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Troubleshooting Electrical Issues

Electrician working on electrical components in a new house.
If your rental property has electrical issues like flickering lights, non-functioning outlets, or circuit breakers that trip often, you might wonder how to fix them.

It’s crucial to prioritize safety and consider a licensed electrician for major electrical issues, but you can try some troubleshooting for common household problems. By checking for tripped circuit breakers, testing outlets, and inspecting light fixtures, you can get a better grasp of the problem and decide how to move forward.

Visual Inspection

If an appliance, lamp, or device stops working, start by inspecting the outlet and cord for any damage. Sometimes, a power outlet will fail and stop working. Damage might be visible, such as discoloration. In the same way, check all plugs and cords for any breaks, fraying, or damage. When damage is found in the outlet or cord, it’s likely time to replace them.

Try a Different Outlet

If the outlet and power cord look okay, the next thing to do is plug your lamp or device into another outlet. It’s important to find out if the outlet or the electrical item is the source of the issue. If the device functions when plugged into another outlet (preferably in a different room), then the outlet is the primary issue.

Reset the GFCI

One frequent cause of an outlet ceasing to work is its connection to a GFCI outlet that has tripped. Most outlets feature a reset button. If it’s not visible, the reset button will be on another outlet in the circuit.

The reset button for the entire circuit is on a GFCI outlet, commonly located in bathrooms or kitchens but sometimes in less obvious places like garages or laundry rooms. You may need to search for it, but once located, resetting a GFCI outlet is a quick fix for a dead outlet.

Check the Breaker Panel

Occasionally, the problem lies not with the outlets but with a bad circuit breaker. Often, you can find the faulty breaker by inspecting your home’s electrical panel. Numerous breaker boxes are clearly labeled to show which circuits serve which areas of the house. If so, flipping the breaker off and back on can often fix the problem. In other instances, the breaker might be defective or have a loose connection. If this happens, the breaker will need to be replaced.

Call Your Landlord

No matter the electrical problem, always call your landlord to report the issue and describe the troubleshooting steps you’ve taken. If these problems happen regularly, it could suggest more serious electrical issues.

If troubleshooting doesn’t solve the non-working outlets, your landlord should bring in a professional electrician. Either way, effective communication with your Vernal property manager is essential for quickly resolving electrical problems.

Are you looking to trade your current rental home for one maintained year-round by qualified professionals? Secure your new home with Real Property Management Uintah! Please browse our listings or call us at 801-889-1517 today!


Originally published: April 2, 2021

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