Cable Box Won't Turn On After A Power Outage? (Possible Causes & Fixes) (2024)

Cable Box Won't Turn On After A Power Outage? (Possible Causes & Fixes) (1)

We have been taught to unplug electric items and appliances during storms. And we are advised to use power strips with breakers to help protect appliances and equipment from getting damaged. When the storms pass, and we get ready to turn everything back on though, there is always that moment of hesitation. Then we have those “what if” thoughts, such as what if the cable box doesn’t turn on?

If the cable box won’t turn on after a power outage the problem is either in the power supply source, the cable box itself, or with the cable provider. To fix these issues, fuses, outlets, and power strips need to be inspected, or the cable box may need to be reset. Additionally, a call to the cable company may be required.

It doesn’t matter if we love storms or dislike storms, when they involve lightning, they can pose a risk to our electrical equipment. Storms can also produce high winds that can result in power outages, which also presents concerns for equipment, appliances, and electric-powered devices.

When those devices are our cable boxes, and when our screens stay black, putting off finding a solution isn’t an option. According to reports and studies, the average American watches between 4 and 5 hours of television a day. That equates to more than 9 years of program viewing for those aged 65 and older.

Those numbers also suggest that waiting to fix the cable box after a power outage simply isn’t acceptable. So if your cable box won’t turn on after a power outage, then this is what to do.

What to do If Cable Box Won’t Turn On After Power Outage

There are several things to check if the cable box won’t turn back on or power up following a power outage. If these fixes don’t locate or identify and solve the problem, then it may be necessary to contact your local cable provider for professional help.

Power Supply Issues

The most common reason the cable box won’t turn on after a power outage is also the most obvious, a power supply problem. Troubleshooting power supply issues will require more than making sure the cable box is turned on and plugged in.

The Breaker Box: Begin with the Source

If the cable box won’t turn on following a power outage, the first thing that needs to be checked is the power supply to the cable box. A car won’t start without gas no more than your cable box will turn on without power.

Many cable boxes today have display panels. These panels will also have a power indicator light (often located in one corner of the panel), or on the back of the box. If the problem appears to be that the cable box isn’t getting power, then it is time to go to the source.

Locate your home’s main breaker and open the cover. Look for any tripped switches. Storms can easily cause a fuse to blow or trip. Then verify that the circuit for the room where the cable box is located is on.

The Outlet: The Other Reason Your Cable Box Isn’t Getting Power

If the cable box isn’t getting power, but the circuit for that room is on, then the outlet may need to be checked. Simply take a lamp or electric device that is working and plug it into that outlet. If there still is no power available then there is a problem with the outlet.

When that device does work, however, then the issue may be with the power cord or within the cable box itself. That will require contacting the cable provider for assistance, repair, or a replacement cable box. A service technician will be able to help determine the best course of resolution.

It is also important to eliminate the power strip as a potential culprit during the troubleshooting process. This is also simple to do. To verify the power strip is working, plug the cable box cord directly into outlet. If the cable box works when plugged in directly to the wall socket but isn’t working when plugged into a power strip it may be a bad power strip problem.

That also means a fairly easy solution. If the problem isn’t a power issue, however, then it is time to look elsewhere to find out why the cable box won’t turn on following a power outage.

Cable Box Problems

If the cable box is getting power but still not turning on after a power outage, then the problem is most likely with the cable box. In most cases, a simple cable box reset procedure will resolve the issue.

How to reset the cable box

The most common fix for a cable box that won’t turn on following a power outage is a basic hard reboot or cable box reset. To do this, first check your cable box model for a battery compartment. If the cable box has batteries, they should be removed after turning off the power to the box.

Next, be sure to unplug the cable box from the outlet or power strip. Then proceed to disconnect all the cables and connections from the cable box. Allow the cable box to sit for at least 30 minutes. Now, plug the cable box back in, reconnect the cables, and the cable box should turn on.

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, then it will likely require a call to the cable provider for assistance. These types of issues, as a rule of thumb, are typically handled relatively quickly. And sometimes, the source and the problem can be one and the same.

Cable Provider Problems

It is arguably the least likely reason for why the cable box won’t turn on, but it can happen. When the cable box is getting power, and the lights come on, but nothing happens. After we have done all the basic and standard troubleshooting, attempted a reset, and paced the floors without our cable — it is time to make the call.

During the worst types of storms and sometimes as a result of mass power outages, even cable companies lose the ability to broadcast. And it doesn’t matter how much power the cable box is getting, or how well the on-off button works, broadcasting nothing looks like nothing. And that means that sometimes that static, solid blue screen or no signal message is the result of cable company broadcasting problems.

The good news is these types of cable issues, like the vast majority of cable problems, have easy and quick solutions. That even includes those times when the cable box just dies and needs to be replaced. Anything as widely used and as popular as cable is also bound to have more than a few questions too.

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Cable Box Won't Turn On After A Power Outage? (Possible Causes & Fixes) (3)

Related Questions

What would we do without cable? Unfortunately, at least for short periods, most of us have had to live without the luxury of cable at some point. That is also why it is good to know what to do or how to fix the cable because the sooner it is fixed the less time we will spend without it.

Here are a few of the other frequently asked questions regarding cable, including alternative cable box reset options.

Are There Alternate Reset Options?

