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Troubleshooting Electrical Issues

Electrician working on electrical components in a new house.
When facing electrical issues in your rental property, such as flickering lights, outlets that don’t work, or often-tripping circuit breakers, you may seek ways to resolve them.

While ensuring safety and considering a licensed electrician for major issues is important, there are troubleshooting steps you can take for common electrical 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 electrical device fails, begin by examining the outlet and cord for damage. There are times when a power outlet malfunctions and stops working. Signs of damage, like discoloration, may be noticeable. Similarly, examine all plugs and cords for breaks, fraying, and other 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 are in good condition, the next step is to plug your lamp or device into a different outlet. It’s crucial to identify whether the outlet or the electrical item is causing the problem. If your device works when plugged into a different outlet (preferably in another room), then the outlet is the main issue.

Reset the GFCI

A common reason an outlet stops working is due to it being connected to a tripped GFCI outlet. Most outlets feature a reset button. If you can’t find it, look for the reset button on another outlet in that circuit.

The circuit’s reset button is on a GFCI outlet, usually found in the bathroom or kitchen but sometimes in places like the garage or laundry room. You might need to look around to find it, but resetting a GFCI outlet is an easy fix for a dead outlet once you do.

Check the Breaker Panel

Sometimes, a bad circuit breaker, not the outlets, is the source of the problem. By examining your home’s electrical panel, you can usually determine which breaker is bad. Many breaker boxes have clearly labeled circuits, showing which areas of the house they serve. If so, flipping the breaker off and back on can often fix the problem. In some instances, the breaker may be faulty or have a loose connection. If that occurs, the breaker must be replaced.

Call Your Landlord

Whatever type of electrical problem you face, ensure you call your landlord and explain the issue and what you’ve done to troubleshoot it. Should these issues arise frequently, they might indicate more substantial electrical problems.

When troubleshooting fails to resolve non-working outlets, your landlord needs to contact a professional electrician. Regardless, maintaining good communication with your Baton Rouge property manager ensures swift resolution of electrical issues.

Do you want to exchange your current rental home for one that is maintained year-round by qualified professionals? Secure your new home with Real Property Management Baton Rouge! Please browse our listings or call us at 225-389-6860 today!


Originally published: April 2, 2021

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