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Why Have My Plug Sockets Stopped Working?

Why Have My Plug Sockets Stopped Working

When plug sockets suddenly stop working, it can be frustrating and inconvenient and as an electrician, we come across it quite regularly. However, to give you an idea of what may be causing the issues, below are six of the most common reasons.

1. Tripped Circuit Breakers

One of the most frequent reasons for plug sockets not working is a tripped circuit breaker. Circuit breakers are designed to cut off power in the event of an overload or a short circuit. Therefore, when a breaker trips, it disrupts the electrical flow to the affected sockets. This can happen due to the connection of high-wattage devices or a fault in the wiring system.

2. Overloaded Circuits

Overloading circuits is another common issue that can result in non-functional plug sockets. It’s caused by plugging in too many high-power devices on a single circuit or overloading it with power-hungry appliances. In terms of resolving an overloaded circuit, you can redistribute the load among different circuits or upgrade the electrical system to handle increased demand.

3. Faulty Residual Current Devices (RCDs)

RCDs are safety devices installed to prevent electric shocks and if it malfunctions or trips, it can affect the power supply to the connected sockets. Faulty RCDs might be triggered by a ground fault, indicating an issue with the wiring or an appliance. If you are lucky, resetting the RCD may solve this issue but if not, you’ll need to contact an electrician such as ourselves.

4. Damaged Wiring

Damaged or frayed wiring is a significant culprit behind plug sockets that have stopped working. Wear and tear, pests or physical damage can compromise the integrity of the wiring which then leads to disruptions in power. Therefore, regular inspections and prompt replacement of damaged wiring are crucial to maintaining a reliable electrical system. Depending on how bad the wiring is in your house, you may want to decide whether you should rewire your house.

5. Faulty Sockets

The sockets themselves can become faulty over time and simply replacing the socket will solve the issue. Over time, internal components may wear out or become damaged, rendering the socket non-functional. If possible, testing the socket with different devices or a socket tester can help identify whether the issue lies with the socket itself.

6. External Factors

External influences, such as severe weather conditions or nearby construction work, can impact your electrical system. Power outages or disturbances in the external power supply may lead to plug sockets not working. Therefore, staying informed about local electrical issues in your area can help you understand and address such problems.


Plug sockets that have stopped working are one of the most common callouts we come across as electricians in the Cardiff area. Although it doesn’t often result in an emergency callout, it can be concerning when they randomly stop working. However, if you begin to smell a burning smell or anything else that seems more sinister than a faulty socket, we highly advise calling us out as an electrical emergency.

If you currently have a faulty plug socket that randomly stopped working and require further information, feel free to contact us for more information.

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Assured Electrical Solutions Limited, Sophia House, 28 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9LJ
07741 502012 /
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