5 Reasons Why Your Outdoor Electrical Outlet Isn't Working

1 Minute Read

Is your outdoor outlet not working, and can't figure out why? Outdoor outlets can be prone to electrical problems caused by water damage, loose wiring, and other issues. Here are 5 of the most common causes of an non-functioning outdoor outlet, and how you can fix them.


Tripped circuit breaker 

One of the most common causes of an outdoor outlet not working is a tripped circuit breaker. If you have an electrical overload or a short circuit, your circuit breaker will trip to prevent further damage from occurring. To check this, locate your breaker box and look for any switch that is in the off position. Flip it back on and check if your outdoor outlet is now working.

5 Reasons Why Your Outdoor Electrical Outlet Isnt Working _tripped circuit breaker_Premiere Electric

Damaged outdoor outlet wiring 

Damaged wiring may also be a cause of your outdoor outlet not working. If this is the case, check your outlet for signs of burnt or loose wires, which could be the cause of the problem. It’s best to call an electrician if you find any issues in order to avoid risking your safety when repairing it yourself.

5 Reasons Why Your Outdoor Electrical Outlet Isnt Working _broken switch_Premiere Electric

Broken switch or outdoor outlet connections 

If a switch or outlet connection is loose, it can cause your outdoor electrical outlet to not work. To fix this issue, you’ll need to identify the broken connection and tighten or replace it accordingly. To do this, double check that all screws are secure and tighten any that are loose. You may also need to replace the switch or outlet altogether if it appears burned out or broken in some way.

Grounded outdoor outlet and GFCI issues 

If you have a grounded outlet, it’s possible that it becomes frozen in the “on” or “off” position and stops working. This happens when the grounding wire has been broken or hasn't been connected properly. A GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlet may also be necessary to protect your outdoor outlets from electricity overload and therefore keep them functioning properly. To improve the safety of an outdoor electrical outlet, add a GFCI device.

5 Reasons Why Your Outdoor Electrical Outlet Isnt Working _faulty GFI_Premiere Electric

Faulty GFI outdoor outlets or receptacles 

A GFI outlet or receptacle is a safety device designed to protect you from electric shock. When a GFI outlet is not working properly, it can prevent your outdoor electrical outlet from functioning optimally. Common signs that your GFI isn’t working include reduced power to all your outlets compared with the power on non-GFI outlets and reset buttons that look like they’ve been pushed but haven't actually worked. To fix this issue, you may need to replace the faulty GFI unit or check your ground connection.

Still Have Questions? Talk To An Electrician.

Picture of Tom Baynum

Tom Baynum

Tom is the owner of Premiere Electric. He is a Master Electrician and started in the electrical field in 1987 and started his own business January 1990. His hobbies include coaching girls fastpitch softball for the last 27 years and coaching at Bishop Brossart High School since 2004. He has 4 grand kids now and loves helping them in sports & watching them compete.