It can be very frustrating when you go to plug something in and find it doesn’t work. Your first thought will probably be that there is an issue with the appliance. However, after wasting time testing you may realize that the issue is connected with the outlet.
That either means calling a good electrician Sydney or having a go yourself. However, before you decide to fix the outlet yourself, you should be aware that Australia has strict regulations on wiring. In most cases, you shouldn’t legally be repairing an outlet. Doing so could void your insurance if a fire or similar event occurred. Calling an electrician is the safest option.
However, if you want to try then you should do the following:
Turn The Power Off
You should never work on a live electrical circuit, there are approximately 20 deaths in Australia per year from electric shocks. Don’t be one of them!
Identify the circuit you are having an issue with and trip the circuit breaker. This should cut the power but it is advisable to use a voltage detector to make sure there is no power at the outlet.
If there is you’ll need to try a different circuit breaker or may need to shut all the power off in your home.
Remove The Cover
With the power off you can now remove the electric socket cover. This is usually just two screws. Carefully remove them and pull the cover off the wall. In most cases, the main electrical connections will be on the reverse side of the cover.
That means you want to remove it carefully. Your aim is to see if all the connections are still connected or not. Pulling hard on the outlet could cause connections to disconnect which won’t help you identify the issue.
If wires are not connected properly then this is likely to be your problem.
Assess The Outlet
You’ll need to have a good look at the outlet to make sure it is in good condition. If there are no scorch marks or signs that the outlet has been short-circuited you can unscrew the connecting pins and slide the wires back into place before tightening the pins again.
This will allow you to screw the outlet back into the wall and turn the circuit back on. You can then check the supply with your voltage checker before using the outlet.
If there are any signs that the outlet has been damaged, from heat or wiring that has been short-circuiting, you should replace the outlet.
The good news is that your local store should stock an outlet. You can purchase it, bring it home, and then disconnect the wires from the old outlet cover and attach them to the new one before screwing it back into the wall.
Again, after turning the breaker back on, test with a voltage tester before using.
Circuit Breaker Issue
If the outlet is wired correctly and doesn’t appear damaged the issue may be with the circuit breaker. You can check the other outlets on the circuit. If none of them have power it could be a breaker issue.
Start by resetting the breaker to see if it helps. If it doesn’t you may need to replace the breaker.
You’ll need to make sure the power is off to the breaker and then unscrew the cables going in and out of the breaker.
You can then slide the clip down at the bottom, allowing you to slide the breaker off the rail and discard it. Put the new one in place and make sure it clips, sliding the clip back up to secure it in position.
It should then be easy to screw the wires back in at the top and bottom of the breaker. Make sure they are secure before you turn the power back on.
You can then test your outlet to see if you have fixed the issue. If you haven’t, it’s advisable to call an electrician for assistance.
Think carefully before you try doing any electrical work at home. Electricity is dangerous and there are regulations preventing you from doing many jobs yourself.
If you have any doubts regarding your abilities then call the professionals and let them fix the issue for you. It may cost slightly more but you’ll save yourself a lot of time.
Don’t forget, even if your outlet is working, if it’s smelling or getting hot, there is an issue that needs to be looked at as soon as possible.