There are some options to reset a cable box via online services, although a hard reboot is the most common procedure. It also needs to be noted that not every cable service provider offers online or other technical resources.

If your cable provider offers online technical services, then proceed to that provider’s site. Users will typically have or will be given login credentials tied to their account and system information. After logging in, look for links to options such as “service” or “tools.”

Some sites may require specifying the type of device (e.g. cable box, television), in addition to choosing a problem type. Every cable provider will have some variation of their own if they offer online tools and technical resources.

Spectrum’s onsite reset directions, for example, guide users to login, click on “service,” click the “TV” tab, click the experiencing problems link, then have the option for an equipment reset. If you are unsure if your cable provider has online tools or reset options, a quick call can usually answer those questions.

Are Power Strips or Surge Protectors Worth It?

Quality surge protectors or power strips as they are commonly called, provide a valuable safety net for many of our electronics and devices. That also includes our cable boxes.

Surge protectors are designed to shut off power to anything plugged into it by utilizing a mini-breaker system. Any power surge or jolt can cause the surge protector breaker to trip, and thereby prevent any electrical damage to attached devices or electronics.

Power strips should also be replaced about every two years to ensure they remain in good working order. Surge protectors can cost anywhere from $20 to a basic and reliable to $50 for industrial power strips. Are they worth it? Well, if they can save owners the cost of replacing a television, computer, or game system, then that would make surge protectors a worthwhile investment.

Cable Box Won't Turn On After A Power Outage? (Possible Causes & Fixes) (2024)


Cable Box Won't Turn On After A Power Outage? (Possible Causes & Fixes)? ›

Leave it switched off for at least 30 minutes before turning it back on. Unplug and wait: Unplug the power cable from the wall outlet and wait for a few moments before reconnecting it. Reset the box: Locate the Power button on your Xfinity cable box and hold it for about 10 seconds.

How to fix cable box after power outage? ›

Use the reset button to manually reboot your cable box. You'll find the button on the front of the box or on the back by the power cords. Force a reboot by unplugging and replugging the cable box. Then, hit the power button to turn it on again.

Can a power outage damage a cable box? ›

The damage to appliances and electronics doesn't normally occur when the power goes out, rather it's when it comes back on that the network voltage may be higher or lower than the ideal amount. If the voltage is too high it's called a surge, and the mini blast can definitely damage equipment and appliances.

What to do when your cable box won't turn on? ›

Quick Answer: How to troubleshoot an unresponsive cable box
  1. Troubleshoot your unresponsive digital box by locating and unplugging the power cable.
  2. Wait 30 seconds and reconnect the power cable to the digital box.
  3. Wait approximately 1-2 minutes for the digital box to reboot.

What to do when your TV box is not turning on? ›

  1. Restart your TV box.
  2. Use the physical power button.
  3. Check the wall outlet & power bar.
  4. Use the remote's CBL mode button.
  5. Reprogram your remote.
  6. Disable your TV's dynamic light sensor.

Can power outage damage coaxial cable? ›

Most typical, non-lightning-related power surges won't damage the cable itself, because it will lack the amount of amps and voltage needed to heat the cable hot enough to damage it - but there are always a few exceptions. Your connected equipment is likely to fail before the cable does, though.

How do I get my cable back on? ›

What to Do If Your Cable Isn't Working
  1. Unplug the power from your cable box for 15 seconds and plug it back in.
  2. Check the display for error codes.
  3. Inspect the cables on the rear of the box to make sure none are loose.
  4. Connect the coaxial cable to your TV directly to verify signal strength.

Does unplugging a cable box reset it? ›

Resetting or rebooting your cable box is also referred to as power cycling the equipment. Locate the set top box (cable box) and where it is plugged into electricity. Only remove the power cord from electricity. Leave unplugged for one whole minute.

Why is my Spectrum box not powering on? ›

Make sure your power cord is securely connected to the receiver and the outlet.​​​​​​ For Spectrum Receivers, models 101/201/110/210: Make sure your TV is on. Press and hold the Reset button for a full five seconds, then release.

What to do if your Xfinity box isn't turning on? ›

Make sure your cables are tightly secured. Press and hold the Power button located on the front of the TV Box for 10 seconds. The TV Box should automatically restart.

Why won t my set top box turn on? ›

First check the plug is securely connected to your mains and is switched on. Once you've done that, head around the back of your box and check the power lead is connected to the power port. Then check the power switch is set to the on position. Do you have any lights on the box?

How do I reboot TV cable after power outage? ›

Switch off and remove batteries: Switch off the cable box fully and remove any batteries it may have. Leave it switched off for at least 30 minutes before turning it back on. Unplug and wait: Unplug the power cable from the wall outlet and wait for a few moments before reconnecting it.

How do I reconnect my cable box? ›

Reseat the cable
  1. Detach the power cable from your digital box.
  2. Unscrew the coaxial cable connection from the back of the digital box.
  3. Unscrew the coaxial cable from the cable wall outlet (or splitter).
  4. Reattach the coaxial cable to the digital box and the cable wall outlet (or splitter), ensuring they are finger-tight.

Why does cable go out when power goes out? ›

Your cable internet works with a router, and the router needs electricity to function. Some modern routers come equipped with backup batteries that will allow them to continue to work during a power outage, but unless you have one of these, your router will be dead until the power returns.

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