Are your outlets in the room not working but lights are? You probably may have a half-hot outlet. If you don’t, there’s maybe something wrong with the outlet.
Mostly faulty outlets with tripped breakers don’t work but keep the lights on. If it’s a GFCI outlet, then it tends to shut off every time it finds a short circuit. Usually, a specific part of an outlet shuts off but the other parts keep the lights on.
Below we have several explanations of why this happens and how you can turn the disabled part on. Keep reading to reveal this mystery.
Know the Reasons and Solutions When Outlets In Room Not Working But Lights Are
A faulty plug, wire, or other appliance shut off a certain part of an outlet, but the other part remains on. Even when the outlet is on a separate breaker, it can stop working if the breaker gets tripped. Here we will show you every reason behind a disabled outlet and how to turn them on.
1. Faulty Plugs or other Appliances
If you see the outlet isn’t working, but the lights are on, it’s not that mysterious. It may be some faulty plugs or appliances that aren’t letting the outlet respond. With some faulty plugs and cords, the outlet can still produce electricity and keep the lights on.
Solution: Unplug all the appliances, and check for any electrical hazards like wear, melting, or damage to the cords. Don’t blame the outlet until you find any defect on the other appliances. Fix or replace the damaged parts with a technician.
2. Faulty Outlet
The outlet can have a factory defect. It’s a manufacturing fault that may not let the outlet respond, but the lights will be on. However, an outlet with a factory defect won’t last long, and some may fall within a week.
Although a factory defect isn’t your fault, you can make an outlet faulty by damaging it. When you mishandle the outlet by entering sharp objects through the slot and harming the contact, the outlet gets damaged. In this case, some slots may not work, but the outlet will keep producing electricity and letting the lights on.
Solution: Factory default outlets can’t last long. So the best thing in this matter will be to replace the outlet. Depending on the mechanic, it may cost you around $125 to $175.
However, if your outlet has no factory defect but got faulty after a few years of use, you can fix it by detecting the main problem. To figure out the main problem, follow the below instruction:
- Unplug the cords connected to the suspected outlet.
- Remove the outlet cover first, then the outlet.
- Check for the damaged slot and replace them.
3. Half-Hot Outlet
The most common reason behind your outlet not working, but the lights are, is the Half-Hot outlet. It’s a kind of duplex outlet different from the standards. Half of its part provides electricity permanently, and the other half can be controlled via a wall switch. When the switch mode remains off, people assume it’s not working. But the thing is, the outlet is working through its other half.
Solution: This problem doesn’t require any solution. Because half-hot outlets tend to remain off in their lower half. In this case, flip the light switch, which sometimes works as suggested by Bob Villa.
4. The Outlet is on a Separate Breaker
Most houses have two breakers for the lights and two or more for the outlets. So, when the lights are on and the separate breakers are tripped, you may see the outlet doesn’t work, but the light will be on. A blown fuse on the breaker outlet can also cause it to happen.
Solution: Check for the separate tripped breaker and reset it. To reset it, all you need to do is turn it off and on. Give it some time after flipping it off, then turn it on.
5. Tripped Breaker
A circuit breaker controls multiple circuits to produce electricity throughout the home. But when one of the circuits gets overloaded, a particular part of the outlet stops working. Yet, again, the lights remain on.
Solution: To solve this problem, figure out which circuit is off, then turn it on. Doing this, the outlet part that controls that overloaded circuit will start working.
6. Tripped GFCI
GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets are placed in kitchens, bathrooms or other watery areas. The main work of it is to prevent electric shock. Whenever it detects a short circuit, it shuts itself off. So, if you find it off, it doesn’t mean it’s not working. It’s just working through its process.
Solution: To get it on again, press its reset button. These reset buttons are spring-loaded. So, you’ll need a flat-headed screwdriver to press it. Reset the GFCI outlet only when the circuit breaker is on. But if the reset is not working Family Handyman suggests checking for the circuit breaker box for loose cable, or blown fuse. And our experts feel the same.
7. Loose Cable
Some loosely connected wires may shut off a specific part of an outlet. When the wires are loose, they’ll carry less electricity and cause your outlet to fail.
Solution: The only way to find a loose wire is to turn off the circuit breaker and remove the front plate. Then remove the entire outlet and detect the loose wiring. And then tighten it.
8. Burned Outlet
When an outlet gets burned, it leaves scorch marks on the outside. It happens when the outlet carries powerful electricity beyond its capability. The inside wire will burn and gradually lead the outlet to severe damage. So, whenever you suspect a burned outlet, call a professional.
Solution: The first solution to the burned outlet is to repair the short circuit. And then remove the burned wire if there’s any. Replace them with new ones.
9. A Blown Fuse
Larger homes have fuse boxes that control multiple circuits. And when any circuit is overloaded, the fuse box stops providing electricity to the particular circuit. Yet, the other parts remain okay. So, if you have a larger home and you see the outlet isn’t working, perhaps any part of the fuse box is blown.
Solution: Start by turning the power off. Then unplug all the electrical appliances. Find the fuse box and identify the broken fuse. Then replace it with the new one and test the new setup. That’s it.
If you’ve read it thoroughly here, you may have no confusion about outlets in rooms not working but lights are. It’s either the circuit breaker or faulty appliances, or any burned-out slot. Anything can be a problem but it can be solved. In case, if the problem is beyond repair, replace the outlet.
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