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Can One Bad Outlet Affect Others? [3 Reasons Why It Can]

Having multiple outlets down because of one bad outlet can be very frustrating. But buddy, you’ve got to find the factors behind the issue. Otherwise, you won’t be able to fix it.

How can one bad outlet affect others?

Firstly, this situation can take place if your GFCI trips. Because electricians often connect normal outlets to one GFCI outlet. And this causes other outlets to go down if GFCI trips. Then, a tripped circuit breaker can be another reason. Last but not the least, loose electrical connections can also cause all the outlets to stop working. 

This is just a short preview. We’ve explained the problems and their solutions in detail. Thus, if you’ve got some time, do check our guide out.

Things To Consider Before The Inspection 

Before rushing towards the factor that is causing the problem, you need to follow some safety precautions. That’s why we’ve mentioned the things you need to do beforehand-

  • Turn off the lights in that area
  • Unplug all the appliances in that area
  • Use masking tape to mark the bad outlets

By doing this you’ll remember which outlets are problematic. You’ll also be able to avoid possible risks.

Why Are Multiple Electrical Outlets Not Working?

You can move on to find out the factors that caused your first outlet to go bad. And how other outlets were affected too. Losing one power leg can also be a reason for electric outputs not working.

To make the whole process easier for you, we’ve explained some of the possible reasons-

Reason-1: Tripped GFCI

The most common reason for multiple outlets to go down is a tripped GFCI outlet. How? 

Some of you might not know that often electricians connect normal or standard outlets to one GFCI outlet. Thus, if the GFCI trips, it’ll cause every outlet to stop working. 

For example, you have a pull cord in your shower. But a tripped GFCI in another room can result in shower pull cord failure. 

That’s the first factor when you consider- can one bad electrical outlet affect others. Now how to fix this? 


Firstly, you need to check all the GFCIs in your house to find which ones have tripped. GFCIs or ground fault circuit interrupters have a test and a reset button. You’ve to check for trips by pressing those two buttons. 

If your GFCIs don’t reset after pressing the ‘reset’ button then there can be two problems:

  • It’s poorly connected or
  • It’s not getting enough power

On that note, we recommend using the help of an expert electrician. Because fixing it yourself might be risky just like trying to build a frame with SYP or SPF. Therefore, you’ve got to call a professional.

Reason-2: Tripped Circuit Breaker 

If there’s still no power to the outlet, the next factor can be a tripped circuit breaker. Now there’s one common reason for a circuit breaker to trip. And that is when it attempts to draw more electrical load that it can carry. 

Too many appliances operating at the same time can make the breaker heat up. And thus, it trips and makes outlets stop working. 

But, usually not all the outlets are connected to the same circuit breaker. So, there’s a high chance that other outlets won’t be affected by the bad outlet.


The fix is quite simple, my friend. Thus, you don’t have to worry too much. Now, if a circuit breaker trips, it’ll get flipped into the ‘off’ position. All you need to do is reset the breaker and flip it into the ‘on’ position. 

However, sometimes the breaker can trip because of loose wires in your electrical panel. You’ll hear a buzzing or crackling sound if that’s the case. To fix that, you’ve to quickly call an electrician to help you out.

Here are some circuit breakers for you to look into:

Eaton 20 amps Single Pole Circuit BreakerCheck Latest Price
Square D 20 Amp Single-Pole GFCI Circuit BreakerCheck Latest Price

Reason-3: Loose Connections

If both the GFCI or the circuit breaker didn’t trip, you can assume that the reason might be loose electrical connections.

Not only that. Loose connections could result into overheating. Which may damage the isolator switch too. So, you have to keep it in check so it can’t cause you any trouble.

Now, before trying to check the connections, you need to remove the outlets. Then grab your flashlight and turn off the main breaker. After turning the breaker off, you’ve to start looking for loose, burned, or broken wires.


So, what to do after finding a loose connection?

Well, loose connections can lead you to have future problems. Because they produce heat from time to time. And excess heat can end up melting your wires. Furthermore, loose electrical connections can result in fire and explosion. Therefore, it’s better to change the outlet with a new one. 

Now, you should remember one thing. And that is-  don’t try to replace the outlet yourself if the wiring is aluminum. How can you know if your wiring is aluminum or not?

It’s very simple. Aluminum wiring is grey in color instead of being the usual orange wiring. So, if your wiring is grey, be sure to stay away from it. And just call a professional electrician who has experience in handling aluminum wiring. 

Important Tips For Prevention

It’s better to prevent such risky events than to have a full mental breakdown afterward. So, for that reason, we’ve prepared some tips for you:

  • Don’t let electricians connect additional standard outlets to the GFCI outlet. As you know now that this connection takes down all the outlets.
  • Don’t put too much pressure on the circuit breaker. 
  • Don’t use stab wires for electrical connections. Because slowly but surely, these wires will get loose. 
  • Stop using a damaged outlet immediately to avoid other outlets getting damaged. 

These are the things you should consider to save yourself from risky electrical situations. You can also buy good-quality outlets to prevent this type of event. Just how you can avoid having troubles regarding your stairs if you buy the best woods for your stair risers.

Therefore, to have a risk-free environment, we’ve recommended some of the best electric outlets:

ELEGRP Decorator Receptacle, 15A 125V Standard Electrical Wall OutletCheck Current Price
Leviton T5320-W Straight Blade Tamper Resistant Duplex ReceptacleCheck Current Price
Leviton T5320-WMP 15 Amp 125V Tamper Resistant Duplex ReceptacleCheck Current Price
ENERLITES Duplex Receptacle Outlet, Tamper-Resistant Electrical Wall OutletsCheck Current Price

We hope from now on you’ll be extra careful while selecting a good outlet for yourself!


Do electrical outlets go bad?

Yes, electrical outlets can go bad for a few reasons. Your electrical outlet will stop working if there’s any sort of loose electrical connections. It can also go bad if the circuit breaker or GFCI trips.

If you have your Christmas lights connected to any outlet, make sure that the outlets are proper maintained. Or else, the light can also go bad. 

Why are electrical outlets not working in one wall?

If your GFCI and circuit breaker are fine, then the cause can be loose wires/connections. Your other outlets can stop working as well because of this very reason.

How much does it cause to fix bad outlets?

We strongly suggest you take help from your local electrician. It’ll cause $100-200 to get the several outlets fixed. And it’s risk-free as well.


That’s all we had on can one bad outlet affect others. We hope you identified the factor and contacted an expert electrician. 

What caused the outlets to go bad? 

Have a good and safe day!