Electrical Socket Not Working

This web page gives advice on how to investigate and fix domestic electrical sockets. The technicians at electrician Melbourne CBD are fully qualified to handle all electrical services for commercial properties and domestic homes.

The average ‘DIYer’ will be able to follow the instructions.

Initial Investigation

The first action is to get information about the fault. Examine other parts of the household electrical circuits to help diagnose the problem:

  • Are all electrical sockets not working or just the one?
  • Is the problem just the electrical socket or is something else not working? Have any lights stopped working? Has any other appliance stopped working?
  • Was an electrical appliance plugged into the socket when it stopped working?
  • Plug a ‘known working’ electrical appliance into the socket to check whether the appliance is at fault rather than the socket.

If no electrical sockets are working has an RCD tripped of a fuse blown? Check fuses. Check the RCDs.

If another electrical appliance has stopped working the problem could also be an RCD or fuse. Check fuses. Check the RCDs.

Initial External Visual Inspection

If the initial investigation suggests the socket is at fault:

  • Look at the socket – any signs of damage, corrosion or discolouring? If their are signs of damage, corrosion or discolouring replace the electrical socket. See below for how to remove an electrical socket.
  • If their are no visible signs of damage, corrosion or discolouring remove the electrical socket to investigate the wiring and the rear of the electrical socket.

Internal Visual Inspection

Electricity can kill – take no chances – call a qualified electrician if in any doubt.

The image below shows an electrical socket.

Remove the power to the electrical socket by removing the circuit fuse or setting the RCD to the ‘break’ (off) position.

Electricity can kill – take no chances – call a qualified electrician if in any doubt.

  • Remove the securing screws and gently lift the socket away from the wall.
  • Take note of the wiring to the socket.
  • Take a photograph of the connections to help reconnection.
  • Look at the wiring – are their signs of damage, corrosion or discolouring?
  • Damage, corrosion or discolouring is a sign of a loose connection.
  • ‘Wiggle’ all the wires to the socket – do any come away from the socket? Reconnect any cables that are loose.
  • Look at the back of the electrical socket – are their signs of damage, corrosion or discolouring?
  • Replace the electrical socket if their are signs of damage, corrosion or discolouring on the back of the electrical socket.
  • Judge Electrical Web page showing different types of UK electrical sockets and rough prices in GB pounds (£’s).
  • Remove the wires to each connection, does the inner conductor look OK?
  • If any inner conductor looks to be damaged remake the connection in the same way as putting a plug on an electrical appliance.
  • Cut a short length from the wiring, strip the sleeving back and remake the connection.
  • Put the electrical socket back on the wall and tighten the securing screws.
  • Apply power to the electrical circuit by putting the fuse back in or setting the RCD to the ‘make’ (on) position.
  • Does the electrical socket work?
  • If the electrical socket does not work:
  • Remove the electrical socket and double check the wiring.
  • Double check the ‘initial investigation’ actions shown above.
  • Call a qualified electrician.