Have you gone outside and plugged in some sort of electrical device, only to find your outdoor outlet not working?

As privileged Americans, we’re used to having working power outlets pretty much anytime we need them. But what happens when your usual power source isn’t working? Do you call an electrician? Sell your home?

Don’t panic! There’s no need to move off the grid just yet. Before calling an expensive professional try one of these 3 solutions to fix your outdoor outlet not working. 

If none of these solutions work, or you’re not comfortable doing light electrical work on your own—then reach out to a professional electrician to diagnose and remedy the problem.

3 Simple Solutions If Your Outdoor Outlet Isn’t Working

Woman turning off the light-switch: outdoor outlet not working

1. See if You a Tripped Circuit Breaker

One of the first things you should do when you notice an outlet isn’t working, check out the circuit breaker to see if it has tripped or has blown a fuse. To find out if either of those things is the issue, go to your electrical panel, which is often found in basements, laundry rooms, or garages. If you notice that any breaker switches are in the “off” position, the breaker has been tripped.

Tripped circuit breakers are most often caused by a circuit overload or a short circuit from a device that is plugged into a circuit. If you notice that this is the issue, the best option is to call a professional electrician to remedy the issue. This is especially important because sometimes the problem can be a loose wire in the electrical box. Only experienced electricians should work with loose wires.

Close up on hands of caucasian man electrician holding screwdriver working on the plug electric on residential electric system installing white AC power socket on gray wall at home repair close up: outdoor outlet not working

2. Check if You Have Loose Connections

Another possible issue you might have with the outdoor outlet is loose connections. To check for this, you’ll need to remove the outlet from the box and look for loose connections that may be inhibiting the flow of electricity. A loose connection can even cause electrical fires, as it will overheat the outlet and burn the wiring. For this reason, if you suspect you have a loose connection with your outlet, reach out to a professional electrician immediately.

Closeup of hand resetting tripped GFI electricity outlet. Residential gfci ground fault interrupter electric socket plug and wall plate: outdoor outlet not working

3. Make Sure Your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Has NOT Been Tripped

Unless you’re familiar with GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters), this is a task that should be left to the pros. GCFIs protect homes against electrical shocks by tripping and shutting down when they sense an energy leak. GCFIs are often found in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and on the exterior of homes. If you notice your GFCI has been tripped, contact a professional electrician.


As you can see, there are many reasons for a faulty outdoor outlet not working. To get your home’s functionality back to full capacity, it’s best to work with a pro. That way, you can ensure that the job is being done right and that you’re not putting your home and your family at further risk.

Still, Need Help? Contact Twin Cities #1 Electrical Pros Today

For homeowners in the Twin Cities area, contact Electric City for all your home electrical needs, as well as a free consultation!


What causes an outdoor outlet to stop working?

Besides a blown circuit breaker, several conditions can stop power from flowing to an outdoor outlet. The first is a malfunction of the outlet itself caused by loose or faulty wiring. The other is a tripped ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet on the same circuit.

How do you reset an outside outlet?

In order to reset an outside outlet, first, unplug all appliances that are sharing the same circuit and press the Reset button on the GFCI outlet. You should hear a click once the button is pressed. Now you can try plugging in your appliances and the outlet should be functioning again.

Should all outdoor outlets be GFCI?

The National Electric Code requires all outdoor outlets to be ground fault circuit interrupters or (GFCI) outlets. GFCI outlets are tripped when there’s a short circuit or current leak which helps prevent shocks and accidental fires.