the outlet won’t work simply because it cannot transmit the current or the GFCI will trip to protect you.
One way of identifying damaged or worn-out wires is to look for burn marks inside the outlet. It is also quite common for damaged wiring to produce a buzzing sound in the outlet.
3). Bad/Loose Connections
If the wiring isn’t worn out or damaged, you have to consider the possibility that some connections are loose. Like damaged wiring, loose connections are associated with buzzing sounds, burn marks, and burning smells.
A loose connection may also cause the outlet to overheat.
4). Faulty Wiring
Companies that manufacture electric items like outlets normally encourage consumers to hire electricians because they know that ordinary consumers are more likely to make mistakes.
If you installed the dead outlet yourself, you probably failed to wire it properly.
Admittedly, professional electricians are not perfect. They make mistakes all the time. It is more than possible for a licensed electrician to wire an outlet the wrong way.
You can also blame loose connections on an electrician’s shoddy work.
5). Old Outlet
Some outlets will stop working because they have reached the end of their lifespan. You cannot repair them and your only option is to get a replacement.
A normal electrical outlet lasts for about 15 years.
6). Damaged Outlet
Outlets are not impervious to damage. If the outlet has cracks all over, or if entire sections have fallen off, the outlet is probably too damaged to do its work.
7). Tripped Breaker
You could have tripped a breaker. Check the panel. If the circuit breaker is in the ‘OFF’ position, it is the source of your problems. Don’t forget the fuse. It can burn out as a result of an overload.
How Can I Fix My Bathroom Outlet?
Some problems that are connected to bathroom outlets not working are easier to solve than others. For instance:
1). Reset The GFCI
If the GFCI outlet was tripped, reset it by simply pressing the ‘RESET’ button.
With some ‘RESET’ buttons, you have to apply a lot of pressure. Keep pushing until the button goes all the way in. You should hear a click.
If you are using one GFCI to protect multiple outlets, it may take you a while to find the outlet that tripped the GFCI.
2). Flip The Breaker To The ‘ON’ Position
If the breaker tripped, I want you to flip it back to the ‘ON’ position.
If the breaker trips immediately after, you can assume that something is wrong. You should first identify the factors that caused the breaker to trip a second time before you switch it back on.
3). Replace The Worn Out Wires
Unless you have the necessary experience, you should hire an electrician to check for worn-out wires, damaged wires, and loose connections. They will replace the damaged or worn-out wiring. They will also secure the loose connections they can identify.
4). Hire An Electrician To Troubleshoot Faulty Wiring
If you think that a previous electrician failed to wire the outlet appropriately, hire a second electrician to troubleshoot the outlet.
5). Check & Replace The Fuse
If you have flipped the breaker into the ‘ON’ position but the outlet is still dead, check the fuse. If it is burned out (broken filament and charred glass), replace the fuse.
- Can You Hook Up A GFCI Without A Ground Wire? (Step By Step)
- Why GFCI Keeps Tripping With Nothing Plugged In?
- How Many Outlets On GFCI?
- Can You Have 2 GFCI Outlets On the Same Circuit?
How Can I Reset? Does Resetting Fix The Issue?
You can reset GFCI bathroom outlets not working by pressing the ‘RESET’ button. This should restore power to the outlet. If the GFCI keeps tripping, you probably have a current leak. Ask an electrician to look for it.
What To Do If There Is No Reset Button?
You don’t have to install a GFCI on every outlet in your home. You can use one GFCI to protect every outlet downstream. The outlets downstream do not have a GFCI receptacle which means that they do not have a ‘RESET’ button.
However, from what SKobel Homes has said in the video, it looks like you can still reset those outlets downstream by pressing the ‘RESET’ button on the outlet with the GFCI. This is one of the problems associated with this configuration.
If the GFCI trips, all the outlets downstream will stop working. But this configuration is still popular because it is cheaper than installing GFCIs on every single outlet.
Bathroom Outlet Only Works When Light Is On? Why?
This happens because your bathroom was wired poorly. Someone wired the outlet and the lights in parallel. The lighting circuit is feeding the outlet. This doesn’t have to change if you can isolate the outlet before connecting it to the circuit before the light switch.
Unless you have electrical experience, don’t execute this task yourself. Call an electrician. Otherwise, you ran the risk of electrocuting yourself.