Are the outlets in your garage no longer working? The outlets in your garage are essential if you have garage door openers. You will also need them to charge power tools when you’re working in there. So, why are the outlets in your garage not working?
The most common reason that garage outlets stop working is that the breaker is tripped. If this isn’t the reason, it may be due to blown fuses, a tripped GFCI outlet, or an overheated outlet. Sometimes outlets stop working if moisture is trapped inside. Disconnected wires could be another reason the outlets aren’t getting power.
You need power running to the outlets in your garage. Today, we’re going to discuss the main reasons this happens and how you can fix it. Keep reading if your garage outlets aren’t working so you can find a solution.
Common Reasons Your Outlets Aren’t Working
Figuring out the reasons why your outlet isn’t working is important so you can apply the right solution. Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons that garage outlets stop working.
The Breaker Is Tripped
The circuit breaker panel is in charge of your home’s power. It is the main command center for the electrical flow that passes through your house. A power surge can trip a breaker, causing it to shut off electricity to an area of the home.
While this can be annoying, it’s done to protect your home. The circuit breaker can only handle a certain amount of power. If you’re using something with too high of a voltage, it can cause overheating. To prevent a fire or other hazardous situation, the breaker will trip. It could very well be the reason your outlets or even your garage door light isn’t working.
It’s very easy to check if this is the problem. All you need to do is check the circuit panel to see if the breaker is out of place.
Moisture In The Outlets
Any moisture or condensation around the outlets can cause problems. The main reason this happens is that there is a poorly insulated area in your house. This can cause extreme temperature changes, leading to condensation.
If you do notice this problem, you should address it right away. When it’s not attended to, it can cause the outlets to stop working. In this situation, you will need to replace the outlets. Then, you should use spray insulation to protect the outlets from extreme temperature changes.
GFCI Outlet Is Tripped
GFCI outlets are more likely to trip than other types of outlets. This is because they are specifically designed to trip whenever the ongoing and outgoing power aren’t balanced. If you use your garage’s outlets often, you may notice this safety feature kick in.
Many people use heavy-duty equipment in their garages. With a GFCI outlet, you don’t have to worry about shocks or other hazards from using equipment with high voltage. These outlets are worth installing if you’re worried about electrical damage to appliances or electrical fires.
The Fuses Are Blown
If you live in an older home, you may have fuses instead of circuits. Fuse boxes aren’t designed to handle the energy load of modern appliances. This is why homeowners find it easy to blow a fuse.
This is very similar to tripping a circuit breaker. However, fuses seem to blow much easier than breakers trips. Many fuse circuits aren’t capable of powering a multiple-outlet power adaptor when it’s being used for several things at once.
Wires Are Disconnected
Has your property recently undergone some renovations? There’s a chance that some of the wires were disconnected and not put back together. If you have a multimeter, this is something you will be able to test.
Before you start, always make sure you’re wearing safety equipment, like goggles and rubber-insulated gloves. Follow these steps to test your garage outlet wires:
- Set the multimeter to 250 VAC.
- Remove the screws holding the outlet to the wall to open up the outlet.
- There will be three wires that you need to test. Use a clamp to hold the wire in place so you can test them.
- Place the probes of the multimeter on the wire. The black probe should be placed on the ground wire. Use the red probe to test both of the other wires, one at a time, while the black probe remains on the ground wire.
- If the wires don’t display a voltage reading, they’re disconnected.
An overloaded circuit can cause an overheated outlet. When this happens, the outlet will have trouble sending power to all of the appliances plugged in. If an outlet is heating up, it needs attention right away or the outlet may stop working.
There are several things that can lead to an outlet overheating. This includes moisture, corroded wires, and loose wires, among other things. It can even overheat if the outlet is overloaded and you immediately unplug something before powering it off.
Best Fixes For Garage Outlets
Have you discovered that your garage outlets are no longer working? Let’s take a look at some of the best solutions to fix this problem.
Replace The Outlets
You should replace the garage outlet if it’s damaged or no longer receiving power. Make sure you are comfortable replacing the outlet if you’re going to do this yourself. Always test the outlet first to make sure it’s not working.
Turn off the power to the outlet before you replace it. You can remove the faceplate and the outlet using a screwdriver. There are 3 wires which you will need to pay attention to:
- Black wires. This is the hot wire that conducts the voltage. It’s connected to brass terminals.
- White wires. These wires are neutral. They connect to the silver screw terminals.
- Copper or green wires. These are the grounding wires. They connect to green screw terminals on the outlet.
To change the outlet, you will need to carefully remove these wires from the terminals. Make sure you don’t damage the wires in the process. The new outlet will need to match so you can reconnect the wires to the same terminals.
Switch Circuits On and Off
You will need to restore the circuits if your garage outlet isn’t working because the breaker was tripped. This can easily be done at the circuit panel. Simply turn the circuit breaker off and then turn it back on again.
Make sure you turn the breaker all the way off in order to get this to work. Once you flip the breaker back on, it should restore power to the garage outlets.
Replace The Breaker
You may need to replace the breaker if this problem is happening repeatedly. This is something that you should hire a professional to do if you’re not comfortable with electrical work. However, if you have some electrical work experience, you can replace it yourself.
- What you need: flathead screwdriver, replacement circuit, painter’s tape, flashlight
- Take a picture of the breaker before buying a replacement. This will help you make sure you get the right replacement.
- Identify the breaker you want to replace and mark it with painter’s tape. Then, turn this breaker off.
- Turn off the main panel. You will need to use the flashlight to see what you’re doing once you’ve turned the power off.
- Use the flathead screwdriver to remove the cover to the circuit breaker.
- Use a multimeter to verify the power is off.
- Unscrew the screw on the end of the breaker that you want to replace. You will be able to remove the breaker easily using your hand.
- Insert the new breaker at an angle so it locks in properly. You will be able to feel it once the breaker is in the right position.
- Once the breaker is in place, re-attach the wire. Make sure it’s secured between the two plates by the screw. Hold the wire and tighten the screw to keep it in place.
- Put the cover back on. Turn the power back on.
When To Call A Professional
There are certain times when your best bet is to contact a professional. This should be done if you don’t have experience with electrical work. You should also contact a professional if there is damage to the outlet or the circuit panel.
It costs an average of $40 to $100 per hour to hire a licensed electrician. If they are replacing an outlet, you can expect to spend roughly $300.
There are several reasons that your garage outlets may not be working. This often occurs if the outlets have been overloaded. If a breaker has tripped, a fuse has blown, or an outlet is overheated, the outlets won’t work.
Always check the circuit panel first to determine why the outlet isn’t working. If you’re not comfortable fixing this problem on your own, always reach out to a licensed professional.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.