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Troubleshooting Electrical Issues

Electrician working on electrical components in a new house.
Should you encounter electrical problems in your rental property, including flickering lights, outlets that don’t work, or circuit breakers that trip frequently, you may be looking for solutions.

It’s important to prioritize safety and possibly hire a licensed electrician for major electrical issues, though you can try troubleshooting common problems yourself. 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. You may notice visible signs of damage, such as discoloration. Similarly, look over 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 necessary to ascertain if the outlet or the electrical item is the cause of the problem. If you try your device in another outlet (ideally in a different room) and it works, the outlet is the main issue.

Reset the GFCI

An outlet often stops working because it is linked to a GFCI outlet that has tripped. Many outlets include 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 may have to search for it, but once found, resetting a GFCI outlet is an easy fix for a dead outlet.

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. 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 so, the breaker needs to be replaced.

Call Your Landlord

Regardless of the electrical issue you encounter, make sure to contact your landlord and inform them of the problem and your troubleshooting efforts. Frequent occurrences of these issues may indicate more serious electrical problems.

When troubleshooting fails to resolve non-working outlets, your landlord needs to contact a professional electrician. In any situation, good communication with your Rockland County property manager helps resolve electrical issues promptly.

Interested in swapping your current rental home for one maintained year-round by qualified professionals? Secure your new home with Real Property Management Priority! See our available rentals or call us at 845-363-6776 today.

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